(aka, Insect; Invasion of the Bodysuckers)
It is a really bad sign, when the army shows up to put you under quarantine, and the guy in charge hands your official notice to a soldier in a HazMat suit to deliver to you.
This is one of those sadly neglected SF/horror films from the Eighties, which came out on VHS and is now more or less forgotten and unavailable. Perhaps the rather silly title is responsible: certainly it has nothing to do with the film itself. Well, except for one all too brief mention, as a group of children explore the old tunnels in which the monster is hiding, and they try to imagine what they might find. “I think we’ll find a blue monkey” a little girl says…
And yes, that’s it.
Oh, well, at least it’s not as bad as the title they used in the UK, “Invasion of the Bodysuckers.“
And it would be hard to get much worse than that.
But the film itself is reasonably tense, as an exotic plant found on a new volcanic island infects a victim with a nasty parasite and a lethal new disease. The disease is apparently unstoppable, and the parasite turns into a giant insect which needs living organisms to feed its hungry offspring. The next thing you know, the hospital is sealed off, and the big bug is busy laying eggs in the maze of tunnels where they used to keep the patients at the former insane asylum.
I suppose one could take this one apart and note that it draws from such familiar films as James Cameron’s Aliens and the Fifties Classic, Them!, with pinch of HazMat suited soldiers out of Romero’s The Crazies, and a lethal pandemic for seasoning. Not to mention a creepy former insane asylum which apparently got lost on its way to some other completely different sort of film.
Mind you, the incredible laser lab they’ve just built to prove that this hospital is ready for the Twenty-first century would look far more at home in The Andromeda Strain‘s Wildfire lab. Or in the engineering section of the 2009 Enterprise. Exactly what they’re planning to use it for is hard to guess (particularly as this isn’t a Bond film and World Domination is out).
Steve Railsback plays the hero with sort of a slo-mo good ol’boy accent that pretty much disappears once things get moving. Not that I’m complaining. SCTV’s Joe Flaherty puts in a brief comic relief appearance, but can’t do much with the material he’s given. And a completely unrelated bit of comic relief gives us the cure for the mystery disease.
This one isn’t a great film, but it is fun, moves along nicely and even manages a few good scares. You couldn’t ask for more from a forgotten late-Eighties VHS release.
Except perhaps for a big bowl of popcorn and a midnight viewing with friends.
Buy from Amazon:
A TO Z REVIEWS