Good ol’ Dana (Amanda K. Morales) has a lot going for her; it’s her 30th Birthday, and her estranged alcoholic father Rufus ( Andrew Hunsicker) is ready to make amends and reenter her life. On the negative side she just can’t catch a break when it comes to getting eaten out (seriously D-dawg, just don’t answer the door, especially for that hipster stoner doofus James) and her friend Mandi brings an unexpected gift to the party; namely a rampaging mutant virus she has contracted and which she spreads via spraying everyone attending Dana’s party with vomit (a real charmer that Mandi is). Before you can say 28 Minutes Later, folks start turning into sore covered monsters…at least in Dana’s fevered mind, ‘cuz them shits are mostly just nasty corpses in her bathroom.
The main quality Epidemic brings to the party is it’s large quantity of stomach churning effects. Folks get covered with open wounds, vomit sprays everywhere (as does blood), making this a splatter-loving gore hound’s devious delight. Adding to the impact, the pace is amazingly brisk (and the run time very short as the film clocks in at seventy one minutes with credits), and Dana, as played by Morales, is a sympathetic lead with some nuance to her character which makes us care about whether she becomes a victim to the disease that turned her pals into putrid piles of dead.
On the negative side, things do lean a bit towards the dramatic once Rufus makes the scene. Now this material isn’t boring by any means, but for those wanting non-stop body horror things do get put on pause in that department here and there.
Bottom line, I enjoyed Epidemic; the story is kept intimate, the cast are great, and the effects are suitably gnarly…it’s a fantastic entry in the mutated disease sub-genre and is definitely worth your time!
Spoiler-Free Review: SOMEWHERE QUIET (Tribeca Festival 2023)
Writer/director Olivia West Lloyd’s Somewhere Quiet is a drama/mystery feature with horror and thriller elements....