*The Belko Experiment (2016)
D: Greg McLean S: John Gallagher Jr, Tony Goldwyn, 1h 29m Thriller/Action (USA)
I remember when the trailer popped up on my Youtube feed, it (obviously) made the film look amazing, but I was highly intrigued, who wouldn’t be, the premise is en point, an office on shutdown and suddenly respectable people are thrown into an animalist situation, it has so many classic elements that could be played on, from JG Ballard’s Highrise, Cabin in the woods, Operation Endgame, Lord of the Flies, Wedlock, Running Man and a thousand more books and films that deal with tense social nightmares. It’s not BRILLIANT and it could have been so much more. The broad outline is an office block is locked down, unknown forces have taken over control and surveillance, the staff are tasked to kill X amount of people of X people will be killed, they think it’s hoax until a couple of heads explode, they soon realise that the chips inserted into the necks are bombs, eventually a hierarchy is formed and the place becomes bedlam until a fairly disappointing ending..
There are a lot of errors and some blindingly obviously facts are totally ignored and I guess the creators just assumed we would all turn a blind eye, after all it’s only a movie. The character development was a bit shoddy, relying on some really dated stereotypes to keep the film flowing, the pothead being the most noticeable. The numbers of people seemed terribly wrong, they mentioned only a few hundred at most, my office is a third of the size of theirs and we have over a 1000 staff!?!? The blood and gore look brilliant but there just isn’t enough of it.It was enjoyable enough to try and get through only to find out the mystery but I don’t think I need to go back again..
After the excitement of Belko I went back to a golden oldie…
D:Umberto Lenzi S: Hugo Stiglitz Laura Trotter, 1h30m Scifi/Horror (ITALY)
I feel this movie is often underrated,the beginning of the 80’s was a period when horror and sci fi was changing, and a lot films were obviously made in the 70’s and released early on in the 80’s but with a thick layer of hippy antics about them, this is one of those films. but if you looked at it as a 70’s film then suddenly it’s not so bad.. Hugo Stiglitz plays a TV news anchor who witnessed the collapse of civilization as the city becomes overrun with mindless hungry assholes. The movie feels different from the Zombie films of it’s time, the message is much more political, and the director has clearly requested that this isn’t categorised as a Zombie film, and if you follow his advice and think about it in terms of a “Radiation Sickness Movie” then it makes more sense and the message of anti-nuclear anti-war is pretty clear.
It is a pretty blood thirsty survivor film, it’s quick pace and unlimited amounts of ammo make it quite “fun” but there is a constant danger and reminder that humanity is on it’s way into hell.. I really like the how much ground this news guy covers, sadly while trying to save the people (mostly women) that he chances upon, he just can’t seem to manage, but his arsenal (left over army weapons mostly) is vast!!! it really does play out like a survivor game.