Thursday, February 10, 2011

Instant Alien Trash: Infected (2008)

Bugs- can't live with 'em, can't live with 'em burrowing in your chest.  This 2008 'thriller' involves possibly the most cookie-cutter plot thrown together.  It's like someone stole the drafts from about seven or eight horror film scrips and made one.  The result: a film about bugs from outer space that trick you into drinking water.  Fortunately for us, a reporter who covers silly, alien stories is on the case to save the day.  Along the way, a pair of actors who used to have the ability to say 'No' to scripts like this show up.  If you love intrigue and especially love films that are in love with themselves, read further.  Otherwise, keep reading to see me ridicule this generic mess.  Use your hand sanitizer before we meet up with the...
The film begins with an ad for a company that is providing the United States with clean, fresh water.  Rip-off #1: The Stuff (just replace the water with a whipped topping).  The problem facing the United States- but specifically Boston, as the film says- is a plague that is affecting humans adversely.  A plague designed to cover an alien invasion?  That covers about six or seven major films from the science fiction genre, so let's just cover it as Rip-Off #2-8.  After this a woman breaks into the company's building to uncover a secret of theirs.  She comes across a group of plants that are black, pulling one just before a light turns the rest of them green to disguise them.  This building reminds a hell of a lot of the dome from The X-Files: Fight the Future, so let's call that Rip-Off #9.  The woman gets attacked by a group of men, managing to fend off a bunch of them.  The last guy gets her down & she cuts the man's face with a knife, revealing his alien face.  Aliens in skin masks?  Do I even need to explain this one?  Let's just lump it in as Rip-Off #10-14.  The guy who was talking to the woman on the radio is still loose and wants to get real proof for his story.  He calls a reporter- also the film's heroine- and calls her over to give her 'the scoop of a lifetime.'  He has her wait in her office while he goes down and shoots the Mayor, who bleeds black blood.  Is the alien blood color thing enough to warrant another addendum?
In the film's other plot- that does eventually synch up- a man (Gil Bellows) on the Mysteries of Science beat for his paper is bored and wants something real.  He talks to his boss (Isabella Rossellini), who proceeds to give him a long, pretentious answer for why people read his crap.  This plot point amounts to nothing, so let's move on.  He starts investigating the story about the aliens when the man from earlier goes to him.  He tells him all about the alien conspiracy with the water and food, but our hero is skeptical.  The guy's real motive: getting our hero to pass this on to the woman from earlier.  That's right- our hero is just the middle-man!  The guy gets shot by the Police, setting up an Inspector's sub-plot.  A random law enforcement officer getting involved in the conspiracy unraveling, you say?  I can't think of the movie, but I know this counts for at least one- making it Rip-Off #15.  Oh yeah, the reporter that has to uncover the secret conspiracy- let's throw that one in as Rip-Off #16-20.  Things reach the point where the duo are confronted by Rossellini, who turns out to be an alien.  Rip-Off #21- Invasion of the Body Snatchers.  She's a humanoid bug, so let's throw in Rip-Off #22- Mimic.  Fortunately, the weird, homeless-looking guy from earlier (Judd Nelson) is also an alien, but he's good.  I won't even dignify that cliche with a number.  Oh, alright.  Rip-Off #23- V.
As it turns out, the solution to the problem lies inside of our hero.  He has the DNA mutation that makes him inhospitable for the alien spores.  By the way, the aliens leave spores in your chest and grow out as larvae.  It's all very gross and done in a cheap, cheap way.  I should note that they kill off Rossellini here for no reason- they just do.  Our hero's friend gets captured by the aliens and used as bait.  The Inspector follows them, but still does little.  The pair are captured until Nelson shows up.  We are treated to tone of the silliest fights ever as the aliens fight using 'super-speed.'  It's lame, but it does rid us of Judd Nelson.  The friend and our hero escape, aided by the Inspector.  He gets shot, but this allows them time to get away.  The pair go back to the lab, but can't get the information they need from there in time.  You see, the other guy is already infected with the bugs.  They go back to the other lab- why the pointless side-trip?- but the guy dies, death.  The heroine, meanwhile, is infected as well and remains captured.  Our hero sneaks back in with his secret weapon: his infectious blood.  He learns that his body not only rejects, but kills the spores- something that was kind of obvious.  He kills all of the spores in the host bodies by mixing his blood into the IVs and blows up the villain with some science crap.  By the way, worst CG bug alien ever!  The film ends with our heroes going cross-country to take out the other labs.
I've got the cure- apathy!  The plot of this movie is so generic that it kind of hurts.  Did you guys have anything new to bring to the table?  Hell, it's so generic that I got tired of pointing out how generic it is!  The aliens are interesting in theory, but feel more like the ape-aliens from Godzilla vs. Gigan than anything cool.  I know what they were going for, but they failed!  The film has a sub-par plot, so it has to fall back on the effects.  Yeah, about those...they aren't that great.  Some of the 'bug under the skin' bits are neat, but even that is over-used.  Don't look too hard for the shot on the cover, as that is barely-represented with a cheap shot of the guy wearing a 'monster glove.'  There CG model of the villain in full-alien form is especially cheap-looking too.  When I see CG models that don't cast shadows and look like effects out of commercials, I know what kind of crap I'm seeing.  The film tries to compensate with lots of blood and make-up work, but it's not enough.  So what do we have?  A generic film with no interesting leads and sub-par everything.  That's a hard sell.
Next up, a film that I did a Blind Buy on.  What's Japanese for 'waste of a disc' again?  Stay tuned...

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