Bite Me! (2004)

It’s one of those urban legends that’s been around forever.

Supposedly the government created super strain of Marijuana:  someone stole it and secretly leaked it to the public.

Like any good conspiracy theory, it really isn’t clear why they’d develop it, although one hears talk of it being used to track drug trafficking, or even worse, that they laced it with something nasty.

However, if you mix this urban legend with B-Movie Maestro, Brett Piper, the end result is a goofy film, full of nasty stop-motion monsters.

The problem, you see, is that the weed is infested with these deadly spider-like bugs whose bites cause drastic personality changes.  They get loose in a rundown strip club called the Go-Go Saurus (complete with giant Godzilla-type monster statue out front, which we know won’t make it through the movie, not when it’s one of Brett’s miniatures), which, of course, as this is that sort of movie, gives us plenty of opportunities to show off acres of naked female flesh.

But Brett knows we know that this is a cheap exploitation film, so he’s not afraid to give us a little wink and subvert our expectations:  one of the strippers is always tripping over things on stage and even misses the pole because she won’t wear her glasses, while another gives the most apathetic and disdainful striptease ever.  And the third (yes, this club is so rundown they only have three strippers) is the very personable Misty Mundae (aka, Erin Brown), who has to interrupt her regularly scheduled gratuitous nude shower scene to fight the bug with a toilet plunger.

Throw in Piper regular Rob Monkiewicz, playing a not-too-bright exterminator who is so tenderhearted he’ll take the spiders he finds on the job safely outside, and, of course, lots of Brett’s signature stop motion monsters.  His creatures this time around are, like his best creations, threatening and scary…but at the same time just a bit comic, and he has quite a bit of fun with them.  

And, of course, as with any of his films, you can tell he’s enjoying himself:  it comes through in everything he does.  The minute you see that giant statue, you know he’s going to blow it up.  And that final creature is a classic case of one-upmanship.  Hah!  didn’t see that one coming, did you?

Some critics have complained that the ending doesn’t quite make sense.  Why, for example, does getting bitten once release the hidden sides of some of the characters, but getting bitten repeatedly turns another character into a bug mutant?  But if you understand what kind of film this is, there can be no question:  Brett Piper just wanted to throw in a bug man creature, and has a lot of fun going through the different stages of the mutation.

Okay, this may not be one of his best films, and it seems more a collection of great moments that a coherent whole.  But it is still a wild, goofy ride, which gives Brett and his cast a lot of moments to shine.

In fact, for those of us who love B-Movies that respect our affection for those great SF and Horror B-Movies of the past about the only thing that could be better than a Brett Piper movie…

…Would be two Brett Piper Movies.

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