What I'm Watching: 13 Eerie
13 Eerie? Well, you can probably guess what made me want to watch this movie.
And you would be wrong! WRONG!!
Okay, truthfully, the title caught my eye and made me research. But what made me grab the movie to watch was the presence of one of my favourite Canadian genre stars, Katharine Isballe. I have been a huge geeky fanboy of hers since Ginger Snaps. I flail wildly every time she would randomly appear on a show.
Oh, and Brendan Fehr is in this too, and he was awesome on Roswell and other places.
That was enough to get me in the door, even if the trailer showed zombies, and uh...I'm kinda done with zombies. Totally burnt out on them. But screw it, I wanted to see Katharine, and the setting looked interesting enough.
We start off with six forensic students being boated and bussed out to a remote penetentiary at 13 Eerie Strait, on a remote island, in the middle of nowhere. No lights, no phones, no motorcars. Not a single luxury. They're their to investigate some mock crime scenes to try and analyze the bodies and test their forensic knowledge.
And their professor is Michael Shanks, or Daniel Jackson from the Stargate tv series. Seriously, the cast of this movie is awesome.
Things start going weird, and we slowly learn that the prison was used to run experiments on its prisoners, and that's part of the reason why the facility was shut down and abandoned. Unfortunately, a few bodies got left behind, and now that they sense fresh meat, they're coming back to life and are ready to feed.
The movie isn't super original, but it does have its own take on zombies, with familiar elements from all over the canon, that make something unique but...not. They're honestly not quite zombies, but with a few familiar features. They're really more like mindless creatures. They're smart, they're resourceful, they just keep coming...they're rotting Terminators, really.
I like this take on the tropes, and can forgive a little unoriginality for a unique setting, and cast. None of these characters are, just like the zombies, quite familiar. They're their own thing. You don't have the jock, you don't have the stoner...they're all pretty smart, what with being successful college students and what not. Their professor isn't a cliche, etc.
The movie somehow manages to tow this weird line between uniqueness and cliche, and I like it.
I really like the movie, to be honest. It has a nice slow burn for the first half hour, letting the movie breathe, letting the characters poke around the dead bodies, slowly starting to see things going wrong... And then the convicts awaken and shit hits the fan. As it does with zombies.
Katharine Isabelle is easily the star here. She is a total badass, kills most of the zombies, and seems to love it. She seems to go more than a little manic after a few kills. And the kills are TOUGH. Sure, the usual blows to the head, but they don't make that easy. These zombies take fucking beatings. But they are no match for science! Or guns. But I do like science being used. Katharine is a blast to watch her going to town on these creatures left and right.
The effects are great, with some truly gruesome things I don't think I've ever seen before, and these zombies have their own look. Great makeup. And I especially like that there were only THREE zombies, not a giant horde of them. That's another nice change of pace.
Oh, but the movie is not perfect. Like I've said, it's not that unique, but it somehow mixes things up enough to stumble into a fun unique way of its own that is familiar but not. But there's also something refreshing in having a simple, familiar movie.
But it's not until the end of the movie, those last five seconds, when they do a bullshit cliffhanger ending that at once made me laugh, and made me want to fling the DVD across the room and set it on fire. They had a great, satisfying resolution with our survivors, even getting some revenge on the lone person who knew the truth, but then just as they're about to escape, it becomes a giant question mark. In a hilarious way that so fits the tone of the movie, but is also so frustrating that they went out on that question mark of did they ACTUALLY get out.
But that's just one mere shot at the end of a very solid movie, so I definitely recommend it. It is a great little independent movie, with a real cast of real actors, and this is a very good movie otherwise. I don't hold a fraction of it's 87 minute runtime against it. As annoyed as I am by it. I really want a sequel to learn more about the prison and the experiments. This is a solid entry in the zombie genre, and I don't regret deciding to watch one more zombie flick.
NOW I'm done with zombies.
Until the next movie.
Or October, when Walking Dead returns.