Thursday, February 15, 2007


I can't quite remember what prompted me to add this DVD to my rental list- when it arrived in the post I drew a blank on the title. The tagline for the film is this, "Invasion of the killer bugs." Well, probably that was all that was needed!

From the start I've got to say that this isn't a great horror film- the premise is interesting but not particularly well executed, the CGI effects are amateurish and it lacked any sense of tension. However, there is something likeable about it. The first part of the film concerns a group of thirtysomethings getting together for the first time in years for the funeral of one of their friends. Among the cast are Zach Galligan (Gremlins), Robert Duncan McNeill (Star Trek- Voyager), David Packer (Daniel Bernstein from V) and Tuc Watkins (The Mummy, the guy who has his eyes removed). And this is the section of the film that works the best for me- it was good to see these guys back on screen again and the cast seemed to gel together well. Nothing of note happens during this set up phase but it was fun to watch.

When the story does get moving we discover that some mutant flies are able to take over bodies. Cue some pretty good FX (the gore was done the good old-fashioned way) when the first of the group are infected and some blood begins to fly. It's all a bit chaotic and confused and I thought it was handled pretty well. It's right up until just after this point that we have a pretty good horror movie on our hands. It falls down though when we get some survivors locked in the house with the fly-atons outside. And it really bugs me (pardon the pun) that the film-makers lost their grip on the plot here. It could have been a little gem of a film but the execution from here on was badly handled. It felt almost as if a different director was in charge. While the first fight-encounter was very well done, the second (when the group tries to go outside) is awful. Instead of excitement, tension, danger and pace, we get a lot of standing around doing nothing. And it then progresses into a pretty mundane journey to the end. Nothing too exciting and you've seen it all before.

I'm not sure what went wrong exactly- perhaps it was the challenge of the flies-as-opponents? Whatever it was, the film runs out of steam quickly and trails off. Which is a real shame. The cast and crew need to get back together and re-shoot the second half of the film. Maybe get rid of the fly idea and just have the people possessed by something, anything, else. There are parasites that can control the minds of insects- change the plot to feature a mutant version of them and forget all about flies.

It could have been really creepy- their best friends turned into virtually unstoppable killers- but someone, somewhere, dropped the ball. All in all I'd say that this is worth checking out for its curiosity value- the actors were pretty good in their roles, they just weren't given good enough material to work with. Another of those "could have been good" films.

1 comment:

FrauBudgie said...

Heh! I think I saw that movie on the Sci-Fi channel ... was it the one where the alien flies could consume only type B blood ...?

Also, we saw "Slither" a few weeks ago -- it was fun, didn't take itself seriously at all. It's about alien reptiles doing disgusting things.

Ah,well. Good to see you posting. Later, from across the pond.

BTW, I've had some problems with Blogger, and it decided to change y blog address, after it ate some of my more recent posts and also ripped off my sidebar. Argggghhh!!

The new addy is

Jay, I really hate "improved" software ... your site was one of the first "FrauBudgie's Favorite Perches" but now they've taken everything away.