In the post-apocalyptic world of “Supergrid,” a mildly diverting effort from Canadian director, Lowell Dean (Wolfcop), the future is full of violent biker gangs and a deadly plague that mutates and deforms its victims.
When it comes to the post-apocalyptic genre, you have a few variants. Often the setting is a bleak, barren landscape and a solitary hero (The Omega Man, Mad Max, The Road, The Book of Eli, A Boy and his Dog). Another variant is the dystopian setting, either overpopulated or tyrannical (Soylent Green, Planet of the Apes, Logan’s Run). Post-apocalyptic movies are sometimes set during pandemics or plagues (12 Monkeys, 28 Weeks Later, Resident Evil). “Supergrid” attempts to combine a “Mad Max” setting with elements from a plague movie.
In “Supergrid,” evil multi-national mining corporation Sino-Gazam, owns an enormous section of land across Montana and South Dakota called the Hyper-structure. Excessive fracking and mining has resulted in routine mini-earthquakes. Furthermore, the territory is polluted and residents are affected by an incurable respiratory disease called the ‘Black Lung’. The disease in its advanced stages causes hideous deformities. The highway that crisscross the Hyper-structure is beset by roving criminal gangs called Jackals.
Disaffected and alcoholic Deacon “Deke” Campbell (Marshall Williams) lives just outside the Hyper-structure in Canada. A former courier for the mob, Deacon no longer wants to drive after his last trip ended with the death of his sister. Things quickly change when Sino-Gazam affiliated criminal, Lazlo (Jonathan Cherry) threatens to murder Deke’s other family members if he doesn’t retrieve another package for them. Faced with little options, Deke recruits his estranged brother, Jesse (Leo Fafard).
On the dangerous highways of the Hyper-structure, a fast and tough car is mandatory. Deke uses Jesse’s armor plated Ford Explorer as his ride. The car includes a Gatling gun and an experimental ‘thorium cell’ engine. This engine permits the vehicle to drive at high speeds and without fuel. In order to survive, the brothers will have to endure an onslaught of armed gangs, deformed criminals and deal with a duplicitous corporation.
“Supergrid” is watchable at the very minimum. I didn’t feel the need to fast forward or skip right to the end. For a movie that cost a measly 1.2 million, the production quality is adequate enough. Computer generated effects are used relatively sparingly also. For example, there are a few CGI buildings and explosions used. Enjoyably enough for gore fans, there are plenty of squibs, head shots and a couple of exploding faces.
Running at an initially slow pace, “Supergrid” picks up towards the middle with shootouts and bloody action. Nonetheless, you can really feel the lack of budget when it comes to costume design. The Sino-Gazam mercenary uniforms look amateurish. Moreover, for a movie set on a highway, there is only one major car chase scene.
Former WWE superstar and current pod-caster, Jay Reso aka Christian Cage, appears as “King Kurtis” a sort of post-apocalyptic warlord, for what amounts to be an extended cameo.
“Supergrid” had its premiere at the Calgary Film Festival on September 21, 2018. Fans of the post-apocalyptic genre may want to consider digitally renting this movie.