Saturday, March 20, 2010

Blockbuster Trash: Pulse 3- Invasion

Pulse sounds like it was an okay film, although it is a remake of a foreign horror movie that is repopulated with teenagers.  Pulse II is utter crap and barely ties together with the first film.  Many deaths are just random and plot points are either built up too much (the family relationship dynamic) or not enough (who is the guy in all red?).  Now I'm reviewing the third film in the series...even though these last two were made for the DVD market and feature none of the stars.  Basically, humanity is overrun with ghosts from the internet and lives a life without technology.  In the wake of her parents' deaths, our heroine is now an angst-ridden teen.  I'm already losing interest, so let's log right into...
Our story begins with a man (veteran of crap like this Ryder Strong) doing a web-cam chat with his lady friend in Egypt.  Mind you, they never address how much this costs, especially given the distance involved.  He wakes up one morning to find her running around- apparently with a wireless web camera on her phone...I guess- and narrowly avoiding death.  She runs to the roof and shows that she has been infected with the virus.  A moment later, she is run down by a truck.  The film proper begins by establishing that everyone lives like they are in the middle of the great depression.  They are being given a lecture about how technology is evil and how we don't need it.  This lecture feels like it was torn right out Reign of Fire, but let's just go with it.  Our heroine is in the back and treating this like Linda Fiorentino did with The Lord's Prayer in Dogma.  Having our character act like a complete bitch in her first scene- golden!  Eventually, she discovers a beat-up laptop and turns it on.  Since she is not an adult in Pulse II, she doesn't treat it like the monkeys did the Monolith from 2001: A Space Odyssey
Instead, she starts talking to a man on the other end and decides to go to Detroit.  Yeah right, who would go to Detroit willingly?!?  She ends up at a farm and meets with a third-rate Ossie Davis.  He freaks out at the sight of her computer, but lets her stay...provided that it stays locked up.  She leaves in the morning, but is tricked by him and not given her laptop.  When she runs back, he smacks her in the face with a bat (ow!) and chains her up Black Snake Moan-style.  He decides to sacrifice her to the spirits that stay around his house, the main one being his dead wife.  However, when she appears, her only interest appears to be in pulling out a digital shotgun and killing herself...only to come back and do it again.  Eventually, she stops long enough to kill the man, but spares our heroine.  Not thrown off by this, she keeps going, but ends up at the home of Dressed In Red Man based on advice of her pen pal.  By the way, one scene of them talking via IM lasts about five minutes- scintillating!  Anyhow, in a plot point right out of I Am Legend, Dressed in Red Man has one of the ghosts locked up in a cell coated in red tape.  He locks our heroine in and gives a long speech.  Let's just fast-forward, shall we?
Basically, his whole thing is explaining that the random thing he got in Pulse II is designed to counteract the ghosts...which is why they're still here 10 years later.  He's part of a cabal that is going to wipe out the ghosts by nuking the Earth with about 84 bombs!  During his monologue, our heroine cuts a hole in the red tape and the thing attacks him in one of the worst green screen shots made for a commercial film.  She leaves and finally meets up with her digital pen pal, who turns out to be one of the ghost people too!  She uses some random doo-hickey she stole from Dressed In Red Man and turns him human.  When she asks him about his survival, the young woman learns that he killed everyone around him to protect himself.  This upsets her and she smashes the computer...finally.  He's now trapped in limbo again and she leaves with a dog she randomly picked up somewhere.  Out in the woods, the digital ghost of Red Man is back to get her and tackles her.  Before he can turn her, the bombs start to go off in the atmosphere and the E.M.P. effect wipes him out.  The film ends with bombs going off everywhere in a Dr. Strangelove fashion and our heroine talking about how the Mennonites will live on.  The End?
This movie is not good for a lot of reasons.  To start off, there is barely any real plot.  Our heroine is not exactly likable and endangers everyone on Earth with her crap.  She only leaves because she sees a guy get stabbed for using a phone.  On top of that, her random pit stops are just odd.  To make matters worse, barely any outdoors footage was shot on location and is, instead, bad green screen work.  In many ways, it is worse than in Pulse II, if only because they do use some real outdoor locations at times.  Looking back though, none of this is really a surprise.  We're dealing with the second Direct-to-DVD sequel to a sub-par remake of a foreign horror movie.  What should we expect- Rashomon?!?
Up next, I've got one more Fulci review for you.  No zombies here, folks.  Instead, you get...the Old West.  Stay tuned...

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