The Human Race Movie Review
Written by Richelle Charkot
DVD released by XLrator Media
Written and directed by Paul Hough
2014, 87 minutes, Not Rated
Released in theaters on June 13th, 2014
Paul McCarthy-Boyington as Justin
Eddie McGee as Eddie
Trista Robinson as Deaf Female
T. Arthur Cottam as Deaf Male
Fred Coury as The Yellow Jersey
The Human Race begins with a disembodied voice setting the rules for a competition that eighty people did not consent to compete in; "The school, the house and the prison are safe. Follow the arrows, or you will die. Stay on the path, or you will die. If you are lapped twice, you will die. Do not touch the grass, or you will die. Race...or die." This opening scene of extravagance and cheese sets the tone for a "fight or die" film laden with exploitation of gore and sex, but this causes it to be fairly shallow and difficult to remain invested in.
Eighty people from all walks of life black out and regain consciousness in a prison yard, where they each hear in their heads, in their own voices and native languages, the rules that will take place for The Human Race. Although some panic and immediately step onto the grass, thus killing themselves, and some are dumbfounded and frozen, many people in the group snap into a "me against them" morality that pushes them to survive no matter what. As with apocalyptic scenarios in films where a multitude of people are dying, the movie goes on to expose where each main character's ethics lay. Eddie, an Army Vet is one of the few who attempts to help those who are handicapped by being older, younger or wounded. He is joined by his good friend, Justin, who shares an equal viewpoint that there is no reason to leave a man behind, as he proved in the past when he stayed with Eddie during an extraneous situation in the army where he could have died. Conversely, a man in a yellow jersey is one of the several people who runs in the race for his survival and his survival only by lapping people without blinking an eye, thus killing each of them. The film also largely features Trista Robinson and T. Arthur Cottam, who play two friends who are deaf and letting the stress of the race deteriorate their relationship to drastic lengths.
Throughout The Human Race, when people die due to the rules of the game, their veins begin to bulge outward until the pressure explodes their heads, which is capably done in CGI, although as with most horror fans, I wish that there was more special effects instead of computer graphics. The carnage that is portrayed without the use of computers is spine tingling and disgusting, especially after a scene with the shameless 'yellow jersey,' who laps a pregnant woman, which causes her and her baby to explode. Although the film is relatively entertaining, it is not much more than an eighty person gore-fest, which causes it to drag near the end. The characters are fairly two-dimensional, which makes it difficult to remain invested in as the movie is wrapping up. Viewers be warned: there is not a lot of plot or character development to The Human Race, just a bunch of good old fashioned family violence.