Plaguers can be summoned up in one sentence – “It’s the movie Demons, but in Space”. It also really wants to be Aliens as well, right down to one of the crew both looking and dressing sort of like the character of Bishop. They even have a scene where he goes off on his own to crawl through some ducts. There really is a fine line between homage and parody.
Let’s start with some positives. There are some really nicely done make-up effects, with infected crew members dripping with gore and goo… and that’s about it for the positives.
The story is simple enough, but works just fine. Plaguers tells is the story of a cargo ship that has a number of problems. The first is that they’ve fallen for a fake distress call and been boarded by pirates, which is enough to give anyone a bad day. The second is that they’ve been infested with demons, spawned from this movie’s macguffin, the weird and eerie glowing green ball of demonic doom “Thanatos”. The demons are both annoyingly hard to kill and intent on messily dismembering them and making them into demons as well.
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This film is… not good. The acting is bad, the special effects make MST3K look like a big budget show and it’s just not engaging at all. One of the pirates, for example, feels the need to deliver almost all her dialogue by shouting. Yes, we get it, you’re the loose cannon prone to solving your problems with violence but do you REALLY need to be so obnoxious about it?
There are few laughs, fewer scares and little reason given to be particularly invested in the fate of any of the characters. The make-up effects ARE genuinely great, but it’s simply not enough to have good looking monsters if the rest of the film doesn’t make you care about anything that happens in it.
Plaguers 10th Anniversary Edition is out now on Digital, DVD, and Blu-ray.