Friday, July 3, 2015

The Sky Has Fallen

The Sky Has Fallen Directed By Doug Roos, Starring Carey Maclaren (2009/2015).

I was blindly approached by the filmmaker/editor/make-up artist one man wrecking crew Mr. Doug Roos on FB and holy shit am I glad! It's hardly ever that I'm immediately impressed by a new independent gore film (this one opens with torrents of artery juice sputtering all over the forest trees). During the credits a rampant infectious disease ala-Nightmare City or ebola (the plague, not the film) has turned the population into walking meatloaves. The music is seriously effective and the splatter effects are inspired (Roos over amps the fact that these are "practical" not CGI, which I'm over joyed at)! Lance, the main protagonist played by Carey Maclaren is a samurai sword wielding stoic who also uses guns to battle the plaid wearing infected former humans. He's obsessed with stopping the leader who caused the plague. In the woods, where the film is primarily centered he finds a girl named Rachel played by Laurel Kemper.

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Batter Up!

The snapping and breaking of bones and bloody muscles is ear splitting as the black skeleton hand tears through human flesh. The film handles the carnage in a grimly serious way, none of it is all that amusing (the overly serious music sets that tone for sure). Rachel and Lance find a diary of a priest whose daughter and the foreboding menace has convinced him that there's no reason to keep his faith. Technically the movie is brilliant, but the only flaw I can see is that the two main actors are very stiff and a little too reserved in such a dire situation. It's hard to notice though because the style and gore make up over shadow the acting.

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If you try to connect the dots on my face with a Sharpie, I will shoot you!

One standout barbecued creature (who wears different severed heads as trophies on his belt) attempts to over power Lance, as he hacks and slices causing the red stuff to shower the green forest. There's also these cool faceless ghouls in hoods who silently show up, these are the ones that possibly started the world wide infection. Their ominous presence is left to your imagination. The dripping gory infected humans sort of bumble around and get split open by the sword or shot at by the main characters. Critics have accused Roos of imitating The Walking Dull or some other rehashed flavorless zombie trend currently bobbing toward the surface but in an interview with Horror Galore, he mentions how he was influenced by the Japanese cinema of Kurosawa and Ryuhei Kitamura.

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Help! I can't breathe under this make-up

Even though this is a film about a plague and we've seen this theme recycled before, the movie manages to use the "zombies" (or infected people aspect) in a very original and creative way, making it not a typical film at all. I enjoyed this independent horror flick, even with its short comings (the monotone acting slightly irritated me), but I expect more quality projects from this film maker and feel that it's worth checking out. The DVD, which has cool special features showcasing the creature makeup is available on     

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