Monday, 29 July 2013

No.114 : The Colony

The Colony at the IMDb

 If you thought ‘The Day After Tomorrow’ lacked some mutant cannibals then this could be this film for you.

It is the future and it’s very cold. “The snow started and then didn’t stop” says the ominous voiceover - not sure how that would work but only the tops of street lights are peeking through the snow and no one has had their milk delivered for ages. We learn that most people are dead apart from small colonies living underground.

They manage to grow plants from their seed bank and have some rabbits but things are deteriorating fast. The rabbits have stopped shagging and Bill Paxton is on security detail. A recent flu bug killed 20 of the survivors and sniffles are now a near capital offence. Kindly leader Laurence Fishbourne puts anyone with a runny nose into quarantine and if they don’t get better they can have a bullet or a long walk into the icy wastes. Mentalist Bill prefers a bullet only prescription.

The colony keep in touch with other sites but Colony 5 have gone offline. Laurence takes a few men to check things out and warns Bill not to shoot anyone. The arduous trek across the frozen wastes takes about five minutes and fortunately for the budget Colony 5’s base looks an awful lot like Laurence’s Colony 7. No one answers the door and our heroes sneak in to take a look. They find loads of dead bodies and predictably one survivor who has gone a bit loopy.

A dig about finds a handy stash of dynamite as well as a recording of a transmission that suggests a thaw may be on the way. Sadly their luck runs out as they find a charnel house of mutant cannibals in the kitchen who are scoffing the colony’s former residents. After losing a few men Laurence and the young good looking one escape but with the cannibals in hot pursuit. Will they make it home and will what awaits them be worse than what they have fled? Will the climate reboot and will our heroes' values hold against a big man with pointy teeth?

This was a decent enough effort if you can overlook the thin plot and thinner characters. There is the usual gubbins about climate change but if you take this film as a portentous warning about what the future holds you are probably the kind of person who gets nutritional advice from Michael Moore. Essentially the whole film can be summarised as ‘group disturbs nest of cannibals and then gets chased home by them’. Not so much a movie plot as a game of tag.

The film does try to commentate on the human condition with the dehumanised Bill a foreshadow of the even more brutal cannibals. Towards the end when the gloves are off even those who seemed ‘normal’ end up chopping heads with a salad slicer. The gore is low key with the butcher house scene the worst although even that was so broad as to negate its impact. Fair enough cannibals can be sinister but these were the full leg waving chompers sitting amongst fires and piles of dismembered bodies. Subtle it is not!

Despite a low budget, that involved a series of endless tunnels which looked like a tribute to ‘Dr Who’, it was fast paced enough to keep me interested and the loss of a star after an hour signalled either a brave director or that the last few bucks had run out.

At a trim 90 minutes the film didn’t outstay its welcome and despite their ridiculousness I quite enjoyed the OTT troupe of permanently hungry people eaters.

THE Tag Line - Needs Heating Up  64%

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