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Drama - Survival

The Trigger Effect (1996)

Duration1h 38m
RatingsUK: 15, USA: R, Germany: 12 
Source of storyApparently a similarity to some episodes of “The Twilight Zone”.
DirectorDavid Koepp
Writers/ScriptDavid Koepp
StarringKyle MacLachlan, Elizabeth Shue, Dermot Mulroney, 
RatingsIMDb: 5.7 by 7729 people.  Rotten Tomatoes: 75% by 24 reviewers. Review2view: 4/10.

Elevator Pitch: Annie and Matthew are a young married couple who, in the initial moment of the film are in a cinema where they have words with a couple of black guys. Later, at home they seem to be intent on having sex, but are prevented from doing so by their child’s distress due to an ear infection. Then all the power and communication systems fail. Matthew tries to get a prescription for the child, resulting in a altercation with the pharmacist and him stealing what is required. In the night a friend, Joe, arrives, and they discover an intruder, who is shot dead out in the street by a neighbour. The trio buy a shotgun and set out for the home of a relative, but things continue to go wrong. Their car is stolen in the middle of no-where. How will they manage?

Content: No sex, although Annie disrobes provocatively. Tension after the power cut. For some reason the pharmacist says he hates Matthew. At various times they come across the same coloured man particularly in a diner where they stop, and witness some confrontations. The intruder is shot in the street, and the neighbours seem to band together to cover up what actually happened. They buy a shotgun. Out on the road they come across an apparently abandoned car, but the bad guy from the diner is in it, and in the end Joe is shot. 

A View: This is slightly weird film. Once the outage had occurred people seem to become aggressive, but no real reason why. The trio keep meeting the same people in completely different places. I though that this might be a prelude to an alien invasion or something, but no, it seems that they were just saving money on the cost of actors. The critics who did not like this thought that the first half was fine, I thought so too, but that the whole thing peters out. So not really a watch, even for nothing.

This film is almost a survival epic, but not quite. Some outings which have gone a bit further along this road include Seeking a Friend at the End of the World, Children of Men and Hardware. 

About Victor R Gibson

Author of this site three technical books and two novels

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