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The Surge (2002)
Written by: The Arrow
Director: S. Lee Taylor

Starring:
Mathew Scollon/Reese
Melissa Renee Martin/Ashley
Edward Deruitier/Zach
Alice Frank/Phoebe
6 10
PLOT-CRUNCH
Four high school “rejects” find an energy rock of some sort in the woods (don’t ask). When standing on it, a rush of electro “joo-joo” charges them with individual powers and yes, the one dimensional buffoons who picked on them at school will now pay a high supernatural price for their wrong-doings. Groove on!
THE LOWDOWN
On a narrative level, this pseudo-horror flick was basically "The Craft", but for the techno crowd. Its premise and plot turns were eerily similar to the aforementioned film. In fact, is that a lawsuit, I smell?

But what did set "The Surge" apart was that it felt like it was directed by a raver still tweaked on speed and I mean that as a high compliment! If there’s one reason to see this “out there” pill, the hyper-polished style is it. From a flashy use of colors (blue, orange, green), to insane lighting jazzing all over the place, to the trippy fast motion, slow motion, use of subliminal frames, quick cuts, techno montages…you name it, this spastic effort is getting down with it. Is the director a raver? I got my money and my balls on YES! We’ll leave it at that until he e-mails me to tell me otherwise or to tell me to go F myself.

Character-wise, I mucho enjoyed the cast of young talented unknowns gracing the screen. The charismatic and good looking leads often compensated for the script’s shortcomings and I appreciated that (their badass clothes also helped). Alice Frank (Phoebe), in particular, charmed the pants, the briefs and the tank top off of me. What a cutie! Unos problemos in regards to the casting though; there’s no freaking way that these were 18 years old kids! Mathew Scrolon (Reese), in particular, looked like he was in his mid-to-late 20’s and seeing him wearing mascara and a “Goo Goo Dolls” hairdo while dealing with “teen angst” just felt plain awkward at times. I kept saying “You’re a grown man dude...what are you doing? Get your act together and go to work, you bum!"

Dramatically, the flick unfortunately went flatter than leaking silicone jugs. It had the potential to be a strong dramatic piece, but alas, the dialogue and execution were too off for me to be able to get affected by the supposedly “poignant” layers of the story. It also didn’t help that the bullies and the teachers in this “Go Go Lounge” were flimsily written at best. They constantly went out of their way to be pricks on wheels and weren’t credible in the least as real human beings. Having them be so damn one-sided took away from the power that the scenario could’ve had. Was this echoing real life conflicts or Nickelodeon cartoon baddies? YOU TELL ME!

But overall, I had a good trip with "The Surge". The storyline felt déjà-vu, but I was still reeled me in by the unique ”new age”, techno backdrop that it was set against. The movie moved speedy fast, served up some gnarly plot twists and wound up being one hell of an effortless watch. In the mood for some vacant easy smiles? Dance with this hollow girl and remember to grope her bootie while you’re at it!
GORE
We get blood here and there, some cuts, some self mutilation…nothing to call your butcher about though.
ACTING
Mathew Scollon (Reese) held his own, had the "look" and did the best he could with the badly written “dramatic” moments he was handed. Melissa Renee Martin (Ashley) did the “bad girl” thang to a T and I loved her for it. Edward Deruitier (Zach) was also bang-on as the kool intellectual dude; he made the bad lines sound like Shakespeare. Alice Frank (Phoebe) was very endearing as the “earth girl” with a good heart; she came across as the girlfriend we all wish we had. On that note, Alice...let’s do lunch.
T & A
We dudes get a slew of cleavage shots, an almost tit shot and tight tops galore while the ladies get Scollon and Deruitier shirtless.
DIRECTING
Although I dug Taylor’s heavy-handed stylized show, he did overdo it in the “sea sick” rocking camera effect and his re-use of the same shot over and over during the key montage got tiring. But on the whole, this baby buzzed me and provided all kinds of eye candy for my bucks.
SOUNDTRACK
You dig trance and techno? Yes? HAVE A BLAST! No? You’re foo-barred. We also get some Marilyn Manson wannabee like heavy guitar riffs.
BOTTOM LINE
"The Surge" razzle-dazzled me with its polished rave-like feel, its decent premise, its appealing cast and its slick techno/trance tunes. It's too bad that the deeper substance wasn’t always well executed and that the writing was often “barf”. I say hit this one after a long and hard night of dancing and come down easy with it. It’s that kind of movie.
BULL'S EYE
The flick is also known as "The Secret Craft" and "The Source".
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