Sunday, October 5, 2014

The Colony, Get Ready for Winter

In 1973 Jacques Cousteau promised that by the early 1980s all of our oceans would be lifeless black goo.  In 2008, Al Gore promised us that by 2013, both polar icecaps would be 100% melted.  As the global warning scare starts to fall apart, we delve into 2013's "The Colony."  I guess the makers of this film never got Gore's memo.  As the planet gets cooler, global warming enthusiasts tell us that the warming planet leads to colder temperatures (don't even ask...). Thus, we find ourselves with inflated heating bills in winter, and some good movies capitalizing on the climate scare of 10 years ago.  Global warming, plague, or nuclear war...doesn't landscapes work well in B or straight to DVD movies.  Filmed in Ontario, the strengths of this film include the apocalyptic sets, some nice gore, and fine acting.
The plot:  Colony 7 (see picture below) exists in a frozen wasteland, outside a major city which is buried under 20 feet of ice.  Their leader, Briggs (Laurence Fishburne), keeps the 50 colonists together with the hope of the sun returning.  His second in command is a psycho named Mason (Bill Paxton), who like Carol in "The Walking Dead," shoots anyone with the remotest symptom of the flu. Sam (Kevin Zegers) is an idealist, who like Glen from TWD, has taken the apocalypse as an opportunity to date way out of his league.  Sam's sultry love interest is Kai (Charlotte Sullivan), who does heat up the frigid landscape.  Anyway, the colony receives a distress call from Colony 5, but no further explanations.  Sam, Briggs, and an ill-fated Graydon (Atticus Dean Mitchell), brave the apocalyptic tundra and hike over to that colony (see picture above).  Briggs leaves Kai in charge, though she will be conquered by the homicidal Mason later in the plot.
After a perilous journey, our trio arrives at Colony 5.  It looks as though a war has been waged there. The walls are dripping with blood, and at first, there are no signs of survivors.  When a survivor is found, he is a drooling mad-man who warns about a horde of invaders.  Our trio then finds a room where feral humans are chopping up colonists with meat cleavers and eating them.  The horde then sets their sights on fresh meat and pursues our out-manned trio.  Lead by an imposing cannibal (see picture below), the feral horde also makes a dash to Colony 7.  Commanded by a huge bald cannibal (Dru Viergever, see picture below), our invaders are armed with axes, meat-cleavers, crowbars, and irrational hunger. Back at Colony 7, Mason has knocked out Kai and tied her up.  Realizing who and what this horde is, Sam implores Mason to order the colony to evacuate.  During their exploration of Colony 5, Sam found evidence of a thawed out piece of Earth, where the sun is shining again.  Of course, our benign peeps will have to have a war with the wannabe "walkers" before they can make the trek to the new Eden. 
The sets are really cool, as some of this film was shot in a decommissioned NORAD facility.  The shots of cities buried under ice are eerie.  The acting is terrific, and there is lots of gore and battle scenes.  Directed by Jeff Renfroe (director of Syfy's "Being Human"), this film is well done. Touches of so many great films can be seen here, such as "The Road Warrior," "John Carpenter's The Thing," and "Midnight Meat Train."  This film is available on Netflix, and a must view for all you scifi and horror enthusiasts.

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