Reviewed by: Jennie Kermode

"SuperGrid is styled like the finest Eighties post-Apocalyptic trash."

Welcome to the future. A mysterious disease has wiped out most of the human population and only a handful of fortified settlements survive in the former United States. As for Canada, closed off by a wall, "That's cannibal country." Only a very limited part of the road network has survived and it's prime territory for Mad Max-style bandits. This is known as the Grid. Brothers Jesse (Leo Fafard) and Deke (Marshall Williams) used to drive along it regularly but things have changed. Now, however, they are forced to return when their sister is held hostage by a ruthless gang leader. He wants them to pick up a package from beyond the wall. Of course, he won't tell them what's in it.

From the outset, SuperGrid is styled like the finest Eighties post-Apocalyptic trash. The team behind Wolfcop once again demonstrates an affinity for the scummy side of life that recalls the early work of John Carpenter. Our reluctant heroes make clear their resentment of the job they're being forced to undertake. Even in their nuclear powered truck they know they face serious risks, and they also have to pay a considerable amount of protection money along the way. They also have to deal with an ex-wife on whom their fortunes might depend. Of course, when they finally reach their goal, nothing is what they expected and they're forced to rethink their course.

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Although it's obviously working hard on its small budget, the film is a little light on action and things move too slowly in the first half, punctuated only by a mediocre gunfight. It picks up speed in the second half, however, and adds a little gore for horror fans. Whilst a lot of its world-building is borrowed, drawing on genre conventions, it's one of the first such works to feature a First Nations settlement although this makes a lot of sense in context. They're the only people we see who seem to be producing anything; everybody else is dependent on a barter economy.

To succeed, a film like this really needs stronger characters or snappier dialogue. As it stands it's quite entertaining but falls a little short of the mark. We just don't get the pay-off that the hype about the grid promises. It's more of a cheesy snack than something one can make a meal of.

Reviewed on: 10 Dec 2018
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SuperGrid packshot
Two brothers are blackmailed into driving through a post-Apocalyptic wasteland in order to pick up a mysterious package.

Director: Lowell Dean

Writer: TR McCauley, Justin Ludwig

Starring: Leo Fafard, Marshall Williams, Natalie Krill, Fei Ren, Tinsel Korey, Jay Reso

Year: 2018

Runtime: 80 minutes

Country: Canada


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