Almost Human-Well, Not Really Even Remotely Close. But Okay.
Almost Human was another from my guy up in Mt Holly, NC. He’s actually found a video store up there that is alive and well! It’s a B-Movie Lover’s Dream Come True! Family Video houses some newer movies, and a vast sea of cinematic drivel that would make Uwe Boll sweat like a whore in church.
So, as you can imagine, this place has pretty much become my acquisitions warehouse thanks to my guy Chris, who has actually been responsible for a good many of the movies this year. When he pitched Almost Human to me, I knew I was in for a little over an hour of headache and alcoholism-inducing moments of stupidity at the Fox News-level. The reviews for the movie hadn’t been that favorable, and I’d read a few on IMDB before watching it.
So, of course, I gave it a spin.
Seth is running from a mysterious blue light, and ends up at Mark’s place. Mark’s girlfriend, Jen, comes in as Seth is screaming to Mark that they’ve already taken Rob. Mark takes the rifle and begins to search the house after the trio hears a noise from the back.
Keep in mind that “searching the house” should be read “walk up and down the same hallway over and over until something happens.”
A horrible shrieking noise fires through the house, and the three humans hit the floor screaming in pain. Mark suddenly gets up, walks outside into the light, and is taken.
Okay, so far the opening is decent.
Fast-forward two years. Seth is plagued by nightmares about the abduction, and Jen works at a diner and is engaged to a new guy. Cut to two hunters in the woods who discover Mark laying naked behind a tree (really didn’t need that s**t seared into my brain, but whatever). They try to help him, but he suddenly unleashes the same shriek we heard before and kills them both with his bare hands.
Cut to Seth, who is concerned about the latest news reports about strange blue lights in the area along with mysterious power outages.
Cut back to Mark. He kills someone else. This time at a local gas-station. Cut back to Seth. He’s worried. Cut to Jen. She wants to go home because she doesn’t feel well. Cut back to-
Oh, for Christ’s sake.
A fair amount of the movie goes on like this. We get a minute or two of Seth, a minute or two of Jen, and a minute or two of Mark killing people. It’s as if the writer/producer/director wanted to make sure that everyone got a symmetrically equal amount of camera time.
Aaaaaanywho, Jen finally gets back home to find that Mark has killed her new fiancé. Mark wants Jen to join him, and is about to take her when Seth shows up and rescues her. They run to the shed and discover three slime-covered sacs next to the body of Jen’s fiancé.
And cue the sex jokes.
Mark ambushes them and knocks Seth out. He drags Jen off to the house. Seth wakes up as one of the sacs begins to hatch. One of the hunters from earlier on in the film emerges and tries to kill Seth. Seth kills him off with an axe, and kills a second sac-man before he can fully hatch.
In the house, Mark rips Jen’s pants and underwear off, clearly about to rape her. He suddenly spits out a long tentacle that latches onto her crotch. A lump starts moving down the tentacle.
I think I saw this in a cartoon once…
Seth comes in and saves Jen by blowing Mark’s head off with a rifle he found on the way up. He leaves the room to investigate another noise, and Mark’s headless corpse comes after Jen. She fights, but a giant slug launches from the stump where Mark’s head used to be and shoots down her throat.
Seth reenters just as the slug vanishes, and he carries Jen out to his car to take her to the doctor. She wakes up and tries to kill him. He wrecks the car and escapes, flagging down a driver. Jen attacks, kills the driver, and Seth kills her by smashing her head in with a large rock that he gets from the side of the road. Just as he is about to hit her again, he is shot by the police.
WTF just happened?
Okay, this movie wasn’t actually awful. It had its moments, no doubt. It didn’t look like an indie film, but it didn’t look pro, either. In truth, it would’ve tanked in theaters.
For starters, the acting is sub-par. Many of the emotions conveyed are not a far stretch for a trained actor. Panic and terror are fairly easy. The actors struggled more with acting normal than they did screaming their heads off while running from an alien that looked like Paul Bunyan. To call the non-action scenes wooden isn’t far off.
The effects aren’t exactly mind-blowing, but they’re great for an indie flick. Nothing CGI here, it’s all real effects. Fake blood, puppets, make-up, nothing is cheaped-out using fake computer effects. Kudos to Joe Begos (writer/producer/director) on making sure that the effects were good.
The plot also seems to meander and make little to no sense at times. Like Rob. What the hell happened to Rob? We heard about him at the beginning of the movie, and then he was never mentioned again. And how did Mark know where to find Jen’s new house? And why is Seth not in the loony bin or under some kind of counseling?
All-in-all, not a bad flick. Not a great one, either. It could use some work, but fans of the genre will probably enjoy it. The ending, or lack thereof, killed it for me.