Directed – Joe Eckardt
Starring – Corin Nemec, Rebecca Blumhagen, Nick Stevenson, William Coleman.
Running Time – 71 minutes
Out now on Disc on Demand DVD & BluRay from – www.wearetwinstar.co.uk
and on demand from http://vimeo.com/ondemand/extinctionpatientzero
Extinction: Patient Zero: the first part of a planned trilogy, is the story of a group of scientists who wake up in an underground safe room. Separated from the outside world they try to piece together what has happened. They quickly realise that the facility they work in has been part of a supposed terrorist attack and as a result, the virus they were working on has escaped and could have infected them. This has also led to the emergency contamination protocols being activated in the safe room.
Two scientists Dr Harding (Blumhagen) and Dr Cooper (Stevenson) awaken in a sealed safe room, they both have minor injuries . Also in the room is an unconscious colleague Dr Simmons (Nemec) and an unknown soldier Carter (Coleman) who has been shot in the leg.
The room is in lockdown and has just 70 minutes to have the exit code entered otherwise the room is filled with pure oxygen then filled with napalm and everything inside the room will be vapourised.
The team must find a way out, and one thing they discover is Dr Simmon’s VPN (Virtual Personal Network) that could allow communication to the outside. After a while there is a voice on the VPN who explains that they are from Homeland Security and there was a terrorist attack on the facility. The facility was breached and we learn that the terrorists were after a certain material (as yet unknown) which has been compromised and maybe there has been some contamination.
The facility is used to create man made viruses for military use and the terrorists could have been after a certain virus.
Throughout Extinction: Patient Zero there are brief interludes where we see a weblog from a Dr Franklin who has taken a team of scientists to Lake Vostok to drill deep down through the ice to an underground lake so they can examine the habitat that has remained unchanged for hundreds of thousands of years. In the various weblogs we also hear that protesters turned up to halt the drilling and were shouting about “what is down there should stay down there”.
Are the incidents linked and why has the facility been shut down?
Extinction: Patient Zero is a very ambitious feature that uses it’s budgetary restraints to it’s advantage . All the action takes place in a sealed safe room , and this really works well. The claustrophobia builds steadily throughout as does the ever increasing feeling of helplessness and despair , also you get the cabin fever syndrome where everyone starts to fear everyone else and paranoia kicks in.
The acting on the whole is first class especially from Rebecca Blumhagen and Corin Nemec and the running time of 70 minutes is absolutely perfect. But the highlight for me was the whole film takes place in real time , so as the sealed safe room countdown kicks in at 70 minutes then that is the length of the film. It ticks along really well and the whole feature is very well paced.
All in Extinction: Patient Zero is a real success, it brings an interesting concept with believable characters and a story that will hopefully see another couple of films. A real triumph for a low-budget British genre filmmaking and in something that is really rare , you can buy Patient Zero on DVD & BluRay from them as it is a self published release and as well as being available on Vimeo on-demand. Great forward thinking there and I can personally say the DVD looks great as does the cover and sleeve art.