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The Trigger Effect (1996)

5.6
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Ratings: 5.6/10 from 4,511 users  
Reviews: 57 user | 23 critic

How tenuous is man's hold on civilization when survival becomes an issue? When the lights go out and stay out for several days, suburbanites Matthew and Annie learn the hard way that man is... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Joe
...
Raymond
...
Steph
...
Gary
Tori Kristiansen ...
Sarah
Tyra Kristiansen ...
Sarah
...
Johnny
Edhem Barker ...
Trendy German Guy
...
Tripping Guy
...
Hand Holding Guy
Monica Torres ...
Hand Holding Girl
...
Double Date Guy
Kerri Vickers ...
Double Date Girl
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Storyline

How tenuous is man's hold on civilization when survival becomes an issue? When the lights go out and stay out for several days, suburbanites Matthew and Annie learn the hard way that man is "by nature" a predatory creature. Matthew's long-time friend, Joe, happens by on the second day and a rivalry between the two friends simmers as Annie cares for her sick baby. When rumors of looting spread through the neighborhood, the two men buy a rifle for protection but Annie throws it in the pool. Later, that same night, Joe hears a prowler downstairs and awakens Matthew. They chase the stranger from the house and out into the street where a neighbor shoots him to death. No longer safe in their own home, they decide to drive to Annie's parents some 500 miles away. Before they reach their destination, more trouble comes their way when they stop to siphon gas from an abandoned car and discover the driver in the back seat... Is this what is meant by "man's inhumanity to man?" Written by Mark Fleetwood <mfleetwo@mail.coin.missouri.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

When Nothing Works, Anything Goes.

Genres:

Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and some violence | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

30 August 1996 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Der große Stromausfall - Eine Stadt im Ausnahmezustand  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$8,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$1,887,791 (USA) (30 August 1996)

Gross:

$3,594,848 (USA) (27 September 1996)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The story is inspired by the classic Twilight Zone (1959) episode "The Monsters Are Due On Maple Street," which depicts the denizens of the street slowly becoming crazy after a power failure. In fact, in the film's production notes, Matthew and Annie live on the corner of Maple and Willoughby (another classic TZ episode, "A Stop At Willoughby"), obvious allusions to "The Twilight Zone". See more »

Goofs

As evidenced in the movie after the electrical system breakdown, all sources of power were shut down and unresponsive, including the radio vehicles yet one police radio can be heard with the command central dispatching orders from time to time. See more »

Quotes

[Her husband and Joe are arguing.]
Annie: Boys, if you can't play nice, we're not gonna have any more of these little sleepovers.
See more »

Connections

References Twilight Zone (1959) See more »

Soundtracks

Danger Tension
From 1968 Version of "Night of the Living Dead"
Courtesy of Ole Georg / Euroscreen Music
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Stop ruining good ideas!!
10 September 1999 | by (Cork, Ireland) – See all my reviews

Our society is so dependent on electricity so that when there is a blackout we despair. We find it hard to understand how people survived without the light switch, the TV, the refrigerator. The Trigger Effect is about such an occurence, but whereas our electricity usually comes back in a matter of hours, this movie's characters have to survive in the black for days. It is an interesting premise but it's horribly handled.

The characters we are shown are boring and two dimensional. An uneventful love triangle begins between the three leads which leads to nowhere. There are some interesting parts to the movie but it's let down by it's small budget. This movie demanded some cutting edge movie making, it fails to deliver. This could and should have been a much more (dare I say) violent picture. It's theme was that of man's devolution back into nature after it loses its use of technology. So we expect some nasty events to occur. It never happens.

A movie like this should have left the moviegoer with questions. How would you react in such a situation? Instead it only leaves us with a gaping mouth and a statement to the filmmakers. Stop ruining good ideas!!


32 of 40 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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