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Case Number 17939: Small Claims Court

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Plaguers

Image Entertainment // 2008 // 86 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Brett Cullum // December 18th, 2009

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All Rise...

Judge Brett Cullum has discovered an unsung classic of the sci-fi genre...but this piece of crap ain't it.

The Charge

In space nobody stays dead.

The Case

Picture in your mind what it would be like if George Romero decided to remake Ridley Scott's Alien, but used his trademark zombies from Night of the Living Dead instead of the space monster. Okay, now picture this all done for about two dollars, and with a "grade Z" cast and crew. Get in your mind the image of Sigourney Weaver as a blonde with plastic breasts who can't act. Plaguers is a "so bad it's bad" film that explores the space zombie territory with little regard for common sense or science fiction. You know you're in trouble when the ship's navigator tells his captain "That distress call is coming from a spaceship Southwest of us." Uh…when did space get magnetic poles?

You can probably guess the plot, but just in case you can't here goes. A blue collar crew bringing a full load of fuel home receives a distress call. They answer the plea for help, but instead find out the sexy space nurses they have just rescued are ruthless pirates after their cargo. But what the crew and their captors don't know is that onboard with them resides a glowing green orb like the one seen in the animated cult classic Heavy Metal. It turns people in to flesh eating zombies whether they are dead or not. So now the two enemy groups must team together with a trusted android (Steve Railsback, Lifeforce) to see if they can escape with anybody alive before their ship hits Earth.

Plaguers is what I refer to as "a real groaner." The sets look like they are made out of paper, the acting is terrible, the script makes no sense, the cinematography is ugly, and the creature zombie effects are straight out of your local haunted house. Even Steve Railsback seems bored to be here, and looks like he is desperately deciding whether laughter or tears will be his next move. It's just not good in any sense of the word. The only saving grace is the pace is very quick, so nothing sticks around very long. Director Brad Sykes has a resume that includes the twelfth installment in the Witchboard series, so you know he's not too worried about souring his reputation with this dreck which he also wrote.

DVD Verdict was sent a screener for this review, so I can only evaluate the film on the merits of what I could see behind constant warnings that the disc I was watching was "FOR SCREENING PURPOSES ONLY." So the transfer looked okay, and the sound was fine. The problem is this is not final product. I didn't even get the extras: the commentary, deleted scenes, or thirty-five minute making of featurette. I got kind of shafted here, and was left with only the crap-tastic film to rage about in this piece.

I will give Plaguers credit for never boring me, and yet I can't say I was entertained. Ironically I sat on the couch in a zombie state wishing I could gnaw on someone's flesh to take the sting out of watching this rip-off of Alien done three decades late. Cannibalism might be a healthier alternative than sitting down to watch this, but if you're up for a bad film to howl through with drunken buddies it's certainly got the right stuff. I imagine the perfect audience would be an entire college fraternity on a very low dose of hallucinogens. The film doesn't qualify for camp or cult classic, it's just flat out terrible and would be embarrassing for even a public access channel to put on their schedule.

The Verdict

Guilty of being the lame zombie version of Alien. The best thing about this flick is the cool cover and the fact it is under ninety minutes long.

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Scales of Justice

Judgment: 55

Perp Profile

Studio: Image Entertainment
Video Formats:
• 1.78:1 Anamorphic
Audio Formats:
• Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
Subtitles:
• None
Running Time: 86 Minutes
Release Year: 2008
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Genres:
• Horror
• Science Fiction

Distinguishing Marks

• Commentary
• Deleted Scenes
• Featurette

Accomplices

• IMDb








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