The Carrier (1988) ***
D: Nathan J. White
C: Gregory Fortescue, Stevie Lee, Steve Dixon, Paul Silverman, Paul Urbanski
P: The town outcast suddenly finds himself stricken with a disease that spreads to any object that he simply touches. Those that come into contact with anything he touches melt to a grisly death.
In an era of endless Friday the 13th and Nightmare on Elm Street sequels came The Carrier - a bold, ambitious low budget effort that went against the grain and had something to say. The film serves as a commentary on the HIV / AIDS pandemic of the 80's whether by intention or by accident.
In the film, there is this mysterious illness that is affecting people. No one is quite sure what it is or how it spreads. There's a juxtaposition as to the horrors that the characters are facing versus the horrors that people were facing in real life when HIV / AIDS started claiming lives. There's also plenty of commentary on religion and how some people believe in their beliefs so much that it turns them into something that they aren't, defeating the whole idea of these people wanting to be good, God abiding people.
Now to forewarn you, The Carrier is an ultra low budget film. Do you honestly think any studio would invest money into this type film? The cast are mainly a bunch of unknowns. No one here is the next Meryl Streep or Robert De Niro, but, overall, the acting is serviceable, as are the production values. For me personally, the story is the most important element of a film.
The Carrier may not be nuanced or subtle, but there's definitely a lot of interesting ideas and interesting details. It gives you something to think about. This is one of those films that a few are going to love and a lot of others are going to absolutely hate. It's too weird, too different, too offbeat for most mainstream tastes. Even if you happen to be one of those ones that hate it, you can't quite dismiss it either, because at the very least, The Carrier has a strong viewpoint. It's not your general cookie cutter movie fare and it takes risk. Whether you think those risks pay off or not, ...well that's something each viewer is going to have to decide upon for themselves. [R] 99 mins.