Friday, February 11, 2011
Based on a series of videogames, the direct-to-DVD animated film Dead Space: Aftermath features a plot you'll either find comfortably familiar or painfully derivative (I kept going back and forth). In any event, the story revolves around a cold, calculating corporation and its cold, calculating scientists using a bunch of U.S. Marines-style space soldiers to test out the effects of some kind of mysterious space artifact, an artifact that horribly mutates anyone who comes in contact with it.
Of course, the evil corporate types think that the artifact's powers can be harnessed and controlled, despite the fact that all evidence indicates that it simply turns anyone who comes in contact with it into a hideous, slobbering monster. See what I mean, though? If you've seen all the Alien and Resident Evil movies, you've pretty much seen this.
Still, the production is polished and well-produced, with the different animation segments nicely organized and presented (as each surviving Marine flashes back to the events leading up to the carnage that killed virtually everyone on their ship, a different Japanese director takes over the storytelling for that segment). Just be warned, the creators were given free reign over the amount of violence and colorful language they wanted to employ to tell the movie's story. And they chose to use a lot of both.
I predict that fans of the Dead Space videogames will likely enjoy this film, with animation and science-fiction fans (I'm in this group) probably finding it at least tolerably interesting. Everyone else will most likely peg it as shrill and unpleasant. In other words, the movie is definitely aimed at a niche audience. If you're not in that niche, steer clear.
Just released, Dead Space: Aftermath is available in stores and via online retailers for about 15 or 20 bucks, or for a little more if you go the Blu-Ray route.