Monday, May 11
Directed by Gary Jones
92 Minutes /Hemdale Home Video / 1.33:1 Full Frame
Giant bloodsuckin' mosquitos descend upon the backcountry and it's up to a group of survivors to fend off and ultimately find a way to destroy the swarm.
Infectiously fun crap that follows the tried-and-true killer animal formula to the letter. The catalyst for the invasion is an alien spacecraft crash landing into a marsh. That trite plot device should be all you need to understand what to expect. The first half hour is a drag as we build to the inevitable and are treated to bumbling park rangers and bank robbers. After the film crosses the forty mark, an energetic fluidity quickly builds that pushes the action right along until the credits roll. This is to the credit of then-first time director Jones, who somehow manages to create a splashy mania around cumbersome rubber mosquito effects and an obvious lack of funds.
The lead couple aren't much to speak of, except Tim Lovelace by his looks could very well be Josh Brolin's slow half brother. The actor who pulls through as the most appealing is Steve Dixon, who injects a friendly "everyman" toughness into the role of a meteor chaser. Gunnar Hansen brings his usual wooden monotone menace as a criminal on the run with car trouble. Though when everyone's favorite STIHL salesman dawns a long-bladed chainsaw; Hansen's barely there screen ability melts away to his asskickin' saw welding.
The special effects are rather surprising in that they're not half bad. The physical bugs are rather limited in movement, but do have vibrantly colored innards that are lovely let loose. We see even them buzz around both in reality and shoddily superimposed. Victims are left as vapid, sucked-dry corpses. Even though there's never a blood orgy, the low rent insect splat on display is satisfying.
Entering in with low expectations is best, Mosquito is a perfunctory creature feature diversion that's far less annoying than the myriad of cheapo killer mother nature flicks to have come since.
To my knowledge, this has been released twice on VHS from Hemdale and Plaza Entertainment (box spine is shown above). The Image DVD (also a full frame presentation) is out of print and commanding ridiculous prices, but these perfectly watchable tapes can be tracked down dirt cheap.
VHS Picture: 6/10
VHS Sound: 6/10