EPIDEMIC *** USA 2018 Dir: Stephen Michael Giglio 71 mins
It is Dana’s 30th birthday and to celebrate she and her boyfriend, Mike are throwing a party at their house. It’s only a few friends and her estranged father that have been invited. Before heading over to the party one of the friends unwittingly gets infected by a deadly pathogen which basically puts a dramatic end to the other party guests.
Being very, very late to his daughters party, Rufus discovers the macabre scene and manages to whisk Dana away but of course he was just that little bit too late and will be taking more than just his daughter as the pathogen slowly starts to spread. With some great opening credit set pieces, cinematography, soundtrack and artwork this one is a little bit of a mixed bag. Hard to figure out in places with things that you know really don’t sit right yet I still quite enjoyed it. I enjoyed the body horror element of it immensely and for its low budget they did a profound job on the practical effects with all manner of bodily excretions and gruesome facial deformities. When the victims first get infected they start seeing these, not wholly original but quite disturbing naked ghouls that did catch me out a few times and made me jump. The story has a suitably grim ending to it and starts off quite promisingly but does slow down to a bit of a crawl with some boring back story but once the vomit starts flowing it picks up nicely. The acting is a downside though, it’s not totally awful but is rather awkward with some wildly differing character personality changes. Lead female Dana (Amanda K. Morales) goes from a strong willed character to a pathetic wreck in a matter of minutes . There are various other dodgy elements to the characters but underneath it all I believe it to be a pretty decent attempt.
Review by Sarah Budd