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Sunday, January 14, 2018

BLUE WORLD ORDER -- Movie Review by Porfle

I always enjoy watching filmmakers take really low budgets and do all they can with them, especially in the area of sci-fi.  This goes double for post-apocalyptic sci-fi in a world turned upside-down, which directors Ché Baker and Dallas Bland (with the help of their co-scripter Sarah Mason) have done a pretty nifty job of pulling off with BLUE WORLD ORDER (2017).

In this modest but effective Australian production, a nuclear war with strangely specific targets has left the northern hemisphere in ruins while a mystery virus creeps its way south and kills or mutates everything in its path. Jake Slater (Jake Ryan, THE GREAT GATSBY, "Wolf Creek") is somehow immune, as is his young daughter Molly (Billie Rutherford) although she's in a catatonic state.

As it turns out, all the children in the world have been killed by the virus, which makes Jake and Molly a top priority for the medical research wing of a group of paramilitary survivors led by Billy Zane. 

Father and daughter are captured, but make their escape with the help of portly comedy-relief guy Madcap (Stephen Hunter), who tells Jake of a ragtag group of resisters living in a remote camp in the woods. 

The trouble is, Zane's group has a tower that emits signals which control the minds of everyone exposed to the virus--which is, in effect, sort of a biological version of a computer virus, and Madcap can only fight its control by zapping himself with a taser-like device every few minutes.

He outlines his plan to Jake for getting into Zane's facility and blowing up the tower, a plan that's expedited by their subsequent capture, torture, and medical experimentation.

Naturally, all of this involves lots of running around, hand-to-hand combat (Jake's a tae-kwon-do master) against robot-like soldiers, and infiltrating this or that stronghold while trying to destroy that nasty mind-controlling tower. 

There's also a measure of surprise as we discover that some of Zane's drones are actually undercover allies of Madcap's group (making it a game of "who do you trust?") and that the bad group's motives go deeper and darker than anyone suspects.

The filmmakers handle it all well enough, giving BLUE WORLD ORDER the look and feel of a pilot movie for a nicely-mounted cable-TV series (which the open ending would indeed suggest).  The Australian exteriors are nice--that's a given--and the production design stretches its budget dollars into some passable underground sci-fi interiors. 

There's even a stab at pulling off a ROAD WARRIOR-type chase sequence near the end, which isn't entirely successful but is fun enough in its own modest way.  All of which is aided immeasurably by some good performances from the leads, including cameos by familiar Aussie stars Bruce Spence (the auto-gyro pilot from  ROAD WARRIOR) and Jack Thompson (MERRY CHRISTMAS, MR. LAWRENCE).

Zaniacs, of course, will bask in the presence of their man Billy (TITANIC, BLUE SEDUCTION, SCORNED, THE HESSEN CONSPIRACY, ZOMBIE KILLERS: ELEPHANT'S GRAVEYARD), who gives his role as the sinister leader of the bad-guy group just enough of that indefinable Zane magic to tide us over until his next odd project.  

It all adds up to passably fun entertainment, not great but certainly worth investing some time in if you're into sci-fi of the dystopian kind.  As for that open ending, it certainly seems as if those of us who enjoyed BLUE WORLD ORDER may indeed have a sequel to look forward to. 

Available Nationwide on VOD and DVD from Random Media
Release date 1-16-18


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