13/13/13 (2013) poster

13/13/13 (2013)


USA. 2013.


Director/Screenplay – James Cullen Bressack, Producer – David Michael Latt, Photography – Brian Weber, Music – Chris Ridenhour, Visual Effects Supervisor – Glenn Campbell, Production Design – Kalie Acheson. Production Company – The Asylum.


Trae Ireland (Jack), Erin Coker (Candace), Jody Barton (Quentin), Nihilist Celo (Joe), Bill Voorhees [Vorhees on the end credits] (Trevor), Tiffany Martinez (Kendra), Calico Cooper (Marcy)


Jack returns back home to Los Angeles from a weekend away camping with three army buddies. Everywhere he looks, Jack sees combinations of the number 13-13-13. He returns to find his ex-wife Marcy gouging her arm to a bloody mess over the sink, before going crazy and attacking him. Jack accompanies Marcy to hospital and leaves his three friends in charge of their daughter Kendra. At the hospital, people everywhere are going crazy and erupting into violence. Marcy jumps out the window, while back home Kendra attacks the others. Jack’s friends barricade themselves in the house as their minds become affected. Jack meets another woman Candace who tells them the two of them are unaffected because they were born on a Leap Year. Everyone who has a regular birthday is affected by mass insanity as the years align for the first time in 120 years for the addition of an extra month to the calendar.

Since the early 2000s, the low-budget US production company The Asylum has been known for their output of Mockbusters – films that come out with titles intended to mimic those of big-budget releases in the hope that people will mistake them or not look too closely. In between these, they essentially created the Gonzo Killer Shark film, as popularised by their bad movie hit Sharknado (2013), and have made an assortment of monster films and disaster movies.

The Asylum made 11/11/11 (2011) and released it on November 11, 2011 as a novelty stunt to exploit the numeric alliteration of the title. They followed this with 12/12/12 (2012), released on December 12, 2012. The fact that there are only twelve months in a year seemed to bring an end to the series but The Asylum snuck one further entry in the series out with 13/13/13 here, which was released on October 1, 2013, and then brought the series to an end. The films are not connected in any other way beyond the numerically alliterative titles, although all three are set around some type of apocalypse being unleashed – it is Biblical in the other two films, a form of mass insanity here. (The one other connection between the filma might be that Jared Cohn, the director of 12/12/12, turns up here playing one of the patients in the hospital scenes).

13/13/13 quickly turns into a Mass Insanity film. This is a genre that began with George Romero’s The Crazies (1973) and has passed through a bunch of other films that have built on that – see the likes of Impulse (1984), The Signal (2007), Nine Miles Down (2009), YellowBrickRoad (2010), Urge (2016), Mayhem (2017), Mom & Dad (2017) and The Sadness (2021), among others. Explanations in these films range from bioweapons and viral outbreaks to pollution/toxic spills and supernatural causes.

Trae Ireland and Erin Coker make the way through the madness overtaking the hospital in 13/13/13 (2013)
Trae Ireland and Erin Coker make the way through the mass insanity overtaking the hospital

James Cullen Bressack is clearly having fun with the scenes where people start going crazy. This begins from early scenes where Trae Ireland’s friends are left in charge of his daughter Tiffany Martinez while he is at the hospital whereupon the daughter starts blackmailing Bill Voorhees with claims he is expressing paedophile interest in her, before the other two friends come and find her bashing Bill’s head into the pavement. That is not before Jody Barton gets into the SUV and backs out to run over a couple fighting on the street.

In the film’s most demented scene, the two remaining buddies Jody Barton and Nihilist Celo are sitting on the couch drinking, while Nihilist tells Jody to bring him another beer where Jody instead turns and stabs him in the stomach with a kitchen knife and the two then sit around laughing and drinking, before getting up to finger-paint on the wall in the blood from the wound, all the while as Nihilist bleeds out.

The criticism that could easily be made is that James Cullen Bressack doesn’t have a particularly good grasp on the film’s concept. Either that or the concept is simply a weak one. Much of the early sections of the film consist of Trae Ireland seeing 13/13/13 or the number thirteen on various digital displays and everywhere he looks and bugging out. At one point, Erin Coker tries to offer an explanation for what is going on that involves something to do with an extra month to have been added to the year 120 years ago. For some reason, this is causing everybody to go crazy with the exception of her and Trae Ireland because both of them were born on a February 29th of a Leap Year.

Director James Cullen Bressack made several indie horror films with the likes of My Pure Joy (2011), Underground Lizard People (2011), Hate Crime (2012) and To Jennifer (2013) before joining The Asylum for 13/13/13, followed by Blood Lake: Attack of the Killer Lampreys (2014), and the animated CarGo (2017). He later went on to make the horror films Pernicious (2014), Bethany (2017), Deadly Reunion (2017), Blood Craft (2019) and Alone (2020). and has produced and written a number of others.

Trailer here

Actors: , , , , , ,
Themes: , , ,