October Movie Marathon: October 1st brings us ‘State of Emergency’

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Chaos consumes a small town when a chemical facility explodes releasing a deadly toxin. Moments after the leak, the town’s residents show signs of mutation, causing the military to quarantine the area leaving any survivors helpless and trapped inside. The story follows Jim, a young man isolated within the red zone, as he eludes flesh eating zombies in an attempt to win back his freedom.

I love zombies. I think anyone who has read any of my other articles knows how much I absolutely love the living dead. I watch movies that I see receive poor reviews and huge blockbusters. I play zombie video games and listen to zombie inspired music. There’s a reason why I’m saying all of this. I’m able to objectively look at a zombie movie (or a movie that follows the type) and see what there is to like or not.

State of Emergency wasn’t bad. I liked the plot and the zombies themselves. While I’m typically not a huge fan of running zombies,these were different enough to be enjoyable. They seemed to be more in line with the 28 Days Later infected with a little influence from The Crazies thrown in for good measure. The main difference being that these zombies/infected are still able to think or act somewhat human.

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With every movie, there are always bound to be some issues. Let’s discuss the most glaring issue for those of us who have ever shot a hunting rifle or any gun with a scope. During the entire movie, there is one thing that stands out every time I see it. No matter who is using the rifle, they are looking through the scope with the lens covers in place. There is nothing to see. It covers both the front and back of the scope. Fail.

This is basically a survival zombie flick where people are trapped inside a supposedly secure building. The survivors have to make forays out into the infested countryside to recover survival equipment. It does create a fairly decent homage to the granddaddy of all survival zombie flicks: Night of the Living Dead. It accurately recreates the claustrophobic feel of being trapped in one location without a potential of escape.

Unfortunately, there is some really bad acting. The one survivor’s wife does not seem to ever be able to react to danger right. She gives a very flat performance. Quite a bit of the conversation felt scripted and forced. This made the entertainment value of the film drop as the stunted conversations were distracting.

What really did work? The story was well done and the characters were developed in a way that made us feel sympathy for the characters (or at least most of them). The infected were creepy (especially the old lady who was infected and could also carry on a basic conversation). The focus of the camera on the infected and varying the camera speed allowed for some interesting shots. These scenes created an escalation of immediate terror and helped create an effective atmosphere for an apocalyptical/claustrophobic film.

Overall, this film wasn’t bad. It was an interesting addition to the zombie/infected genre and I would rate it a 5 out of 10.

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