Can people be bad because it’s in their genes? What if there was a way for us to determine who had the inherent proclivities for violence, murder, and psychotic episodes and in so doing, we could separate them from the rest of us ‘normal’ people?
That’s the idea behind the Kathryn Taylor film, Evil Gene.
FBI agent Griff Krenshaw has fucked up in a major way. After shooting an innocent person while on the job, he’s relegated to a glorified investigator at a secret government prison, Godfrey. Here, those in the penal system diagnosed with HHS 282 (the evil gene), have their sentences commuted in exchange for experimentation. The medical director with the NIH, Dr. Mobley, and his assistant, Dana Ehrhart, perform tests on the inmates to determine if the evil gene can be treated or cured. Unfortunately, Mobley commits suicide thereby halting the project.
But considering how many failures they’ve experienced, the government wants them shut down anyway. Griff must prove Mobley committed suicide, which seems like an open and shut case. Things turn out much differently, however, when Agent Crenshaw comes to believe that perhaps something more sinister is happening at Godfrey. Perhaps the evil permeating the institution isn’t genetic but supernatural and they could all be in grave danger, especially if it ever escaped.
I soooooo wanted to love this movie. The idea is intriguing, if not very original, and I enjoy Richard Speight’s acting (Agent Krenshaw). He’s got a great ‘sincerity’ look that immediately brings the viewer to his side and we just want his character to be successful in whatever he’s pursuing. *le sigh*
But that’s about all I can say is good in the film. Pretty much every character is a stereotype. How many more government agents on anti-depressants and under major stress can we take? Do we really need yet another hard ass belligerent prison warden that, ironically, has a problem with government authority? I’ll need more fingers and toes to count the cynical guards, a med team that’s ‘all about the science’, and worst of the worst drug king pin prisoners.
Like I said, the idea in the story was kind of cool but not very original so it was rather easy to predict where it was going and how it would end up. If I can figure out the end halfway through the film, that’s a bad sign.
But you can tell the film REALLY tried. The acting is pretty good. I never got that awkward B-movie feel, you know? Different parts of the film were shot with multiple effects – reality style (during the FBI shooting), fuzzy or dark (when Griff couldn’t sleep), and like regular film. It helped to draw the viewer into the different moods of each scene.
Overall the film just feels…average. Not a complete let down though nothing stellar either. But if you’re a fan of any of the actors in the film (Speight, Cameron Richardson, Lindsey Ginter, just to name a few) you might want to check it out (click the link above for the trailer).