DVD Review: Plaguers (2008)

December 1, 2019

Written by DanXIII

Daniel XIII; the result of an arcane ritual involving a King Diamond album, a box of Count Chocula, and a copy of Swank magazine, is a screenwriter, director, producer, actor, artist, and reviewer of fright flicks…Who hates ya baby?

The star-ship Pandora is hauling ass back to earth with an alien energy orb called Thanatos in tow. As fate would have it, their journey is interrupted by a distress signal from a craft that has been ransacked by space pirates (who enter the Pandora posing as the miniskirt and platform boots clad survivors themselves). The ruse doesn’t last long, and when push comes to shove Thanatos’ orb is cracked, and people start turning into zombie-like mutants. Before long the survivors are up to their asses in monsters and mayhem as they try and escape the interstellar hell in which they’ve found themselves!

Plaguers is one hell of an independent gem, let me tell ya! Why does this flick succeed, well the reasons are numerous. For one, the cast is strong, with genre stalwart Steve Railsback (Lifeforce) turning in a solid (if derivative by necessity… more on that in a bit) performance, and Alexis Zibolis is strong as well as our recently widowed, newly elected captain of the ship and it’s crew.

Also of note is the excellent use of set design and lighting that creates the various levels of the Pandora on a very limited budget. The models used for the spacecraft exteriors are fun as well (but admittedly marred a tad by the addition of CG flames, explosions, and such created under conditions where they simply could not look convincing).

Now all of that is fine and dandy, but Plaguers is a sci-fi creature feature at it’s core, and let me tell you cats n’ creeps, this is the area in which this picture shines like a crazy fuckin’ space diamond!  You get various stages of the titular creatures that range from bodily-fluid leakin’ zombies all the way up to totally rad, full-on creature suit action, so monster lovers take note!

On the negative end (for some of you boils n’ ghouls anyway); the folks behind this film really love Alien (which they readily admit, so up yours baby). The plot is different enough to be entertaining as all hell, but yeah… you get the female heroine, the android, the run-down spaceship manned by blue-collared humps, and of course the genesis of the beast at hand somewhere beyond the stars. This had zero impact on my enjoyment of the film, but your mileage may vary…

As for extras on this DVD from Wild Eye Releasing, we kick things off with two audio commentaries, one archival and one new, featuring writer/director Brad Sykes, producer Josephina Sykes, and Railsback on the former, and Brad, Josephina, and editor Brad Jacques on the latter. Both are quality listens that bring the production of the film to life, warts and all.

Also included are a Q&A session with the filmmakers, an archival “making-of” featurette, and the film’s trailer.

If you are a fan of what Italy did with the horror hits of the day (i.e. emulating Hollywood horror blockbusters on a fraction of the budget, but with a higher percentage of heart and gore) then you will dig on what Plaguers has to offer for sure!



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