Friday, February 27, 2015

EJECTA: yet another entry in the mini-budget WTF's-happening apocalyptic sci-fi thriller genre

Actor Julian Richings has an amazing face. It is just plain memorable. And strange. You can't look away from it. Mr. Richings, shown below, is quite an asset to the new ultra-mini-budget sci-fi/sort-of-thriller, EJECTA, and thank god he's the star of the film because I think it would be something less were it not for the amazing creep factor this actor, shown below, possesses. As written by Tony Burgess and directed by Chad Archibald and Matt Wiele, and as these mini-budgeted would-be sci-fi movies go -- the last such we covered here was the nearly unwatchable Hangar 10 -- this one is at least an improvement over the usual found-footage or just-point-the-video-camera-and-shoot hogwash. Ejecta is not awful. The movie has its moments.

Most of these involve Mr. Richings, above, who plays some kind of seer who has been gifted/contaminated with knowledge/insight that he would dearly love not to possess. In fact, he is possessed, and this appears to be killing him. Mr. Richings is quite convincing as this poor, used-up schmuck, and so are the actors  Lisa Houle (below) and Mark Gibson, who play the very nasty government doctor and agent bent on torturing this poor soul to learn what he knows. These scenes come awfully close to torture porn, as dispensed by a woman.

You can't watch much of this torture without having Guantanamo and AbuGhraib (and maybe, currently, the exploits of ISIS) cross your mind again and again. And since it is our government doing the nasty stuff, you won't much care what happens to these entitled and insufferable assholes. The plot -- of which there ain't much -- involves possible alien arrival (see below) and adbuction, something known as "mass ejections" (whatever that means), and maybe Armageddon, too. The special effects, when they finally arrive, are at least as effective as most of the stuff in the ridiculous Interstellar -- at probably 1/10,000 the budget.

However, when all is said and done (too many times, at that: the movie is far too repetitive), it comes down to the usual fright tactics of dropping a bunch of "hints," amidst the special effects, torture and noise, and hoping we'll be somehow scared out of our wits. Good luck. Overall, I was finally more annoyed than frightened, but I must admit that Ejecta (not a very good title) occasionally got to me, thanks mostly to the performances of  Mr. Richings and Ms Houle.

The movie -- from IFC Midnight and running a little long, even at only 87 minutes -- opens today as the midnight show at Manhattan's IFC Center. Elsewhere? Don't know, but as it opens simultaneously on VOD, aficionados across the country will have the chance to view it, too.

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