h

Plague

★★★★

The zompocalyptic world of Plague, directed by Kosta Ouzas and Nick Kozakis, is a grim one indeed, where humans will violently turn on each other just as readily as the zombie hordes pursuing them – all in the name of survival. Following the story of Evie (played by Melbourne actress Tegan Crowley), the film dives headlong into its exploration of violence born from desperation.
 
Filmed in the Australian outback, the haunting scenery and claustrophobic buildings provides a stark arena for the ill fortunes of a group of survivors to play out. Featuring the talents of Don Bridges, Liza Dennis, Steven Kennedy, Scott Marcus, Sarah Ranken, Nicholas Stribakos, and Benjamin Rigby as a stranded soldier, the struggles between survivors quickly escalates to murder and violence as the audience watches the harsh world of humanity’s last gasp.
 
Zombie film aficionados will definitely appreciate the numerous references in Plague to past greats like The Evil Dead, along with the breaking of several key tropes of the genre. The special effects work by WowFX must also be truly commended here, with the zombies and gore almost reminiscent of Turkey Shoot and other films from the Ozploitation days.
 
What the film itself stands for is as equally important as its sheer quality. A self-funded film production shot in over a mere 15 days, the buzz behind Plague has grown into a true powerhouse. From screenings at the hallowed Astor Theatre and Monster Fest 2014, the film has been propelled into festivals around Australia, and to even screening at the Cannes Film Festival in 2015 as part of the Marche’ du Film. Ouzas and Kozakis’ film stands as a testament to the skill and ingenuity of the Australian independent film scene.
 
BY MATT CAMERON-ROGERS