MOVIE: Organizm (2008)

Last time I was down visiting my parents, we were so busy doing stuff with my sister and her family that Mom and I never got the chance to rent any bad movies. And man, have we ever been jonesin’ for crap ever since! We decided this weekend was the perfect opportunity to make up for lost time and even though we only had two days, we still managed to watch FIVE movies, one of which was a good movie, four of which were bad movies, two of which were good-bad, and two of which were just plain ol’ bad.  Now, if Charlie only wears a hat on day three and Vivian wears hats on days one and four, how many doughnuts did Mark eat?

(Sorry, that paragraph somehow spiraled into a logic puzzle from the LSAT.)

This was, surprisingly enough (sure surprised the heck out of US, that’s for sure), one of the good-bad ones.  Not thirty seconds after loading it into the DVD player, we were convinced it was going to be the worst in our pile.  After all, any movie with a title that replaces an “s” with a “z” is bound to be hellaciously cheesy, if not unbearably stupid. But you know what? I think this one ended up being our favorite good-bad movie of the weekend. It was pretty entertaining and not nearly as stupid as the title made it sound. Go figure!

Organizm opens with a scene set thirty-three years ago in which a distraught mother is yelling at her equally-distraught young son.  She’s saying over and over that he MUST remember what she’s just told him.   That it’s life and death that he remember.  That he absolutely MUST NOT forget.  Though the boy tries to assure her he’s got it down, she doesn’t seem to believe him and suddenly reaches over him, grabs a penknife, and then carves something onto each of his palms: S3 on one, V12 on the other, standing for sublevel 3, vault 12. She then suddenly chills, tells her bleeding son that she loves him, and walks out of the room. A moment later, she shoots the kid’s father and then shoots herself.

Cut to the present day, and the little boy is now an adult named Frank Sears. He’s on his way to a military base that it about to be demolished — a base we soon find out is the location of the sublevel and vault his mother had been so upset about. Frank is afraid the demolition is about to release whatever is in that vault — the thing his mother told him must never be “disturbed” — but, of course, the military guys on the base don’t believe him and promptly arrest him for trespassing.

A team of hazmat specialists has been clearing the buildings to prep them for destruction, though, and the team is intrigued by what Frank has to say.  Though they’ve already cleared vault 12, they decide to go back down to take a closer look. It’s not long before they find a false wall in the back of the vault, behind which lies a big metal container that is full of formaldehyde, dead lab animals, and. . . whooooooops! A dead human being!

Ew, with some kind of funky skin disease, no less.

As they are staring at the corpse looking alternately stunned and grossed out, the skin disease activates somehow and immediately attacks them.  It  looks and moves like extremely fast-growing vines (you can see it in the cover photo above), but more like a contagion than an actual plant.  

And before you can say, “Hey, it’s kind of like that movie The Ruins, except not totally stupid!” the vine-like disease thingy is taking over the entire base. It quickly wipes out the whole hazmat team except for one woman, Carrie Freeborn, who takes off like a bat outta vault 12, stopping only long enough to grab Frank on her way out of the building.  After the two get a safe(r) distance away, they immediately begin swapping notes and working together to try to figure out what’s going on and how they can stop it.

What comes next is a fast-paced, well-thought-out storyline that involves a defected Russian scientist, who happens to have been Frank’s real father, and his attempt to create the perfect killing machine for the military. As it turns out, Frank has antibodies to the vine-like disease thingy and if he drizzles his blood on the vines, they die. Handy!  But Frank clearly doesn’t have enough blood to wipe the whole thing out now that it’s utterly massive in scope. Is there a way Frank can use his blood to destroy the thing?  Or is he doomed to be the last survivor on a planet covered in vine-like disease thingy?

Pfft, damned if I’m telling YOU!

If your curiosity is peaked, I think you know what to do (clicken zee linkages below, for example). If these aren’t the droids you’re looking for, move along. This movie isn’t cinematic genius, but it’s definitely good-bad, and good-bad can be a lovely way to spend a Saturday afternoon, if you ask me.

View the trailer.  (This movie is also available for Watch Now on Netflix.)

[Netflix me | Buy me]

Genre: Sci-fi
Cast: Johnathon Schaech, Erika Leerhsen, Jason Wiles (Bosco from Third Watch), James McDaniel

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4 Responses to “MOVIE: Organizm (2008)”

  1. Lizzie Says:

    Um, Meg? This sounded like a fun movie … until I watched the trailer! Now I think it looks pretty stupid, like most of the movies made for the SciFi channel. Oh well, I’ll probably see it at some point anyway!

  2. megwood Says:

    Sorry, Lizzie! I knew I was running some risk by including the trailer URL in there! 🙂 Rent it anyway!!

  3. Ellen Says:

    Gee Meg, this sounds almost as good as the SciFi channel movie “Mansquito”, with a grown up Corin Nemec (remember him from “Parker Lewis Can’t Lose”?) in the lead.

    SciFi Channel movies = BAD!

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