Thursday, May 22, 2014

State of Emergency, Zombie Apocalypses and the Triple Crown

With the Belmont Stakes coming up, it is appropriate that we feature a movie from the heart of horse country.  Today's feature, from the Clay brothers (Turner and John Will), is 2011's "State of Emergency," was filmed in Montgomery County, Kentucky.  What says "Triple Crown" better than chemical plant explosions, and an infected murderous population?  Okay...maybe a few things, but our movie, filmed mostly in horse stables and a tobacco warehouse at least conjures up images of Mr. Ed.
The plot:  Our protagonist, Jim (Jay Hayden) is having a bad day. Notice his coffee mug....pathetic.  As he wakes up, he looks forward to proposing to his beautiful girlfriend, Emily (McKenna Jones).  She is a nurse and madly in love with him.  Then BOOM!!!!!  The chemical plant at the edge of town explodes, and instantly the town is quarantined and the residents get homicidal...even cannibalistic.  Fleeing the carnage which infected hordes and martial law can bring, Emily is shot to death.  Jim takes refuge in an abandoned stable at a horse farm, seemingly safe.  He deposits Emily in a private stable (there is still respect for the dead) and finds a high powered rifle, ammo, and a working TV.  The news broadcasts are grim, and Jim realizes he has to hunker down.  With helicopters and jet fighters going back and forth and the sounds of distant gunfire, Jim carelessly leaves a door unlocked and soon finds himself in a battle for life with an infected Kentuckian (see picture below).
After prevailing, Jim receives a call from a group of survivors a few hundred yards due north of him.  They are secured in a large tobacco warehouse and have plenty of food and water.  Jim accepts their invitation to join them and sprints to their location.  There he meets his new best friends, Scott (Scott Lilly) and Julie (Kathryn Todd Norman). Scott reminds us of the weird guy at Terminus in "The Walking Dead," but in this film is very magnanimous to his new friend.  Julie is straight out of the 1950s and is constantly ordered to fix sandwiches, fix stew, or get which she responds in total obedience.  Also secured in this facility is Ix.  She is a goth wannabe, and doesn't speak.  Eventually she softens up to Jim and the two kinda fall for each other.  The real tragedy of this mini-apocalypse is that Jim went from a beautiful, adoring nurse, to a grouchy, unstable semi-nutcase.  As the film enters it's final 35 minutes, some infected get into the warehouse setting up some spine tingling scenes and Jim will have to leave for a foraging expedition due to a medical emergency.
After several close calls, it appears that their stronghold is weakening.  Will the military get to them in time?  Will Ix' mood improve now that Montgomery County's most eligible bachelor has the hots for her?  Does anyone remember Affirmed and Seattle Slew (the last two Triple Crown winners)?  Kentucky is a beautiful state, and now they have their first zombie-apocalypse film.  The Clay brothers do a fine job at creating suspense and horror in seemingly safe settings.  The acting is good, and all the characters are likable and we are pulling for them through the entire film.  This is neat movie with a surprise least in this genre....which I found refreshing.  Kudos to the Clay brothers.   


1 comment:

  1. You are such a Gothist, my friend. While I don't longer look the part (now I look more like what Punky Brewster would look like if she was 52) I still own a store that caters to Goths. Won't you be shocked when we meet?
    But on to the movie... Even though, as you know, I don't like zombies, this does sound like it might be interesting. I do like the whole post-apocalyptic thing. I have always have a fascination with that, since before I was considered a Goth :-P