I’ve always felt that sci-fi and horror were a match made in heaven, er, hell. While the two genres used to be mixed together more commonly back in the golden era of the 80s, it feels as though we get don’t enough of it nowadays. Luckily there are some filmmakers who are still daring enough to meld the two together. Brad Sykes is one of those brave souls and he did so pretty effectively in his 2008 film, Plaguers.
A fuel-transport vessel is on their way back to Earth when they receive a distress call from a nearby ship. They are tricked and ambushed by a band of space pirates. At the same time, an unknown virus that they’ve been transporting is released and begins turning the passengers of the Pandora into mutated creatures.
Yet another film that I’ve never heard of until now, Plaguers was a complete mystery to me. Still, I was intrigued enough by the short synopsis I read and decided to pull the trigger on giving it a watch.
This 2008 film is a very ambitious one. It is extremely difficult to make genre flicks on a limited budget, but creating an entire new world, so to speak, is another obstacle in an of itself.
Writer and director, Brad Sykes, was lucky enough to have discovered the perfect set(s) for his script and was able to develop the rest of his story to fit said set pieces. Because of this, he was able to focus on other areas of the film, making his journey to bring Plaguers to life a bit easier.
The cast consists of a whole slew of performers who I’ve quite frankly never seen before. Their performances are a mixed bag, but for the most part, they all do rather well with their respective roles.
There are a group of sexy space pirates and a group of unsuspecting crew members and it is interesting to see the two factions interact with each other throughout the film’s 86 minutes.
My initial feeling was that no one in the Plaguers cast could win any type of academy award for their performance. I soon realized, however, that each actor was given the job of performing not one, but two different roles each. The likes of Noelle Perris, Jared Cohn (Sharknado: Heart of Sharkness), and Paige La Pierre (The Jinn), to name a few, all had to play their characters as instructed. They then also had to play those same roles, but as infected, mutated monsters.
The task is not an easy one, but when you are covered from head to toe in some of the most impressive monster make-up I’ve ever seen, I’d imagine the job becomes a bit easier.
The creatures — Brad Sykes’ own breed of monster, who are a cross between a zombie and a demon — are created beautifully Mike Broom and his team at Monster FX. Each infected has their own unique appearance, no two looking the same, and all are created impressively with gruesome detail.
There are a number of scenes where digital effects are used, but all of that can easily be forgiven as soon as you feast your eyes on what Sykes has dreamed up and what Broom and his team have created.
Plaguers at Home
To celebrate the film’s 10 year anniversary, Plaguers is now available on Blu-ray for the first time ever from Wild Eye Releasing.
The film is presented in widescreen format and contains a Stereo audio track. There are also optional English subtitles available for the deaf and hard of hearing.
Along with the film, anyone who picks up the new home release will be treated to a plethora of bonus material. Included are a behind-the-scenes making-of documentary, two audio commentary tracks, a cast and crew Q & A, and more.
Plaguers is a low budget science fiction horror hybrid film with a lot of action and even more bloodshed. The gore unleashed on screen is as impressive as it gets with more stabbing, slicing, biting, and tearing apart than you could ask for. It’s a little bit Alien and a little bit Dawn of the Dead.
Plaguers is a fun little monster movie and should be seen by more people out there who may have missed it over the last 10 years like myself!
Be sure to pick up your own copy today, as I give Plaguers 3.5 reattached half heads out of 5.