12 days to Halloween: Infestation

, | Movie reviews

The last thing to come out of Project Greenlight, HBO’s reality show in which an amateur filmmaker makes a movie, was Feast. That bad horror movie turned into a trilogy, with each movie worst than the last. In the second Feast, some biker chicks have to take off their tops and combine them with a motorcycle to make a catapult that will fling midget wrestlers across the street. But Feast 2 wouldn’t even rank among the top ten movies in which biker chicks have to take off their tops and combine them with a motorcycle to make a catapult that will fling midget wrestlers across the street. I can’t think of any other movies in which that happens, but I’m holding the top ten slots in reserve, becuase there’s no way Feast 2 belongs on a top ten list of anything.

At the end of the Feast 3, which is not about giant robots, a giant robot comes out of the desert and steps on the movie’s only survivors. Roll credits. That’s how little John Gulager, the son of a famous actor who probably could have gotten his stupid movies made without taking up an entire season of Project Greenlight that could have been used on someone else, cares about his characters.

The year before Feast, one of the winners of Project Greenlight was a guy named Kyle Rankin. He and his partner co-directed Battle of Shaker Heights. After that, Rankin’s next movie was Infestation, which has an ending that many of you will absolutely hate, much like you might hate the ending of Feast 3. But Infestation ends the way it ends because Rankin cares about his characters. He didn’t like the ending he shot, so he used the footage he had to make a very different ending than what he’d originally written. The result is pitch perfect and I love it partly because so many people will hate it.

Infestation is a goofily irresistable creature feature with heart, a budget, and enough twists to keep it lively. For instance, the hero isn’t who you’d expect. It’s as if the traditionally square-jawed former TV star wasn’t available, so they had to use someone from the supporting cast as the hero. And whereas most creature features stay in one place because a) it’s cheaper to shoot a movie in one place, and b) they’re just aping Alien, Infestation has far too much energy to stay at home.

Infestation is available from Netflix here.

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