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The Schlock VaultRating: 3.5 of 5 yaps

Isolation (2005)

Welp, horror has come to this. A murderous fetal calf born with an exoskeleton is on a rampage on a small farm in Ireland leaving nothing but dead bodies in its wake. How is this possible? Who knows? Who cares? Is it thoroughly entertaining? Undoubtedly.

Dan is the owner of a farm that is on the verge of bankruptcy. So in exchange for money, he allows his herd of cows to undergo experiments by a mad scientist-lookin’ guy. Meanwhile, on the outskirts of the farm, a hippie couple takes refuge from the law (none of which is explained in any sort of detail).  Unbeknownst to them, they are thrown into the middle of a murderous bovine rampage. A pregnant cow gives birth to a premature litter of calves that appear to be born inside out. They spout vampire teeth and whatnot, and before you know it, people start coming up either missing or in pieces.

For a plot as preposterous as that, there’s a surprising amount of detail given toward the special effects. This has to be some of the most grotesque and brutal imagery I’ve seen in quite some time. In terms of animal brutality and the like, it’s incredibly graphic. Aesthetically, it’s a gorefest of the highest order. However, the overall composition and shot choice is incredibly unique. For a film such as this, unique vision is of the utmost importance if only to distract from the heinous script. At its core, “Isolation” is an infection film, but there’s no coming back to life or “28 Days Later …” zombies to be had here.  Honestly, that’s a major plus. I don’t think I could handle the addition of zombies into the mix of this. I could barely handle the cow fetuses turned facehuggers a la “Aliens.”

The script is so drab that even the actors themselves seem unenthusiastic. It’s hard to give an Oscar-winning performance when you’re doused in fake blood and being hunted by a Frankenstein calf, but this is the Schlock Vault, not the Academy Awards. Bad performances are simply an integral part of my fascination with such movies. Turn your brain off and just let the ridiculousness unfold in front of you. I can’t think of a more quality evening. It’s also nice to see unorthodox horror animals being thrown into the mix. Outside of the realities of mad cow disease, this is the darkest portrayal of cows in … well probably ever.

In fact, I couldn’t dare dream of a more pro-vegan horror flick. A cow that has been purposefully pumped full of hormones experiences rapid growth in her organs causing her to give birth prematurely. Is there a more anti-factory farm/pro-organic message out there today? Well, maybe “Forks Over Knives” or something similar, but I don’t see that film featuring a calf corpse going on a rampage. It’s fun, it’s bloody, it’s stupid. Dig in deep. Declasse horror just got pushed up a few notches.

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