Director: Kaare Andrews
Screenplay: Jake Wade Wall
Starring: Sean Astin, Currie Graham, Ryan Donowho, Brando Eaton, Jillian Murray
Running Time: 90 mins
BBFC Classification: 15
This prequel to the strangely popular first Cabin Fever (2002) movie is a mild improvement on the original film, although many will probably disagree with me. I could never quite work out why Eli Roth’s directorial debut was as well received as it was and Roth, to my mind, hasn’t really produced any particularly outstanding films since. I would class him as a journeyman director who has done rather well off the back of his close association to a certain Mr Quentin Tarantino. However, I digress, on with the review…
After quite a stylish and disturbing opening credits sequence, whereby a certain Mr Porter (played by Sean Astin) is picked up by some secretive US Government SWAT team and deposited in a secret research facility on a jungle strewn island in the Caribbean, the film then turns its attentions to a pre-wedding reception between the daughter of a wealthy local businessman and a young American man from a poor neighbourhood whose younger brother (Josh) and friends (Dobbs and Penny) are starting to annoy the bride and her upper class family. Just as well then that said friends have sprung a surprise on the groom and persuade him to go on a final bachelor party the night before the wedding (not a good idea at anytime, and I speak from experience!), a party which utilises a hire boat to get them to an uncharted island, which, you’ve guessed it, houses our patient zero, Mr Porter and his lovely viral passenger, a freakishly fast acting flesh-eating virus, which behaves like a souped up version of everyone’s friend, Mr Ebola!
It doesn’t take long before two of the party are exposed to the virus while out snorkelling (yes, highly unlikely I know) and their flesh is sloughing off their bodies quicker than you can say ‘pass the cheesy dips’! While the infected ones wait on the beach the groom and his business partner, Dobbs, head off further inland to look for help, after previously spotting the research facility from the boat as they circumnavigated the island earlier.
Well, without spoiling any of the later revelations for you, suffice to say the two men don’t exactly find the help they’re looking for and end up regretting the whole expedition… Next time go somewhere normal, like Mauritius!
I guess what I liked about this prequel is that it didn’t seem to take itself too seriously and right from the get-go is suitably daft and out for a crazily nuts time. The pace picks up pretty quickly and never really slackens off, with some nasty gore or some natty nipples just round the corner at any given time. The actors all seem to remember their lines and hit their marks and the flesh-eating effects are suitably unpleasant.
Director Kaare Andrews does an okay job throughout, although he doesn’t really make the most of the jungle location, with some very subdued colours and too much time spent in the cave-like research facility, with its rather staid pre-fab like interior.
As usual with this type of film characters do some silly things, say some dumb stuff, (usually while under the influence of drugs or alcohol) and then wonder to themselves why they’re in such a mess – in this case a necrotising puddle on the floor! So nothing really new here apart, perhaps, from one scene which will give a whole load of men pause to ‘go down’ on their lady friends, especially if it’s possibly the wrong time of the month! Plus it’s not everyday you get to see a crazy nurse getting their rapidly decaying head smashed in by an equally decaying bikini-clad girl wielding a giant dildo!
It all ends with a bang along with a strong hint of a sequel to the prequel – try saying that repeatedly, and fast, after a large Babycham – which wouldn’t necessarily be a bad thing.
All in all, Patient Zero is good fun for those who enjoy their horror gooey with a large side order of cheese.
Cabin Fever 3 – Patient Zero has recently been released as a digital download and DVD and Blu-Ray versions will be out on 17th March. It's being distributed by Signature Entertainment. There were no special features on the DVD we reviewed.
Reviewer: Justin Richards