Infest Wisely (KRK, 2007) D: Jon Sasaki, Kirby Ferguson, Craig MacNaughton, Chris McCawley, Jim Munroe, Rose Bianchini, Benny Zenga, w/ Andrea Battersby, Sean MacMahon. Rating: NNN; DVD package: NN
Tons of fun, smart and funny, Infest Wisely cost a mere $700 to make, and it proves once again that good science fiction thrives on creativity and energy, not a nine-figure budget.
New nanotechnology is mindwarping its users. A resistance movement forms in a punk club. The two sides race to locate the rumoured countermeasure. Along the way there are special effects, a race, a fight, a concert, lots of interesting locations, criminal hand jobs, a talking cat and about 20 speaking parts.
Seven different directors means a wide range of styles and ability, but all of them stick to the basic narrative values and keep things moving along. Co-producer Craig MacNaughton smoothed things out and added effects in post-production. It’s one of the good low-budget tips he and the directors talk about on the shared commentary.
Nobody says much about the excellence of co-producer Jim Munroe’s script. By moving his story through groups of overlapping characters and around the city, Munroe writes a movie with much more scope than most cheapies, and one that neatly avoids a lot of the problems that typically come with volunteer cast and crew.
The story happens to ordinary people in ordinary spaces. The clear, direct dialogue is something the mixed amateur and professional cast can pull off effectively. Some smart dialogue and location choices and a few small effects do all that’s needed to suggest a near-future world.
EXTRAS Producers’ and directors’ commentary. Widescreen.