L.A. Contagion

This might just be me, but I've always assumed that the only people having fun at the average baby shower are the guest of honor and whoever is hosting said shower. The makers of L.A. Contagion take this theory one step further and present a baby shower where no one's having any fun at all, certainly not after the contagion of the title starts doing its thing.

First of all, since this is a baby shower in L.A., most of the guests are out of work / struggling actors. The mom-to-be, Mary (Rachael Drummond), was once in some TV commercials, while her screenwriter husband Nick (Kurt Ela) hasn't sold a script for a couple of years now. Hostess Joanne (Suzanne Sena) is Mary's agent -- one of those scary agents you hear about sometimes, with a taste for younger men, like current boy toy Zach (Paul Natonek). Joanne even hired a clown (Tony Rago), who is shockingly not all that scary, at least not to begin with.

At the start the only enemy is boredom, in fact. When watching golf is the most exciting thing going, you start to wonder if your party is really a success. But then more serious problems start cropping up. Guests Kim and Edmund (Katerina Mikailenko and Adam Karell) leave but are forced to turn back by roadblocks. The neighbor from across the street bursts in holding a bloody knife, claiming that he was forced to stab his wife. The water's been cut off. Worst of all, no one has any signal on their cells.

Yes, it's a zombie movie, but it isn't the usual zombie movie. It's more Shaun of the Dead than The Walking Dead, for one thing, and for another the zombies themselves don't quite act as expected. It's funny and creepy, sometimes both at the same time, and best of all more realistic than not.

I'll go four out of five. When they show gore they do tend to go over the top, but thankfully the internal organs are kept to a minimum, and there's an impressive amount of character development considering the size of the cast. As a bonus, Rob Norton as Pat reminded me of Ryan Reynolds, so I certainly didn't mind watching him. In short, a very fun watch, and not just a killer clown flick as you might think. Now I just have to hope the baby shower I'm going to in a couple of weeks is merely boring.

Some of the guys out hunting in their makeshift riot gear.


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