Thursday, 24 May 2012

Isolation (2005)

The traditional way of making beef jerky.
At a glance:
"Holy cow!" is the obvious, blasphemous and yet appropriate response to this very unrewardin movie. There are crowd-pleasin blockbusters and there are niche-market, art house indies. Then there are films like Isolation, ones that befuddle the human mind to no end.
Essie Davis gets to grace this poster.
Others I've seen feature Ruth Negga.
Bad news on the doorstep:
So befuddlin was it that it befuddled itself into the hearts of several film festival judges and won some mediocre horror movie awards even! How do we make heads and tails of this one? It's essentially a one-sentence movie - a full-length feature about a mutant cow foetus terrorisin an Irish farm. Oh wait – there's actually a few of them, but one was particularly difficult to capture. In any case, it's about Dan Reilly (John Lynch), an Irish farmer whom we are told is a little short on money. It soon transpires through Orla (Essie Davis), the vet, that together they have been workin for mad scientist John (Marcel Iures) in bizarre biological experiments involving cow-breedin. Meanwhile, a young couple (Sean Harris and Ruth Negga), runnin away from an unknown enemy, enters the fray when Dan experiences trouble with a calf and asks for help. Soon however, the fate of everyone on the farm becomes inextricably linked with a missin cow foetus.
Reminds me of:
The now-defunct Cathay-Keris distribution arm in Malaysia. When I watched this in 2007 under their limited release, this movie was showin at one solitary cinema nationwide, givin its film title the most fittin tribute ever.
I have no clue what's goin on here.
Or here.
I can't remember if I cried:
Havin such an unusual plot, this was bound to provide at least some shock entertainment, you'd think. So many things were out of place however, when shock turned to schlock within the first 30 minutes, the most frustratin being the characters which are so painfully disengagin. I couldn't be bothered if they died, lived, won the lottery or turned into lactatin mutant cows. With no real protagonists, coupled in with a claustrophobic settin, the appeal became very limited. The ecological arguments of genetic tamperin in this movie were already lost – not on merit, but attention – by the time the crawlin foeti stopped makin you go 'euww'.
Amacam joker, berapa bintang lu mau kasi?
Ruth Negga
There's one savin grace - the traditional FX. This would've been a straight-to-DVD feature if the cows were anywhere near digital. What we get to see is quite graphic – say, a vaginal checkup performed on a cow – and the details of the goo, gum, teeth and blood are a nice touch. Bein so stickily real, the movie however shot itself in the hoof (ha!) again when the screenplay didn't allow for a fuller view of the mutant cow in question. Well, it did teach me about how swingin a newborn calf around your head from its hind legs is supposed to accelerate blood flow to the heart. Moo-ving stuff, eh?1/2
Bonus material:
Like this character, I was drowning in the movie.