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Plague, The - LeglessCorpse Films Print E-mail
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Written by Richard Taylor   
Monday, 09 January 2017
Review The Plague from Legless Corpse Films on Severed Cinema

Directed by: Emir Skalonja
Written by: Emir Skalonja, Devon Metzger
Produced by: Emir Skalonja, Sean Patrick Saramak, Nicole Skalonja
Cinematography by:
Editing by: Emir Skalonja
Music by: Jason Paul Bouton, Joshua McDonald
Special Effects by: Sean Patrick Saramak
Cast: Adam Litton, Joshua McDonald, Nicole Skalonja, Devon Metzger, Rich Ruiz, Jason Snug
Year: 2016
Country: USA
Color: Color
Language: English
Runtime: 1hr 14mins

Studio: Foxtrot Productions
Distribution: LeglessCorpse Films

Buffalo indie filmmaker Emir Skalonja was first introduced to me with his serial killer/torture porn flick The Butcher. The Butcher is the only film to this day where I've seen a killer use a cheese grater on a woman’s set of heavy hangers to turn them into shredded tit cheese. Skalonja has since made the films Flesh of My Flesh -- a film tribute to Silent Hill -- and this zombie opus The Plague, which also boasts that political and social commentary which usually accompanies these zombie films that George A. Romero introduced in 1968 with Night of the Living Dead.

The Plague is shot well in crisp high definition and I was impressed with the intro which goes so far as to research a valid background story with actual and effective stock footage. The black and white clips of the lady speaking about the current situation in her town really added an authentic touch and set up a chilling introduction. The most chilling part is that the background story is true (minus the mercenaries being sent out and the dead coming back to life).

The true story of the community of Love Canal on Murica's side of Niagara Falls. The history and true story is very interesting and worth researching. The early history has entrepreneur William T. Love planning a canal connecting The Niagara River to Lake Ontario in the 1890s but it was botched because he wanted to remove water from Niagara Falls which would thus put an inevitable end to the beautiful landmark. Love Canal was supposed to be a Utopian vision of the perfect community but gradually declined and was bought by the Hooker Company in the 1940s. The Hooker Company dumped some 22,000 barrels of toxic waste in the unused canal, this in turn brought on cases of leukaemia. Residents were evacuated and a clean-up was ordered. This clean up only wrapped up in 2004!

I commend Skalonja on doing such great research with this movie and getting into true events which propel the material into a solid level of entertainment. My only wish was that Skalonja had the budget to tell such a story with a more competent vigor. It says on IMDb that Skalonja filmed this for $1000 so I commend his efforts and enthusiasm. I just feel the budget and other restraints really bring The Plague down from being something a lot greater than what it could have been.

Once the true backstory is wrapped up we are introduced to the characters which consist of a boyfriend/girlfriend Goth couple who are also subsequently hitmen... sorry, hit "persons." We also get introduced to Brother Jack (Joshua McDonald) and his sister Becky (Nicole Skalonja, the director’s wife). The opening scenes with Jack and Becky are funny because Becky is actually watching her husband’s blog on YouTube when Jack expresses his annoyance of it and can't figure out why Becky could enjoy watching such drivel. We are then introduced to a mercenary (Adam Litton) who seems to be in a struggle to evade the undead. Finally we meet the religious fanatic character, played by Jason Snug, who plays an important role later in the movie. Nicole Skalonja actually gives the best and most convincing performance in The Plague, she has some great acting chops and a convincing vibe about her.

Jack and Becky are out for a jog one day when they meet up with the mercenary. The mercenary lays out all the details for them of how he was sent to dispose and cover up the toxic waste dumping and the dead coming back to life. Becky and Jack meet up with the two contract killers and decide to form an alliance to get through the hellish maze of zombies. Soon the zombies are put on the back burner as our friendly neighborhood gun totting token religious fanatic comes a knockin’ spouting anti Hilary Clinton, homophobic, pro-NRA chants and even quoting Home Alone!?

The Plague has great intentions but the execution is just not there. I'm not sure what is up with the corset wearing, black eye liner coated assassins and forced and clichéd social commentary, plus the model toy weapons and lone mercenary wandering aimlessly with no team members sporting Timberland hiking boots, and the whole thing tries hard but ends up in the dreaded Zombie film clichéd blues. The story just doesn't add up with the facts. It’s a cool play on it and I hope Skalonja continues to plug away at his indie productions with wonderful ideas and enthusiasm such as this but it just doesn't quite hit the mark.

 

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 RATING:
 MOVIE: 1 
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