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The Carrier (1988)

  Tags: 80's, carrier, hidden gem, Nathan J. White, plague, small town, underrated, virus

Your rating: None Average: 6 (1 vote)
Reviewer Rating: 
6

carrier.jpg
Rating #: 
6/10
Director: 
Nathan J. White
Runtime: 
99 minutes
Cast: 
Gregory Fortescu, Steve Dixon, Paul Urbanski, Paul Silverman


This is a relatively unknown late-80's horror film from first time writer/director Nathan J. White. Honestly I never heard of this movie until I passed by the cover while looking through the horror isle in my old video store. I checked the back of the cover and thought the plot sounded interesting. Normally I don't go on blind rents (normally I do research on a film before watching it), but from the positive comments it had on the cover and the interesting plot on the back, I was sold!

The story centers on a small remote town where an outcast gets stricken with some sort of mysterious virus after getting attacked one night by a big hairy creature (Big Foot?). The man unknowingly leaves his mark in certain parts of the town by simply touching objects with his bare hands. The virus apparently only affects living tissue, so any living being that comes in contact with an infected object will become infected and burn to nothing more than dust. You don't see any fire, but you do see a lot of smoke coming from the victims. Apparently the only way not to get infected is to avoid touching anything with your bare skin.

Once the townspeople discover certain objects in the town are infected, they mark them with a red ribbon. Eventually most of the town is covered with these red ribbons and they're forced to shield themselves by wearing a lot of clothing and plastic bags. The man also doesn't realize he is the "carrier" until around the middle of the film and decides to not tell anyone except for a female whom he trusts. He knows if he tells someone in town that they'll just turn into a crazy mob and look to kill him. As the film progresses paranoia sets in due to the fact no one knows who the carrier of the virus is. The town eventually gets split in two groups: the good and churchy family-oriented townspeople, and the bad townspeople which consists of trouble-makers, thieves, and hooligans. Will the two groups find out who the carrier is before they lose their cool and kill each other?... Perhaps.

I was really digging this flick in the beginning, because it was interesting and the story was something that hasn't really been done much, especially for an 80's horror film. Sadly, what could have been a underrated gem of a movie ended up just being a drawn-out mess. Despite that, I still liked it. So what went wrong? Well just when we think more people will get infected and an epidemic of sorts will be released, we end up getting a bunch of paranoid hicks wearing a bunch of bags for clothes, looking for cats (they use cats to test what's infected since the town is full of'em), and try to survive the day without killin' each other. The paranoia thing works for some movies, but it definitely didn't work for this one.

The effects for the infected people weren't too bad -- it was interesting watching their bodies spew with smoke, but sadly there wasn't much more effect-wise than that. There's a cool little bloody battle towards the end, but nothing worth mentioning. In the end, this was a good rent for a movie I never seen talked about before. I decided a 6-rating was best since I enjoyed it.

A good and seemingly unknown 80's horror flick. Cool premise and managed to keep my interest, but sadly could have played out the virus-aspect a little better. Still worth a rent.

Posted on July 3, 2009 - 6:30pm | FrighT MasteR

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