I can't believe I didn't notice it before, but "Trigger Effect" is on Netflix streaming. Below is that review from my book on Apocalypse Movies, available in Bison Book Batch no. 7
click here to buy BBBno7
THE TRIGGER EFFECT
Rated R, 1996
Elisabeth Shue, Kyle MacLachlan
This wasn’t a post-apocalypse movie, not by any stretch of the imagination. It wasn’t even really a disaster movie in the conventional sense. It was also a hit-you-over-thehead- with-our-message movie. And yet, this was a darn good movie. I’ve seen it three
or four times. What this film does is point out how ill prepared people are, and how the great unwashed masses will react when their comfortable life is disrupted. By example it highlights what mistakes to avoid. So, while not a post collapse movie it is a great preparedness movie and thus worthy of your time and money.
Here we have your typical suburban Yuppie couple. At the movies a ghetto member ( unfortunately they let anyone into the movie theatre ) is talking trash to them and they desperately avoid a scene. Not unreasonable, but sad. Their remodeling contractor is selling them shoddy service. They are totally dependant on their doctor answering the phone in the middle of the night, and calling in a prescription. In short, totally dependant on the system and money. No self sufficiency, no family nearby to help. No clue what to do when the lights go out. I think the genius in this movie as portraying this couple as completely normal, everyday people. They aren’t sad sacks, losers, uneducated. They are successful middle class surviving the only way they know how in today’s consumer
The lights go out over the weekend. Three or four days and all hell breaks loose. Before the lights go out, their baby needs medicine. The doctor will call it in in the morning.
But the electricity is cut first. And the phones are down, as are the radios. It seems like total grid down ( remember, this was way before the Y2K scare profiteering ). Dad can’t get the medicine, and as the kid keeps screaming and carrying on he decides to steal it. This is greeted by delight by mom, who it seems has a bad girl past ( read-slut ) and likes the new criminal that her meek and mild husband turned into for a moment. She is fixing to give it up when dad’s friend comes sneaking around and scaring them. Blah, blah, they talk about the power being out, exchange rumors. Nothing known. It is decided that the next day the two guys are going to go to the gun store for defense. Neither knows spit about guns and wife is totally against it. They both feel guns are ooky. But at least the need for macho posturing pushes dad into some sane thinking. They go to the store, which has a long line. No handguns, 15 day wait ( this must have been written before California made long gun purchases included in the wait ). Idiot dad trades a $600 watch for a $100 shotgun and a box of shells. Then plays around with it like a toy. Then they all get drunk and the two guys are pissed at each other because of the whole unspoken sense that the bitch is thinking about hooking up with the stronger male if this is real end of the earth stuff. Bitches have no loyalty. Take your money then leave you.
Then the bitch throws the shotgun into the pool ( with the ammo ). Now, E is a pretty hot babe and I wouldn’t kick her out of bed for eating crackers. But throwing the $600 shotgun into the pool? I’d seriously consider wife abuse. Because after the drunk bitch did that they are awoken by a burglar rooting around downstairs. No shotgun, thanks a lot stupid bitch ( not that any of them are too bright- between the three of them they carried $60 in cash for all emergency purchases ). So one has the butcher knife and the other a baseball bat ( the friend had stayed over ). They let the dude get out of the house and then trip the car alarm and tell him to drop the loot and leave. The next door neighbor comes over and sees the criminal with a switchblade and drops him with his rifle. Does dad act happy or grateful? Hell, no. Acts all butt hurt. At least he lies to the cops about the drop gun the neighbor plants on the corpse. But they are never buddies after that ( when normalcy improbably returns at the movies end ).
They decide things are too hairy so they decide to leave for Colorado and wife’s parents house. Of course, they take off without enough gas to finish the trip. And with a wet shotgun and soggy shells. A slightly irrational dude on the road steals their car after shooting the friend. Dad runs back to the farmhouse for help. Stranger doesn’t trust him, he runs back to the disabled car the stranger had left, then back to the house with the shotgun ( way to leave the wife and child unprotected so you can go steal the guys car ). And then it pretty much ends happy. Guy ends up being helpful and not shooting him.
Ambulance shows up to save friend ( who survives despite a huge ass bullet, blood lose for hours and shock ). Lights come back on. Everything is normal. And the message is hit over your head. Trust other people. Don’t take the law into your own hands. The
*Genre Rating-piss poor.
*Nudity Rating-piss poor.
*Overall Rating-damn fine. A valuable lesson in how the sheep will act and justify themselves.