HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Being a Human Person
Giants and Toys
Millionaires Express
Bringing Up Baby
World to Come, The
Air Conditioner
Fear and Loathing in Aspen
Kandisha
Riders of Justice
Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Maki, The
For Those Who Think Young
Justice League: War
Fuzzy Pink Nightgown, The
Plurality
Scooby-Doo! Moon Monster Madness
Night of the Sharks
Werewolves Within
Honeymoon
King and Four Queens, The
Stray Dolls
Diana's Wedding
Deerskin
Toll, The
Two of Us
Nowhere Special
Rainbow Jacket, The
Crazy Samurai: 400 vs 1
First Cow
Undiscovered Tomb
Being Frank
Occupation: Rainfall
Jeanette: The Childhood of Joan of Arc
Pariah
Weapon, The
Godzilla vs. Kong
Love and Monsters
Tove
Young Wives' Tale
Son
Jumbo
   
 
Newest Articles
A Monument to All the Bullshit in the World: 1970s Disaster Movies
Take Care with Peanuts: Interview with Melissa Menta (SVP of Marketing)
Silent is Golden: Futtocks End... and Other Short Stories on Blu-ray
Winner on Losers: West 11 on Blu-ray
Freewheelin' - Bob Dylan: Odds and Ends on Digital
Never Sleep: The Night of the Hunter on Blu-ray
Sherlock vs Ripper: Murder by Decree on Blu-ray
That Ol' Black Magic: Encounter of the Spooky Kind on Blu-ray
She's Evil! She's Brilliant! Basic Instinct on Blu-ray
Hong Kong Dreamin': World of Wong Kar Wai on Blu-ray
Buckle Your Swash: The Devil-Ship Pirates on Blu-ray
Way of the Exploding Fist: One Armed Boxer on Blu-ray
A Lot of Growing Up to Do: Fast Times at Ridgemont High on Blu-ray
Oh My Godard: Masculin Feminin on Blu-ray
Let Us Play: Play for Today Volume 2 on Blu-ray
Before The Matrix, There was Johnny Mnemonic: on Digital
More Than Mad Science: Karloff at Columbia on Blu-ray
Indian Summer: The Darjeeling Limited on Blu-ray
3 from 1950s Hollyweird: Dr. T, Mankind and Plan 9
Meiko Kaji's Girl Gangs: Stray Cat Rock on Arrow
Having a Wild Weekend: Catch Us If You Can on Blu-ray
The Drifters: Star Lucie Bourdeu Interview
Meiko Kaji Behind Bars: Female Prisoner Scorpion on Arrow
The Horror of the Soviets: Viy on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Tarka the Otter and The Belstone Fox
   
 
  Assimilate Doubling Down
Year: 2019
Director: John Murlowski
Stars: Joel Courtney, Calum Worthy, Andi Matichak, Katherine McNamara, Cam Gigandet, Mason McNulty, Terry Dale Parks, Vito Viscuso, Jennifer Pierce Mathus, Kevin Remington, Tonetta Weaver, Amye Gousset, Kyler Porche, Megan Fay, Byron Hughes
Genre: Horror, Science FictionBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: Zach (Joel Courtney) and Randy (Calum Worthy) are a pair of teens who have been best friends since childhood, and now they have discovered the possibilities of the internet, have set up a video channel to tell the wider world about how boring their small town is. They have invested in a hidden camera that can be concealed in a collar so they can record the behaviour of the locals they disdain, lightheartedly but nevertheless sincerely, and upload the results to their social media account, but one of the ladies they speak to has pointed out something weird: a species of insect that swarms in a very strange manner. They're not exactly fascinated, but it's different - but they should be paying attention, for this will be big.

When Jack Finney penned The Body Snatchers in 1954, he had no idea what he would be spawning, a rash of clones across the culture that emulated the outer space villains of his fiction, starting with the classic Don Siegel movie from the following year. Remakes of that followed, and variations on those remakes too, with Robert Rodriguez's The Faculty probably the closest in style to this low budgeter Assimilate, but by this stage it was pointless to complain about lack of originality in genre films and television, especially when every science fiction show from the decades previous has put on their own evil double episode where the cast got to let their hair down as wicked duplicates of themselves, or at least be invaded by a space parasite with similar effects.

This tried to have that both ways, featuring as it did both a space parasite and those pod people which were its product, its modus operandi involving biting the victims and taking their DNA, then transforming into a pod from which a copy emerges to take your place - a refinement Finney could have used. If you wanted a Body Snatchers variant directed by the man who gifted the world Santa with Muscles, then that's what was on offer here, but despite his toiling in the factories of movie schlock for most of his career, John Murlowski did not do too bad a job in this, at least proving he could manage a decent genre flick had he been given a fair amount of money to work with. As it was, here the lack of funds did show, particularly when special effects were required, giving it a look of a nineties straight to video project in many places.

However you used the resources you had, and recognising it was difficult to concoct a dud out of this cast iron premise (not that some had not managed it), Assimilate was diverting in its modest way, every so often, against the odds of its resources, erupting into a setpiece that was satisfying and effective as well, such as the sequence where the heroes are surrounded in a mobile home and the pod people proceed to upend and roll the whole thing over, offering us the view from inside as everything goes flying. There was also the way that the pod people were, naturally, hatched nude, which gave rise to scenes of the cast being chased around by stark naked versions of themselves, a situation which had a neat hint of exploitation sleaze while remaining pleasingly freaky. That cast was solid, with Courtney and Worthy joined by Andi Matichak (of the previous year's Halloween reboot) as an ally and making for a plucky trio who initially appeared as if they might be irritants but learn responsibilities over the course of one nightmare night. OK, it's not the best version of Finney's tale, but it was by no means the worst, either. Music by Sven Faulconer.

[AVAILABLE DIGITALLY IN THE UK AND IRELAND ON APRIL 12 2021.]
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 514 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
  Desbris M
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
  Sdfadf Rtfgsdf
   

 

Last Updated: