Director George Mendeluk, most known for made-for-television projects, and most recent horror film, Forever 16  works with D. Todd Deeken’s screenplay bringing forth a high rise zombie film, at nearly 80-minutes (including the credit scroll), which is 10-minutes under the normal scale for horror features, entitled The Terror Experiment. The film contains numerous b-movie actors; all with vast experience in the horror genre, for this production that contains comparisons to Die Hard meets The Crazies. A simple plot, that occurs in the Christmas season, involving computer tech Cale (Jason London (Mask Maker )) manning a highly sensitive security system, in a nameless federal building, in Louisiana, where is ex-wife a scientist Carol (Serah D’Laine (Flight of the Living Dead )) all while their daughter plays at the daycare center.
As for the manner of going from day to day operations to a zombie horde attack, centers on a homegrown terrorist from the Concerned Citizens Alliance, which as a political agenda filled anti-government conspiracy theories. The average gentleman, a war veteran walking freely past all security checkpoints carrying a bright red balloon to the roof and triggering a super secretive toxin (in the unguarded and unchecked ventilation system) release for during an internal explosion. Now this comes storyline, presents itself as exploitation, rather than an action horror film, with the connections to both 9/11 and other government bombings, such as the Oklahoma City bombing concerning the daycare, but also to The Towering Inferno. The first causality the screenplay, as the blandness eludes the confidence into the storyline, while the formula for borrowing from hit films usually equals success in some manner it seems if multiple rewrites occurred during filming, and left the actors to pick up the pieces to present a polish product. There is no mention of how the terrorist obtain neither this toxin nor a back-story if rouge government insiders provided the chemicals, there any no advancements of learning about secrets informing of a vastly complex of military intelligence network system-taking advantage of the American public.
Therefore, after an internal explosion, the insanity runs amok, with a group of survivors trapped in the upper floors and a heavy thick toxin corrupts everyone in the lower floors. The rise of the zombies leaves horror fans craving a blood-fest buffet of tasty morsels, sadly that does not exists, the lack of blood and carnage explicitly shown. The staff transformed into a mindless killing horde, though the killings result in missing the checklist for the majority of the film. Meanwhile Cale, turns from computer tech to a Rambo hero, a comedic charge implantation would provide relief, for the film, whose only concern for motivation to rescue his daughter trapped in the toxin mess, regardless of the safety of the group. A helicopter rescue scene mirrors both The Towering Inferno and Die Hard, with clear intentions, and excessive CGI manipulations, which brings both signs and groans.
Actors, C. Thomas Howell (Hoboken Hollow ) and Lochlyn Munro (Hack! ), a police chief and firefighter respectfully, bring the charge for devising a rescue plan with government personnel denouncing any attempts, headed by Judd Nelson (Nurse ) and Robert Carradine (Body Bags ). The interaction of these four men conveys a dramatic battle, saving the best bits for the audience, with the government official clearly shown in a protective mode, hiding secrets and using threatening intimidation tactics, on all officials. A brief conspiracy theories pops into the dialogue, of the pre-planned demolition of a building in the World Trade Center, as to allude to the fact of that holds as the solution to the problem before them all. However, escaping the mindset of the government, the toxin would be no longer containing, rather airborne and affecting others, yet supposedly it has limited shelf life. This portion of the film recalls the sci-fi horror movie Warning Sign , of a drug that causes murderous rage, and has the same results of solutions for the oops factor. The cast does a fine performance of working the screenplay to the correct intended target, with assistance from Brett Beoubay, Ted Ferguson, Jeff Jonas and many others pulling this experiment to a final destination.
Lastly, the horror elements arise successful through mistrust, isolationism, and dire options, with each lifeline breaking down, and eliminate the skillful usage to rescue the survivors, before the infected discover themselves. While no torture scenes of human agony occur, and unintentional laughter exists, emotional convergence of the skill actors brings the film to high-unseen body count, which includes a final cheerful divorce settlement.
- Terror is contagious!
- They caused it. Now they must kill it.
IMDb Rating: 3.5/10
Baron’s Rating: 3.5/10
This review was originally published September 2014 on the now defunct Rogue Cinema website.