Monday, May 14, 2012

"The Divide": life in a foxhole after NYC gets nuked


The enigmatic film “The Divide” starts with a sepia view of a nuclear blast in lower Manhattan viewed from about Chelsea.  Almost immediately, residents are scurrying in panic to a cellar.  After some perambulations, eight survivors wind up testing each other out in an endurance game.

The film had one Friday midnight showing at Landmark E Street in Washington and then waited for the DVD in April.

Anchor Bay’s official site is here. The film is directed by Xavier Gens.

The film keeps the ragged, sepia look of living underground, but has some excursions that sound like real sci-fi.  Men in white radiation suits attack as if they were “aliens”.  An excursion “beyond” leads through some bizarre white tubing and experimentation areas.

After they capture a man who might have some intel as to how to get out, they practice “extreme rendition”, and the man, while losing a finger, makes particularly offensive comments, comparing homosexuality to cowardice and pariah status, eventually bragging that he has nine more fingers. But pretty soon the group really descends into all imaginable behaviors.  They make a ritual of the buzz cuts, in anticipation of radiation sickness.

 But then the eyebrows go, too.

This is a confining, unpleasant film, that misses the opportunity to portray, what if we somehow let it happen. Well, maybe the final walkabout above ground says something.  Life will not go on as it had. 

With Michael Biehn, Lauren German, Vilo Vintimiglia.

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