Monday, December 17, 2012

Project Asylum: The Surge (2001)

Feel free to Chronicle this, won't you?  Today's film is The Surge aka The Source.  No, it's not that Highlander film.  This film came four years earlier and may seem familiar to you.  Here's the plot: some teenagers (who are played by adults) discover a mysterious rock and get magical powers.  Yes, this is the plot of Chronicle, in case the obvious joke didn't explain that.  Here's the thing: this film was made in 2002.  Do I think that the pointlessly-Found Footage film is a rip-off?  I doubt it.  I mean, do you think that anyone other than me and five random people who lost a bet actually watched this film?  Exactly.  This is notable for being one of the oldest Asylum films that I can confirm.  Before they started ripping off Cloverfield, Death Race and The Three Musketeers, they made original films.  Don't worry- they still weren't that good.  To see the early days of The Asylum and the last gasps of the '90s, read on...
The least likable character until Return to Sleepaway Camp exists here: a Goth guy who likes bad '90s comics.  He likes the feeling is mutual.
Meeting up with three random outcasts, he goes to their secret spot, which contains two glowing rocks that emanate magnetic energy.  Try to avoid the unintentional imagery here with the rocks and his placement....
 By exposing themselves to weird and possibly dangerous radiation, our heroes...wait, what was their plan again?  Just jump in the iridescent light and hope for the best?
As it turns out, it gives them different superpowers.  For example, one of them has telekinesis, while another can make you believe what she tells you to.  They use all of this power to...
 ...get back their CD players and Cell Phones back from the Principal's Office.  My God, it's the crime of the century.
Way past the point that anyone would actually care, one of them turns fully-evil and fights the others.  Thank God I'm not at all invested in these characters!  Not even a little!
It all leads to a silly battle involving these dumb characters, lots of silly effects and some pointlessly-stylized visuals.  If any of this sounds good to you, check this one out.
 As a bonus, it teases a sequel that- to my knowledge- never came to be.  The End.
The '90s didn't end until 2002 apparently.  This film has a neat premise, but that's about it.  The 'rebel' characters are not likable at all and don't feel realistic.  They just feel like something that a lazy Screenwriter would come up with.  The story has no real pay-off, at least not the one that you'd expect.  You assume that it would lead to them attacking the popular kids in some sort of set-piece, leading to a Carrie-style showdown.  Instead, they just fight each other by way of silly effects and over-Editing.  The resolution just feels silly and left me feeling flat.  Mind you, if I had any investment in these characters, it might have been better.  As much as I found a lot of Chronicle to be silly and ridiculous, the story had a clear arc and built towards a big finale.  Said finale made me really question the 'Found Footage' aspect and, to quote Hermes, 'That just raises more questions!!!'  I'm almost surprised that this film wasn't re-packaged as The Chronicles or Kronicle by The Asylum when that film came out.  Regardless, this film is good for a laugh at best and serves as a time-capsule for films from the '90s, even if it has a 2002 release year.
Next up, I cover a Barbara Steele film with a silly title.  Prepare to be disappointed by the transfer and just about everything else.  Stay tuned...

No comments:

Post a Comment