After years of being distant from each other, Abby and Rebecca reunite at their isolated family cabin to release the ashes of their recently deceased mother into the nearby lake. They stumble upon what seems to be a crash site of sorts and come into possession of a small sphere object. The sphere has become the object of Abby’s husband’s obsession and Abby starts to have nightmares of weird beings experimenting on her body. When Calvin becomes withdrawn and Abby learns she’s pregnant, Rebecca reveals her beyond the stars tale of why she’s kept her distance away from her sister and from their family cabin. A tale of abduction and unwanted incubation.
“The Invoking” director Jeremy Berg has carefully constructed a film where the characters actually feel human. What I mean by this is that the characters don’t feel overly transcribed and built up to a point where their on screen personas are unbelievable and stereotyped. Abby (Angela DiMarco) and her husband Calvin (David S. Hogan) just work and come home while Abby’s sister Rebecca (Kate Alden) just lounges around the house as a guest and this feels more like normal life and gives a big sense of reality to this little sci-fi film. When the other world beings do make an appearance, whether in Abby’s nightmares or in the finale act, their presence thrilling disrupts the normality.
The alien creature by the Killer Makeup FX company does a not too shabby job on the suit for actor Gabriel Congdon as The Visitor. Congdon’s simplistic take on the alien doesn’t draw too much attention to, at times, the bit of costume cheesiness that oozes out especially when the alien hand bangs against the window of Abby’s house. However, I’m still very pleased with the outcome and the Visitor’s amount of screen time strives toward their anonymity that works well within the patiently paced story.
The story itself is nothing audiences haven’t experienced before. “The Device’ strikes familiarities with other more well-known films such as “Fire in the Sky,” “Astronaut’s Wife,” and even a little with the medieval fantasy film “The Lord of the Rings.” I keep imagining David S. Hogan’s, who delivered a strong performance and showed off some good acting chops through most of the film, character Calvin caressing the black sphere and gargling, “my precious;” he certainly has the face to make a great Golum. Also, where other critics might believe “The Device’s” pace is too slow, some might find the steady pace to be a nice build up, deconstructing character personas and removing their humanity and morphing them into meager savages. However, what really kills the film’s fairly solid structure is the ambiguous and confusing ending that would make the previous first two acts nullified.
I do appreciate the special appearance by Russell Hodgkinson who plays Doc on “Z-Nation” and I do appreciate, on a more serious note, the effort that went into “The Device.” With that last remark, I can’t help but to think that some scenes could have been reshot to omit movie making mistake thus placing “The Device” on a higher pedestal. For example, when Abby and Calvin are at the isolated cabin and their having a heart-to-heart talk outside on the deck, you can obviously see a car with it’s lights on driving in the background and this absolutely ruins the authenticity of the scene.
“The Device” won’t knock your socks off for it’s a basic sci-fi alien feature where subtlety is key, but this epitomizes indie filmmaking and we can’t take for granted that all films are not made equal. “The Device” is about obsession, it’s about facades, it’s about lack of communication; basically, the device itself is a metaphor for all that could be what’s wrong within a relationship whether it’s between two lovers or two families and I think that’s where “The Device” gets it correct without making a huge splash with the sci-fi material.
After the crushing death of Charlie, the band of survivors continue their noble trek to the west coast, but first they must go through the middle of nowhere Kansas. Low on supplies and nearly dead vehicle, their only shelter option is an open field compound that houses a moonshine bar, a weapon’s depot truck, and a sharpshooting contest where the grand prize is for the best zombie kill. Little do they know, a tsunami of zombies, aka Zunami, is heading their way creating a dust cloud that can be seen from space.
Episode seven is not my favorite episode by far as some of the hilarity charm has omitted from ‘Welcome to the FU-Bar.” Instead, we’re drawn in by Warren’s woes over the loss of her man squeeze Charlie and there is a whole coming to terms with the situation scene which was done decently enough to warrant a mention. Other worth mention parts is Murphy is one again, with every episode, showing scenes of becoming a zombie by this time taking a bite out of someone’s shoulder. However, his bite has some fortunate consequences.
10k finds a love interest, but I swear he finds one every episode and I believe this is a purposful cock block because the boy was born post-apocalypse. 10K doesn’t even know what porn is which Doc describes it as ‘great’ and that isn’t really helpful to a boy with raging hormones. 10K sparks a love interest with another skilled sharpshooter who is half Asian (how exotic), but as soon as he makes a connection with her, the scene is chaos with a zombie outbreak in the middle of camp and their paths divide. I have a feeling we will see her again real soon.
10K’s sexy honey
Not the bet episode, but not a dull hunk of shit either. Still some decent kill scenes by Warren and 10K who were really the main focus with Murphy’s troubles lurking in the background. We’re heading out of Kansas being trailed by a juggernaut of Zs whom the group is to encounter next episode and being trapped in a small town and only Murphy to be their salvation. Should be a real kick in the nuts.
Another episode of Syfy’s “Z Nation,” and another great night of television. Z Nation just keeps getting better and funnier. Doc, played by Russell Hodgkinson, plays the lovable, father-like, product of the 60’s survivalist whose one liner deliveries get me rolling with laughter every time and as Doc learns more about the zombies of his post-apocalyptic society, he learns more about his friends. I’m talking about 10K and his backstory with his deceased father and the promise 10K made to him. You learn something new about each character every week it seems. We’ll have to catch next week’s episode to find out more.
Also, fucking Bill Moseley made a special guest appearance. Yes, that just happened. Moseley’s character is a one and done of an gone-batshit-insane general holding a last stand building in McClean, Virginia. Our survivors are looking for air transportation and the information received was that the general had a helicopter. Things don’t look bright as the general has lost, not only his men, but his marbles. Mr. Moseley is fantastic as always with his iconic badgering and his unique voice. More screen time could have made warranted for a legend like ‘Otis Firefly,’ but overall ‘Full Metal Zombie’ is a solid episode. The special effects get crazier, the story lines get whackier, and the gruesome fun just gets funner.