Ashes that Don’t Turn into Dust
Don’t you hate it when you do good and it turns to evil? That’s probably what Dr. Andrew Stanton thought too…before he started craving raw flesh.
Stanton (Brian Krause of Charmed and Sleepwalkers) is a doctor trying to find a cure for AIDS in Ashes, which means those bacterial strains, chemicals, medicines and all that “laboratory stuff” is being mixed to find the best way to cure this modern-day plaque. Unfortunately, sometimes a chemistry set can wreak havoc on those who shouldn’t be playing with it.
Stanton’s one test subject for this study just isn’t good enough for him, so when a young boy collapses on the Emergency Room floor with a strange bite on his arm, and tests show signs of the disease, Stanton decided to grab the latest AIDS medicine serum and inject it into the kid. However, it did not improve the child’s health and it made him aggressive enough to bite the doctor before expiring.
What that bite does is cause a string of cataclysmic bacterial superbugs in Stanton, who then passes them on to his family, and so on. Will it be stopped before it’s too late?
Ashes is the 2010 Shriekfest award winner for Best Horror Feature and the International Horror and Sci-Fi Film Festival winner of Best Horror Screenplay. And rightly so. Director Elias Matar, who also co-wrote the film with Edward E. Romero, should be proud of this film. It’s cast well—Krause is phenomenal as the diligent, passionate doctor who turns into someone who realizes the mistake he has made and the horror it is slowly creating.
Another standout in the movie is Kadeem Hardison, who will always be Dwayne Wayne to me, as Stanton’s main research laboratory technician.
Huge kudos to the movie’s makeup department of Chad Engel, Elissa Prager and Ilana Weiner. Watching the transformation of Dr. Stanton from middle-aged father and doctor to a flesh-eating zombie left me in awe. I am sick of these zombie movies that go so overboard in makeup and effects when the person becomes one of the “others”. Ashes doesn’t do that. The makeup and effects denote a clear change in storyline without being blatant and over the top.
I highly recommend Ashes—this is one movie that’ll be staying in my collection.