On May 19, 2004, an unprecedented biological outbreak occurred in Lawton, California. A classified N.S.A.A. report detailed the carnage which ensued that night. This film is based on that top-secret report.
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A meteor carrying an unknown infection, lands outside a Small Californian community, bringing terror and death. Just after midnight, a local rancher named Larry Jenkins discovers the meteor and calls the police. Inspector Bardo is sent to the scene to investigate. The small Lawton police department is short-handed, as it is the night of the high school prom. Arriving at a desolate forest road miles out of town, Bardo discovers that Jenkins has been infected by the alien organism. The officer is savagely attacked and infected. Both men head towards Lawton, terrorizing and contaminating everyone they encounter. Meanwhile, Cheryl and Timmy have left the prom and are parked atop Lover's Lane. Bardo comes upon the lovebirds and attacks them, infecting Timmy. Now Cheryl must run for her life through the pitch-black forest, escaping her pursuers and trying to reach the authorities before the infection spreads to L.A. Written by
A disappointing experiment from B-movie auteur Albert Pyun
Director Albert Pyun does not inspire confidence. His name evokes groans and memories of cheap and often pretentious genre films. But when I heard that his latest project was a single uninterrupted shot I was as intrigued as anyone to see the results. The fact that Infection (retitled Invasion when it DVD) was getting praise from critics only served to heighten my interest.
The film's novelty is that it is a science fiction film told from the fixed view of a high definition camera mounted on a police car. With a cast of mostly unknowns and an aura of mystery, Infection inspired a similar level of intrigue as the much higher profile Cloverfield (2008). If only the results were as exciting. Whether the consequence of budgetary limitations or a misguided artistic aspiration, Infection is a huge disappointment.
Shoddy-looking news footage and title cards set the scene as the film begins with a Police officer driving down the dirt roads of a national park. He meets a local resident acting very strangely. Once again something alien has come to small town USA, but while the soundtrack provides plot information the visual element is an endless steam of footage of bland dirt roads.
Pyun is both a prolific hack and a talentless artist and has been consistently disappointing viewers for nearly 30 years. One can theorise that this event-free narrative experiment and its largely meaningless visuals are intended to isolate viewers. To hypnotise or unsettle an audience used to seeing everything. If that was the artistic intent that's fair enough but it simply doesn't work. While I respect that using a single traveling camera to encounter various characters is a complex undertaking I can't help but feel that he could have done more.
Set within an urban location and with a larger cast this could have been, like Cloverfield, an extraordinary film. As it is it's just a bore. The fact that over-the-top sound design, a smattering of dubious visual effects and an admittedly interesting score seek to shatter the faux-realism of the found footage merely adds to the overwhelming sense of disappointment.
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