HALLOWEEN OF HORROR REVIEW: INFESTATION

Starring

Chris Marquette (Fanboys)
Brooke Nevin (Comeback Season)
Kinsey Packard (The Ex List)
E. Quincy Sloan (Nuclear Family)
Wesley Thompson (Iron Man 3)
Linda Park (Juassic Park 3)
Deborah Geffner (Passions)
Ray Wise (Robocop)

1490817091_1524056Cooper (Chris Marquette) is a slacker and he works as a telemarketer. On a Friday, he turns up late for work and is promptly fired by his boss, Maureen (Deborah Geffner). He is fired for coming late, driving customers away and was fooling around in the office. Shortly after, an extremely loud sound is heard and Cooper faints with pained expressions on his face.hybridCooper wakes up a few days later, only to find himself nauseous, weak and covered in webbing (cocooned) in his office. As Cooper struggles out of the cocoon, he is attacked by a big, beetle-like, bug. He fights the bug away and helps his boss Maureen out of a cocoon. Maureen regains consciousness and realizes that her daughter, Sara (Brooke Nevin) was waiting for her outside the office. Cooper and Maureen go outside to check on Sara, who is unconscious and trapped inside a cocoon in her car. As Cooper is helping Sara out of the cocoon, Maureen is attacked and captured by a large, wasp-like creature. Other bugs surround them and they use Sara’s car alarm to distract the bugs and escape to a restaurant.Infestation_DVD_504There they revive Cindy (Kinsey Packard), Hugo (E. Quincy Sloan), Hugo’s father Albert (Wesley Thompson), Leechee (Linda Park), Roger (Bru Muller), PJ (Vlado Mihailov) and a Cop (Todd Jenson). PJ and Roger decide to escape in Roger’s truck against the advice of others. They are attacked by the bugs and in the chaos PJ, Roger and the cop are killed. Albert is stung by a bug, while Cooper saves Cindy from being crushed by Roger’s runaway truck, with the rest of the group deciding to stay indoors.MV5BYTY2Nzc0YjItZjkxNC00YTM4LTkyZTAtMzY0ZTlkMmNhMDMyXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyMjUyNDk2ODc@._V1_Leechee and the group make their way to roof of a building and see a group of the wasps flying toward them. The group then realize that the bugs are blind and they use sound to track their victims, as the wasps did not attack them. They use a radio to lure a bug in a storage closet and milk it to identify the contents of its venom. Leechee analyses the venom and realizes that it contains sedatives and some proteins. They decide to go to the nearest military airbase at Gibson the next day and decide to camp for the night in the same building. They also see the bug hive, which is emitting red colored gas. The next day, the group leave the building to make their way to Cooper’s dad, while Leechee decides to stay behind to help revive more people and to study the bugs. The rest of the group sets off and goes to Hugo’s and Albert’s house first. Albert’s wife seems to have died of natural causes. They next go to Cindy’s brother, Chad’s (Mike Straub) house. Cindy finds her sister-in-law Susan (Daniela Tonova) cocooned and she revives her. They also find Chad, who has mutated into a large spider-like creature because of a giant wasp sting. Chad is collecting cocooned humans and he attacks the group, killing Susan, knocking out Sara, impaling Cooper when he tries to save Cindy and is finally killed by Hugo and Albert.InfestationThey camp for the night at Chad’s house and Sara patches up Cooper. Cindy wants Cooper to ditch the group and come with her but Cooper is in love with Sara and he turns down the offer. The next day they decide to go to Cooper’s dad, Ethan’s (Ray Wise) house. Ethan is a former military personnel who has weapons and a bunker at his house. Sara informs Cooper that she intends to go to the bug hive to find her mother. Cooper tries to convince her to come with him to a military airbase but she doesn’t agree. They come across a few flying bugs and hide under a bridge. Cindy sees Cooper and Sara holding hands, becomes furious, and shouts to attract the bugs towards the group. Albert shoots Cindy to save the group but Sara is captured by the bugs. Finally the group reaches Ethan’s house and Albert turns into a mutant, similar to Chad. Hugo shoots his father to save himself, Ethan, and Cooper. Cooper tries to convince Ethan to help him save Sara but when he fails he leaves Ethan and Hugo behind. Cooper is captured by another group and they lock him up in a prison cell in an abandoned police station. There he meets a Puerto Rican man, who tells him that he was part of Leechee’s group and that the others died in an explosion caused by the flammable red colored gas released by the bugs and the nest. Hugo and Ethan are captured by the same group. It is revealed that Ethan has been stung by a wasp and the Puerto Rican man turns into a mutant. Ethan uses the distraction to kill the members of the enemy group and save Cooper and Hugo.Infestation (2009)-2Meanwhile, Sara wakes up in the bug hive and comes across the queen consuming cocooned humans. Ethan, Hugo and Cooper reach the hive. Ethan hand-cuffs Cooper to a tree and hits Hugo in the head. He leaves the keys so that Cooper and Hugo can escape. Ethan enters the hive alone to destroy it and he comes across Sara. Sara offers to take Ethan to the queen. Ethan and Sara are then attacked by the queen. Hugo and Cooper enter the bug hive, arriving in time to help Sara and Ethan. The group begin to attack the queen with their weapons. This only angers the queen, who begins to wail loudly. As the group cower in pain at the volume of the wail, Hugo, who was unable to hear the wail as he had lost his hearing, throws the explosives into queens mouth. Ethan asks Sara, Cooper and Hugo to escape from the bug hive while he triggers the explosive. But soon after, Ethan turns into a mutant. Cooper takes the remote from his father and triggers the explosive, obliterating the nest and the insects inside. The film ends with Cooper, Sara and Hugo turning toward the sound of a large rumbling. The source of this rumbling is not specified as the film then turns to black in a cliffhanger. The rumbling is suggested to be either the insects returning or the Army finally arriving to deal with the infestation.lr6BKFRDgeVcvDJUYh1V52kuF0zThe plot is fairly unpredictable for this genre, meaning that it goes basically where everyone watching it wants it to go in the end, but it gets there in a way you won’t entirely see coming. But the real reasons to watch this movie are the genuinely witty writing and the subtle comic performances of the cast. The worst you could say about this movie is that it’s derivative of Shaun of the Dead. Personally, I’m totally okay with that.

REVIEW: ALPHA DOG

CAST

Emile Hirsch (Speed Racer)
Justin Timberlake (The Social Network)
Ben Foster (The Punisher)
Shawn Hatosy (The Faculty)
Anton Yelchin (Star Trek)
Sharon Stone (Total Recall)
Bruce Willis (Die Hard)
Chris Marquette (Freddy vs Jason)
Dominique Swain (Praire Fever)
Olivia Wilde (Cowboys & Aliens)
Amanda Seyfried (Ted 2)
Vincent Kartheiser (Angel)
Lukas Haas (Mars Attacks)
Heather Wahlquist (John Q)
Harry Dean Stanton (Avengers Assemble)
Joshua Alba (Unrest)
Amber Heard (Zombieland)
Paul Johansson (Highlander: The Raven)
James Molina (Veronica Mars)
Alan Thicke (Growing Pains)
Holt McCallany (The Losers)

Johnny Truelove is a young marijuana dealer living in Southern California. His father, Sonny, supplies him with marijuana, which Johnny distributes to his gang of friends, including Jake Mazursky, who owes Johnny a $1,200 drug debt. Mazursky makes a failed attempt at asking his father, Butch, and stepmother Olivia for the money. Meanwhile, Butch and Olivia are dealing with their rebellious teenage son Zack- Jake’s half-brother. A fight breaks out between Jake and Johnny when Jake tries to pay Johnny only part of his debt. After back and forth retaliation, Johnny and his two henchmen, Frankie Ballenbacher and Tiko Martinez, go to confront Jake in person, but when they go to his house he is nowhere to be found. As they leave, they find Zack walking and decide to kidnap him with the intent of holding onto him until Jake pays his debt.
Wanting a break from his home life, Zack makes no effort to escape. Johnny pawns Zack off on Frankie, who offers him a chance to escape, but Zack declines the offer, not wanting to cause any trouble for his brother. Zack stays with Frankie at his father’s house, and the two strike up an unlikely friendship. The next day, he ingratiates himself with Frankie’s friends, including Keith Stratten and Julie, the youngest member of the group. A number of friends of the gang learn of Zack’s kidnapping, though Susan is the only one who seems concerned. Frankie grows nervous when Johnny tells him they could be in serious trouble for the kidnapping, and hypothetically offers him $2,500 to murder Zack. Frankie furiously declines and Johnny claims it was just a joke. Instead, Johnny agrees to Frankie’s plan to pay Zack to keep his mouth shut. However, after a threatening phone call from Jake, and his lawyer who reveals that he could face life in prison for kidnapping, he decides the risk of ending up dead or in prison is too great to let Zack go. Johnny calls Elvis Schmidt and offers to erase his drug debt if he kills Zack. Frankie and his friends still believe Zack will be returning home at the end of the night and throw a raucous going away party. Zack has a good time at the party and later goes skinny-dipping with Julie and her friend Alma in the pool, which leads to a three-some. After the party, Julie gives Zack her number and Alma gives him a good-bye kiss on the cheek.
Elvis arrives at the hotel where Zack is waiting to be picked up, and Frankie and Elvis begin to argue when Elvis reveals that Johnny has sent him there to kill Zack. Frankie ends up leaving, and Elvis takes Keith to dig a grave. Frankie offers Zack a final opportunity to escape, but believing that he is now part of the group and will be returning home soon, Zack prefers to wait at the hotel for Elvis to return. Meanwhile, Sonny, Cosmo (Johnny’s godfather), and Johnny’s lawyer confront Johnny, who refuses to call off the hit. Elvis and Keith return to the hotel, and Frankie and Elvis go outside to talk. Frankie, reluctant because of the friendship he has formed with Zack, finally relents when Elvis tells him they could face life in prison if Zack tells someone what happened.
Frankie, Elvis, Zack, and Keith arrive at the grave site. Zack is not aware of what’s going on and grows suspicious when a deeply saddened Keith tells Frankie he can’t go through with it, and goes to wait in the car after giving Zack a goodbye hug. Zack sees the grave and begins to break down, begging Frankie and Elvis to let him go. Frankie tells Elvis they shouldn’t go through with it, but Elvis is keen on the job he’s been given. Frankie calms Zack down, and ties him up with duct tape. He is surprised when Elvis knocks Zack into the grave with a shovel, and shoots him multiple times with an automatic Tec 9, killing him.
Zack’s body is found three days later. The epilogue shows the aftermath of the crime: Olivia, now suffering from obesity and depression, is interviewed, and talks candidly about her failed suicide attempts and the loss that she has experienced from her son’s death. Susan angrily confronts Frankie over Zack’s death and goes to the authorities. Elvis is caught while trying to secure a ride out of L.A. Johnny flees the city and arrives at the house of old classmate Buzz Fecske, who drives him back to his godfather Cosmo’s house, where he enters and is not seen again. Tiko, Keith and Frankie are arrested. After being convicted, they all serve their respective sentences: Tiko serves nine years in prison for kidnapping; Keith serves time at a juvenile facility until the age of 25 for digging Zack’s grave; Frankie serves seven years to life for kidnapping and second-degree murder; and Elvis is put on death row for murdering Zack. Johnny, however, is nowhere to be found. The interviewer asks Sonny how Johnny was able to escape authorities for four years without help, but Sonny assures him that he doesn’t know where Johnny is. In 2005, after over five years of being on the America’s most wanted list, Johnny is finally found and arrested in Paraguay. Text informs the audience that Johnny is in California awaiting trial, and, if proven guilty, faces the death penalty.
Alpha Dog is based on the real life story of LA drug dealer Jesse James Hollywood who may just have a sillier name than his onscreen counterpart.  The story jumps around a lot but there are some very well filmed and well acted moments that make this better than just another LA crime film.