July 17, 2000

The Carrier (1988)

"The main character is stricken with a horrible disease, but it doesn't affect him. It spreads to every inanimate object that he touches, and then if another person touches the object, they are dissolved into it. No one knows that Jake is the carrier except him. This brings about the "red objects" that specify every object that he has touched, as discovered by the community with cats. They use cats to test inanimate objects for the disease. And they cover themselves in garbage bags to protect themselves. Then they discover that Jake is the carrier and they chase him around."

Who wrote that IMDb plot outline? An eight year old? Oh well...

The most ludicrous thing about this film from 1988 is not the acting for once. No, the plot is definitely one of the most ridiculous possible.

The actors all do a good job with the material at hand and seem to take it very seriously at first even though it might have worked better as a comedy. Some people think that "The Carrier" is a black-comedy but I think it is too hit and miss to really be classed as such. Certainly there are some subtexts here which poke fun at small American towns but that may just be accidental. I think the bit where they decide to use cats to test the objects was quite amusing though, "Now get me cats!".

My main concern was the virus. I mean, what kind of virus causes people to dissolve? Yes, indeed, this was the most far fetched thing I've seen in a film for ages. Even "The Blob" was more believable.

It might have worked if it had a bigger budget but, even bearing in mind that this was from 1988 and the effects consist of the usual latex, ketchup and dry ice, it's still stupid. The gurgling and screaming didn't make it particularly scary and there's no real gore because the most gurgly, screaming deaths occur off screen. Again, just compare it to "The Blob" (which was made in 1988 as well) to see what could have been achieved.

My other problem was that there weren't many pretty girls in it and none of them got nudie... so it wasn't really my kind of film at all!!! The characters even cover up more by wrapping themselves in bubble wrap and black bin bags!

The best thing you could do to protect yourself from "The Carrier" is to wrap it in a similar fashion and throw it in your wheelie bin. It's rubbish.

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