Editor’s note: This review originally appeared on Fangoria.com prior to a mass site overhaul that saw two years’ worth of work completely wiped away from the inner crevices of the net.
Written by: Matt Molgaard
Directed by: Howard Wexler
Cast: Kelly Pendygraft, Alice Amter, Terry Becker, Lochlyn Munro
Sixty years ago, on September 9 of 2009 a meteor (or something of that nature) crashed to earth, animating a small rural town. Not long after the discovery of the meteor, people start… morphing into savage animalistic beings, intent on wreaking havoc on this unsuspecting community, and ultimately: the world as a whole. But what the government would eventually label a modern plague, is perhaps even worse, as this enemy is clearly otherworldly, and the design behind this trip to earth is built upon an apparent invasion. The only significant question is, who the hell lives to tell about it?
Receiving mediocrity in search of positive review seems to have become “the norm” for me lately. Therefore I was genuinely surprised, and extremely pleased with Howard Wexler for taking the time to ship me something worthy of positive feedback. Infection is one of the better independent flicks I’ve received as of late, inferior only to Modus Operandi, Punch and Live Evil – three of the best low budget indie‘s I’ve caught this year (regardless of genre). So, while the budget and cast of a Michael Bay film may be absent in this specific case, it hasn’t hindered the overall quality of the film in the slightest.
The prolific Lochlyn Munro (Sherriff Bowen) anchors a young but promising cast which features admirable performances from Bryan Brewer (as Deke Evans), Kelly Pendygraft (as Sarah Prescott), and David Jean Thomas (as the wise father figure Jerry). There’s not a single offering deserving a perfect label, but there’s a whole lot of spirit and plenty of energy to counter any less-than-refined moments (which really are few and far between) throughout the picture. Bryan Brewer (who also penned the script) brings a solid effort to the table, and given the depth of the man’s involvement with the project, really merits significant recognition. Keep an eye out for that name – Bryan Brewer.
Longtime cinematographer Howard Wexler draws clean, precise direction, utilizing 100% of the limited tools accessible. While Wexler never attempts to break new ground technically, he does shoot a direct, easily followable film. There’s enough creativity to keep viewers interested despite a standard approach – and given the films financial limitations I personally think it was an intelligent maneuver. It’s better to air on the side of caution, than to overextend yourself and shoot a flaw infested film. Based on the tactically cautious approach of Infection, Wexler apparently knows this well. Confinements aside, Wexler and Brewer make a damn fine team.
While I’m uncertain as to when Infection will street, I am certain it’s worth a viewing. Fans of goofy monster movies should dig it, zombie fans should dig it, and for those who still tend to gravitate towards the old invasion films of the 50’s should definitely dig it. Don’t expect the pretty polish of Dimensions newest teen-friendly fan favorite, or the star power to draw millions upon millions of viewers – rather, expect a fun, not too serious flick with a sound story, fair dialogue and a few memorable scenes. Infection in short, is a worthwhile investment in respect to both time and money. Check it out.