ZOMBIE MOVIES – Strain 100 (2020)

For fans of Demolition Ranch/Off The Ranch, you are going to recognize Matt and Hickock45. They had teased this zombie movie some time ago, and now it is out. Strain 100 has a simple, straight forward premise. A woman is in a car accident and when she wakes up, people are snacking on people.

My first thought as I watched the first few minutes was surprise. I was honestly not expecting the level of cinematography. A part of me was assuming this was going to be college movie project level quality, but it was really well done. Unfortunately, the professional quality of the cinematography doesn’t quite carry over to the special effects, which don’t stand up in comparison. The blood squirts are B-, straight B quality at best.

After a brief into where a scientist panics and tells her daughter Jesse to get someplace safe and hold up. The next thing we see is how Jesse ends up on the side of the road, or more literally, we se her in her car which on its side, in the road.

Jesse’s girlfriend, who she was trying to safe after the girl was bitten at camp, has turned, which leads to a nice bit of gore in the car as Jesse is forced to kill her first Zombie. I guess her friend was still “fresh” enough to have a lot of liquid blood on board.

Jesse Gets her First Zombie Kill

As she runs, we get the obligatory, kid zombie scene as well. It is just a random scene inserted for fun before Jesse finds her way into a strangers house.

Zombie Piñata Party

Inside the house Jesse listens to a strangers voicemails? This made me think it was her house at first – because why else listen to them? But it turns out its just the first house she found with an unlocked door I guess.

After Jesse listens to the voicemails she wanders deeper into the house until she slips on a massive puddle of blood which leads us to Jesse’s second zombie kill, on the floor, covered in blood.

Bloody Business

With the Zombie killed, Emma, who has been hiding in the closet decides to pop out now that its safe. Emma is apparently a combination waitress and EMT. She challenges Jesse about her bite wound, but doesn’t understand how Jesse has been bitten, and she’s not showing signs of turning.

Bitten

This leads to a common trope in Zombie Movies. Let’s not tell anyone else about the bite! I’m sorry, if I see people eating people and your bitten, I might let you live, but your going to have handcuffs on and a hockey mask/motorcycle helmet until I’m 100% sure your not going to turn.

With questionable decisions made Emma leads Jesse to the diner, and the small group of survivors holed up there. The survivors are the classic mix of individuals. We have the bossy gun toting owner of the diner, the old male chauvinist and his wife, the trash talker, and the nice guy.

When the generator at the diner goes out we see Roy, the owner with his back to the dark, talking loudly as he’s trying to get the generator going, which predictable results. The remaining survivors split up, with Jesse driving away with the group who wants to live while the old man and his wife decide to end things. It’s not super clear if the younger girl who stayed behind also did herself? There were three of them, and only two bullets after all.

On the way to Atlanta, Emma finds her sister, and her niece, but her niece didn’t make it, which results in Emma and her Sister giving up. I get what they were going for, showing how brutal live would be, but at the same time, these scenes felt a little forced.

This leads the dwindling group to seek supplies at a quickie mart, where Brandon quickly gets overrun. Again, I think I know what they were going for, but I felt like Brandon was smart enough to tap on the windows before going into the store?

On the way to the brother and sister’s family the car dies, which leads to an act of bravery as the sister’s brother makes a run for it to distract the zombies. Thankfully the older brother is fast and makes it to a truck that luckily has the keys in the ignition. This leads to a ridiculous bit of redneck shooting as a father and his two grown children decide they have to save the truck by shooting at it?

In the Uncle’s barn, we find that he’s maybe not the nice guy the survivors were hoping as he tells Jesse and the little girl that its time to receive “The Blessing”.

The Blessing

Following another played out trope, the Uncle isn’t really the Uncle, and he’s not interested in helping the girls. As he’s prepping what looks like a bomb the little girl’s brother creates a distraction by driving over mines? Why the hell is the vehicle got explosions around it?

The brother rescues the girls, but he’s been shot and dies along with the truck. No, it’s not really explained why the girls end up walking after he bites the big one.

As the girls are walking along the road they are swarmed by Zombies, which is when Hickock45 shows up to the save the day. I feel like the directors at this point knew this was a dud, and tried to leverage a few YouTube stars to try and guarantee that at least their viewers would buy/rent the movie.

Hickock45 Teaching Jesse To Shoot

The whole Hickock45 and Matt from Demo Ranch felt completely shoehorned into the movie, and while fans of their channels might want to see Strain 100 just for that reason, I have to be honest with you that it’s a little painful to watch. I love Hickock45 and Matt, but their scenes in Strain 100 didn’t really add anything to the story and felt very forced.

As Jesse and her ward go to leave Hickock45s house, we find out that Grace, the kid, was bitten. This leads to the obligatory scene where Jesse has to put the kid down and bury her by the side of the road, complete with a little stick cross.

Strain 100 ends with Jesse reaching Atlanta, where she meets up with a gun toting security guard badass. The security guard apparently brings Jesse inside to watch her moms final recording. Her mom has known her daughter has some super human immunity, and with the package she gave Tory, the security guard, she believes there might be hope for humanity.

The movie just kind of suddenly ends with Tori driving Jesse away on a motorcycle as she blasts away at Zombies, taking Jesse to another lab in Washington which leads to a WTF ending where Skynet is distributing the cure made from Jesse’s blood.

WTF?

Strain 100 earned a score of 42/100, putting it in the Rainy Day Movie Category. The first thirty minutes of Strain 100 were on track to earn a score in the low 70’s but the scenes at the diner cost the movie a few points and then things quickly went downhill from there. The other issue with the movie is the general atmosphere. The acting was B+ but the dialogue was often a little hokey and peoples reactions didn’t quite fit the gravity of the situation. Everyone seems a little too relaxed after having seen multiple people get attacked, eaten, and bitten. The other issue I had was the whole religion/reason for the Zombie Apocalypse. It’s been done in a ton of other movies, and quite frankly, done better.

In the end Strain 100 doesn’t really break any new ground. It suffers from feeling like someone watched a bunch of other zombie movies and tried to write a movie script using what they thought were the best parts of those movies, but everything doesn’t quite feel like it fits together smoothly, or at all. There are a lot of jagged edges to the story, and the atmosphere never quite feels right for the Apocalypse. If your going to watch Strain 100, save it for a rainy day when your having a few drinks.

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