Saturday’s final film, Tooth and Nail, may well have been my favorite of the weekend. There are several I can point to along various axes and say, “I liked that because…”, but Tooth & Nail is the one whose scenes I’ve been flashing on whenever I think about the weekend. In a post-apocalyptic future (with a reasonably clever backstory), people must scavenge and struggle just to have sufficient food and water, but at least the initial waves of looting and killing have ended. Now, though, a new threat is rising in the form of bands of cannibalistic Reavers Rovers who roam the landscape in search of their own next meal.
And I know, I wasn’t all that impressed either. But it turned into something a lot bigger than its summary. The focus is on one such group of survivors, trying to eke out a day to day life in a hospital, rather than heading south where most people have gone. Out on a raiding party that includes one of the college kids from Borderland, they find the first live humans they’ve seen in months, in the midst of being murdered. They chase off the killer in time to save a girl, who turns out to be Penny from one of last year’s standouts, Penny Dreadful. (I mean, the actress, not the character. That would be cool, but somewhat unlikely.) And everything seems to be going pretty well, friction among some of the group members notwithstanding. But then their leader, Professor David Carradine, is murdered. And the next day, there are people outside the hospital. At this point, newcomer Neon (née Penny) admits to having heard of these Rovers before; they killed her family and neighbors where they were holed up in a supermarket. One per night, so the meat wouldn’t go bad. But she thought she’d escaped from them, and didn’t want to cause unnecessary panic.
A deadly game of cat and mouse ensues, as Neon and the others make various plans for survival, night after night, and each person must come to a decision about how far he or she is willing to go to stay alive. The final voiceover about fighting tooth and nail maybe oversells the message, but I can’t really think of another flaw the film had; and this one was quite a bit less glaring than the zombie people who looked like the rats that infected them, so.