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Canuxploitation!

Quarantine

1990, Starring Beatrice Boepple, Garwin Sanford, Jerry Wasserman, Michele Goodger. Directed by Charles Wilkinson.



Quarantine is part of a couple of "future plague" Canadian films including Sci-Fighters, and Ed Hunt's The Plague. This particular low budget BC-made entry trades any semblance of future thrills for heavy handed political analogies.

So it's the future, and there's this plague that makes little white pus bags appear around your eyes like you just dunked your forehead in a sink full of floating toothpaste worms. The police search out diseased people, and haul them before the Provincial Ministry of Health Commission. There, the Commission head Senator Ford makes evaluations on sick people, usually placing them in quarantine. We learn that he recently made a controversial decision by quarantining Dr. Jim, a doctor who had set up a clinic for infected people.

Basically, putting all of these people in quarantine has created two classes of people the bureaucrats making the decisions, and the "refugees," people who aren't sick and live in the garbage. One such refugee is Ivan, our female protagonist. Ivan breaks into the Provincial Ministry of Health and almost manages to take Senator Ford hostage before she is forced to run off and hide in a nearby office. That office belongs to Spencer, a Ministry stooge who decides to protect Ivan, smuggling her out to his apartment later on.

At his apartment, Ivan learns that Spencer has created a computer program called Apollo that can be used to remotely control the police force in tracking down and arresting sick people. Of course, the evil pock-marked Senator Ford is excited about the potential for the software. He tells a confidant that he is not planning to stop at eliminating sick people he wants to kill all undesirable people and create a society of perfect specimens. He, of course, would decide who is fit to live and who should die.

After listening to Ivan's revolutionary stance on the plague situation (it's bad and Senator Ford is a meanie), Spencer inadvertently discovers that she is (gasp) Dr Jim's daughter! When Spencer suggests to Ford that maybe he made a mistake sending away Dr Jim, Ford fires him for treason. Spencer leaves the Ministry, but he takes Apollo with him, causing Ford to send his malicious police chief Beck after him. After a car chase and a shoot out, Beck is apparently killed by a band of refugees. This leaves Spencer and Ivan to make their way back to the Ministry with a plan to kill Ford.

When they get there, the offices are totally empty. Just as they are about to walk into the Senator's office, Beck reappears (so.. he didn't die?) and drags them before Ford. Spencer tricks Ford into thinking that he captured Ivan, that it was all a big set-up. God knows why this tactic works, but maybe it confused Ford as much as it confused me. Ford lets him go, and just as the he is about to squeeze the trigger on Ivan, Spencer gets access to Apollo. He marks Ford as infected, and the police force burst in to take him away from civilization. Now who's infected, you bastard! Yawn. So, it's over? Nope. It all begins to happen again. A new senator, and a new scene of Ivan sneaking into the Ministry with Spencer's help to kill her.

The entire budget of this film seems to have gone into white eye pus and a Commodore 64 to run Apollo. Quarantine comes off like a bad episode of some Canadian TV show, weighted down so heavily by the fascist analogies and a depressing "cut the head off the hydra" ending that you probably won't remember much about this film. Blame Alliance-Atlantis for this one.

Barring the obvious message that fascism is bad, a terrible love scene between Ivan and Spencer, and the fact that there is a girl with the name Ivan in this movie, the absolute worst scenes in Quarantine feature a gang of refugees often seen on the streets playing trash like instruments. Only instead of the actual sound of bicycle rim drums and drainage pipe clarinets, it's synthesizer approximations of what that lawless street groove might sound like. Shameful.


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