Ten years have passed since the world's children fell into a coma. Tonight they're waking up and all hell is breaking loose. An unholy battle between the generations is being waged, and time is not on the side of adults.
In 1983 all children aged nine years or less fall into a coma at the same time. The children remain in the coma for the next 10 years and all children born during this time are born into the same state. Ten years later Tom Russel, who was imprisoned after killing a man in a fight, is released from prison and returns to his home town where his older brother has a son in a coma. That night all the children wake up but they are hellbent on killing all the adults. It soon becomes apparent that the children share a sort of collective consciousness and as one learns they all learn. As they get smarter they learn to disable motor vehicles and eventually to use firearms. A group of survivors, led by Tom and Jean, try to escape to the safety of a base located 60 km outside the town.Written by
Advertising for this film seems to mention Clive Barker's name quite a bit which was enough to intrigue me - after all, who can't love the guy who created HELLRAISER and who was responsible for some of the strongest horror writing in the 1980s? Sadly it turns out that Barker was only a producer here and had no hand in the writing or anything.
And THE PLAGUE suffers as a result. The title and premise makes it sound like some kind of post-apocalyptic movie but instead it turns out to be nothing more than a low-budget zombie outing with some decidedly dodgy writing. Indeed, the writers never seem to really figure out what makes their antagonists tick and the addition of a religious edge to the narrative is very tiresome. It particularly falls apart at the head-scratching climax, which will have you groaning and shaking your head at the same time.
Up until that point, it's B-movie business as usual, with the exceptionally wooden James Van Der Beek struggling to contend with a virus which has transformed all of the world's children into killers. The script is poor and the characters absolutely diabolical thanks to their stupidity. I found the women characters particularly dumb here, given to acting in idiotic ways which soon ends in their death; even poor Dee Wallace can do little with the role she's given. A handful of mildly tense siege bits and some gore isn't enough to lift THE PLAGUE from the B-movie doldrums, however.
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