A Critical Look at the Legal Profession:
"The first futuristic monster movie in 3D"
Starring Robert Glaudini, Demi Moore, and Luca Bercovici
Written by Alan J. Adler, Frank Levering, and Michael Shoob
Directed by Charles Band
Yes, it's Parasite, everybody's favourite kind of monster. Like Robot Monster and others, this movie is shown in
I have this film on DVD, and it's in 2D, but the camera work in this movie gives off obvious cues as to its actual 3D nature. Not only that, this movie stars Demi Moore at age nineteen in her second film role. Who knew she would go from run-of-the-mill bactor to A Few Good Men and G.I. Jane?
We begin the film with the credits, which judging from their appearance, jumped out of the screen. We see a man (Robert Glaudini) floating in a red fog. He's been strapped to a table, and he appears to be in some pain. Maybe he's being forced to watch this movie too. We see another man standing at the head of the table, with a tattoo on his hand. Then we see a microscopic view of some harmless looking worms and pond organisms, the sort of stuff you'd see in a biology textbook.
We then cut to a laboratory, where the man that was strapped to the table is working with leech-like worms in a petri dish.
Back to the red fog now. The man is fearful, and looking around.
In the lab again. The man works with various equipment. A stranger suddenly puts his hand on the man's shoulder, causing him to jump and drop the petri dish with the worms. Of course, the dish falls into the camera. 3D!! One of the worms lands on the man's lab coat. The man can't get it off, and it burns through the fabric and onto his skin, where it dissolves that too.
Back in the fog, the man is still on the table.
In the lab, the man takes a metal container that looks suspiciously like a thermos, and puts a worm into it.
We cut back to the fog one last time. Now I'm assuming this is a dream of some kind. The man is in pain again, and we hear some gross sounds. Panning down, we see something in his stomach is moving around. He screams, and in a scene that is quite the blatant Alien rip off, a monstrous worm-like creature with a huge toothy mouth bursts out of his stomach and right at the camera (3D!!) There's a sharp chord in the soundtrack, and we're supposed to be recoiling in horror.
Now, it turns out I was right about that dream idea. I'll cheat and tell you that the man with the worm in his stomach is named Paul Dean. Paul wakes up in the driver's seat of his van with a shout.
We see from a billboard that the year is 1992, so I assume the movie takes place around that date. Paul drives his ambulance-like van down a deserted desert road, and pulls into a fenced off piece of property known as 'Work Camp 54.' Right away, I'm beginning to think this is some kind of post-apocalyptic Mad Max type of setting. Paul drives in, and the camp seems empty. At the very least, no work is being done. He pulls up to a building, and gets out with a gun. He sees a tarantula crawling around on the ground near him, an animal perhaps added in solely for the 3D effect. Paul continues to the building. He sees a snake on the ground, and it whips its little tongue at the camera (3D!!) Is this some kind of zoo, with all these animals on the ground? Next he'll just happen to come across a koala bear. Anyway, he hears a female scream from inside the dumpy looking building, and enters. Inside, the place is a mess. It looks like a renovation gone wrong. There's junk everywhere. He sees two hoodlums ripping the clothes off a woman. Paul approaches with his gun pointed almost directly at the camera, and shoots. What comes out of the gun are laser pulses, not bullets. This is because laser guns would be common in 1992. Paul and the hoodlums start a fight that will last 53 seconds, and will rather gratuitously take advantage of the 3D effects. A lot of the fight involves slow-motion plunges at the camera, with one hoodlum thrown into some candy jars very close to the camera, and another man thrown into some boxes that fall past the camera. Next, one of the hoodlums crashes through a pane of glass, and another is hit with a stool. Finally, the last hoodlum is picked up and tossed through a window in a door, flying right past the camera. All of this, mind you, is in slow-motion.
Victorious, Paul unties the topless lady, and she struggles and runs off. She helps one of the hoodlums up and runs off with him. Perhaps she's a schizophrenic or something. Were they not trying to rape her?
Enter the old man called Buddy, who thanks the man for ridding his abandoned work camp of the hoodlums. Paul greets Buddy, and Buddy offers him some coffee.
Fig. 1 - Paul Dean
Paul is surprised Buddy actually has coffee (post-apocalypse, remember?), and Buddy tells Paul to relax, that he's outside the city and that he has nothing to worry about. The camera shifts right past a ladder (3D!!) as we watch Paul and Buddy enter another room. Paul looks uncomfortable, perhaps constipated, and tries to hide it. Buddy notices, and gives Paul some coffee. Then Buddy assures Paul that he can take care of himself, and he sends Paul on his merry way.
Paul leaves the building with his gun drawn, but in slow-motion. The topless woman arrives and with a stick whacks the gun out of Paul's hand and right at the camera. I realize this must have been cool in 3D, but in my 2D copy, these shots get tedious very fast. The gun hits the ground and breaks. Rather a fragile gun, I imagine. Another fight ensues, with Paul and one of the hoodlums rolling around on the ground near the snake we saw earlier. The snake lunges at them (3D!!), and the hoodlum is bitten. Stumbling around, he gets impaled with a stake against a fence by Paul.
For the next 17.5 seconds, we see a shot of the hoodlum with the stake sticking out of him and right at the camera. Towards the end, blood starts dripping out of the hollow stake and dribbles down to the ground. I wonder what this looked like in the theater.
Paul keeps on driving, heading into the small down of Joshua, population 64. He stops off at a gas station with a large sign on top that reads 'XYREX', a large company. The gas station attendant is sitting outside, and near to him is a large sign demanding silver, and that bartering is not allowed at that station. They're charging quite a bit for gas, $40/gallon for unleaded. The attendant watches Paul fill up his van. Paul tries offering paper money, but the rude and smarmy attendant refuses, so Paul fetches some silver coins from his van. After paying, Paul drives off. We see a few more shots of him driving through desolate, semi-arid terrain. Paul finds a building with a room to rent (3D!!), and drives around back.
With his thermos, he knocks on the door, and a woman answers. She looks him over, and then lets him in.
The woman is an older woman named Maggie, who used to be an actress, and wears just a bit too much makeup. She stayed in Joshua because she has "nowhere else to go." She's surprised that she has a visitor, and Paul says he'll only be staying a few days because he's not sure how much time he has left. She asks if he has makeup he can give her in exchange, and of course he doesn't. She goes on to say that the room has electricity between 7 and 9, and free water, but she doesn't clean. Paul offers to pay with bills, but she refuses. She asks what's in the thermos, and he explains that he's a doctor and that he needs it. He then offers her a gold ring, but says that it's worth "more than a few nights." She smiles and takes the ring, noting that there are certain "extras" available. Ugh. He smiles politely.
We cut to the room, a typical bedroomish affair. Paul unpacks some rudimentary scientific equipment from boxes he brings in. He goes to sleep, but Maggie wakes him with a knock at the door. She asks what he's been doing; he says he's been working. She tells him that there is food next door. She leaves. Paul gets up and goes to a mirror. He looks at his stomach. Here we see some very unconvincing bladder effects. There is an irregular area on his stomach, over his bellybutton, which has the parasite inside it. It slowly pulsates. Perhaps if they skimped on the useless 3D gimmick, the makeup effects could have been better.
Outside, an unquestionably and unequivocally evil car pulls up to the Xyrex gas station. It's black, sleek, and low to the ground, thus making it the chariot of pure evil. The door opens; it's one of those hydraulic upwards-opening doors. A man in a suit climbs out, greets the attendant, and asks him for water and some 'clean' methane for his car. A methane-burning car is supposed to be futuristic? Not to mention the fact that it's impractical, we can do that now. The attendant is suspicious, saying that no one has filled up there in years (3D!!). WTF? Was Paul not seen there earlier filling up his van? Did I miss something? As payment, the suit offers the attendant a silver card emblazoned with the Xyrex logo. The attendant takes it in awe.
Fig. 2 - The bad guy
Back to our movie. We are now inside the 'New York Bar, Grill, & Barter'. Paul is seated at a table, and the owner enters and greets Paul. Paul wants food, but this bar, grill, and barter only has canned items. In exchange for some canned soup, Paul gives away his digital watch. The owner, a man whom we will learn is referred to as Collins, watches Paul eat and makes chit-chat. Collins is from New York, while Paul is from Los Angeles. They both left the cities when some kind of atomic attacks began, thus firmly establishing the post-apocalypse factor. Collins has a large scar on his face, and explains he got it during this war-event thingy. Collins is the first friendly person Paul has met.
Enter another gang of youngish hoodlums, there are five or six of them. They change the music in the jukebox and complain. Then they sit down with Paul and ask about the soup. Their leader, a man named Ricus, proceeds to take the soup and finish it off for Paul. The others laugh. Sensing danger, Paul gets up to leave, and unknowingly drops the thermos, which he has with him for some unknown reason, under the table.
Enter Demi Moore, in her second film role as Pat, the heroine of this movie.
Fig. 3 - Pat
The hoodlums like her. Demi (oops, I mean Pat) brought lemons for Collins. The hoodlums taunt and generally harass Pat in a vaguely sexual manner, and Collins demands order in his bar, grill, & barter. Ricus, perhaps in a clich#&233;d bid to elicit sympathy from the audience, shows Collins a scar on his wrist that he got at a work camp in the suburbs, where orphans are sent to work. It's almost as if he's describing a Wal-Mart! Ricus is bitter about it.
We cut back to Paul's room, and Maggie is going through it. Ahh, now I know why Paul brought the thermos with him. She finds a thick book written by Paul entitled "The Pathology of Parasites." Maggie looks around at things, and peers into Paul's microscope at a worm. She's grossed out, and goes back to the book when she suddenly hears someone coming. She rushes out of the room. He returns with the thermos, and he looks to be in pain again. In his room, he checks his stomach again, and prepares a syringe filled with a red liquid. He squirts the air out of the syringe (3D!!), and I asked don't they do that vertically and not horizontally, since air floats to the top of a liquid? Oh well, Paul jams the needle into his little parasite pouch, and it quiets right down. He feels much better.
Outside, the hoodlums are still bothering Pat, hanging off her jeep. They invite her for a drink with them, but she refuses. They predictably get more forceful, and Pat threatens them. In the nick of time, Collins pops up with a shotgun (3D!!) The hoodlums know they won't get shot because they're the only customers Collins has. Collins tries to scare them off, but they take his gun, and Ricus takes a knife he has and offers to enlarge the scar on Collins' face. Just then, Pat pops up with another gun, firing a warning shot at the hoods.
Paul hears the ruckus outside, and looks out his window.
Collins gets his gun back, and the hoodlums are forced to leave. Pat checks on Collins, he tells her to go home.
Sensing trouble, Paul takes the thermos and hides it under his coat, which hangs from a hook on the wall. Not the most clever place to hide it, but never mind. He leaves his room and goes to his van to get some things from the back.
Naturally, the hoodlums appear, and they confront Paul as he carries a cardboard box full of medical equipment. He explains he's a doctor, but they don't care. They search through the box, and they find a syringe. They play games with it, establishing the annoyingly evil traits that these people seem to collectively have. Ricus takes out his knife and cuts Paul's arm in an awkward-looking struggle scene. The hoodlums want drugs, and Paul tells them to look under the seat. One of the hoodlums, a dumb-sounding one named Zeke, asks about the silver thermos they saw in the bar earlier. Ricus and Zeke head up to Paul's room to search for the thermos while the other hoodlums hold Paul at gunpoint outside.
Ricus and Zeke root around Paul's room, looking in boxes and under furniture. Maggie hears them in Paul's room, and instead of checking on them, she closes the door to her own room.
Ricus finds the thermos under Paul's coat. They leave with it.
Back outside, they confront Paul with the thermos, and Paul warns them not to open it. Being the irrational and incomprehensible people that they are, the hoodlums pile Paul into their semi-dismantled car, and drive off. They drive and drive, and arrive at a warehouse-type structure where they stay. There are objects (I couldn't identify them) hanging from the ceiling on chains. I figure the only reason these were included in the set was to enhance the 3D!! Anyway, they exit the car, and the hoodlums open the container. Why did they drive to their hideout? They could have opened it where they were, couldn't they? Anyway, Zeke gets the honour of opening the thermos. Paul makes one final warning, but it's too late. Zeke gets the top off.
There's nothing inside, except darkness. Uh oh, how foreboding! Did it not occur to them that, since Paul is a doctor, the thermos could contain some dreadful disease? It doesn't matter, Zeke sticks his hand into the container (3D!!) He feels around, and says there's something wet inside. He peers in, and the worm leaps out (3D!!) It has grown in the thermos from the small leech-like creature it once was into a much larger worm with a wide mouth filled with sharp teeth. It has the proportions of a turd. The parasite latches on to Zeke's chest/right shoulder, and he screams. In an attempt to help their stricken friend, the hoodlums proceed to beat up Paul outside the warehouse. After all, he unleashed this upon them when he warned Zeke not to open the thermos. The hoods then retreat inside the warehouse to help Zeke, who's been screaming the whole time. Paul blacks out.
We cut to a 14-second long shot of Demi Moore (sorry, Pat) looking into the camera.
Paul wakes up at Pat's cabin after being beaten to unconsciousness by the hoodlums. This means either a) the hoodlums dropped Paul off at Pat's cabin after they beat him, or b) Pat drove out to the warehouse to collect Paul. This is never explained. Paul tries to get up, but she keeps him on the couch he's been lying on. She offers him some lemon-based tea. He then grimaces, and she continues to stare at him.
We cut outside, to Work Camp 54. The evil car pulls up (3D!!), and the evil man gets out. We watch him walk for two scenes that last a total of 29 seconds. It might have looked good and interesting in 3D, but in 2D it's really long and unnecessary. The man inspects some debris on the ground from Paul's smashed laser gun, and looks around. Buddy then appears and greets the man, saying that he lives there. The man asks Buddy if he saw someone matching Paul's description. Buddy says he hasn't, but the man shows him the debris from the gun and comments that he "really hates liars." I should know, I have a government full of them. The man then retrieves a strange laser pointer-like thingy from a wrist strap, and fires at Buddy (3D!!) Buddy's hand gets sliced off, and we even get a brief shot of it twitching on the ground. Buddy screams, and the man reiterates that he hates liars. Presumably, he finishes Buddy off. Ooooh, he's so evil.
The man in the suit drives off in his cool car, and drives up to the bar, grill,& barter. I'm a little confused. The man went into Joshua, and investigated the gas station. Then he left the town and investigated the work camp. Now he's back in the town, about to investigate the bar. I wonder what his thought process is. Anyway, the man enters and asks Collins for some food. Instead of the canned stuff available, he takes some lemonade. The man asks how Collins can stay in business, and Collins mentions Paul in passing. The man leaves, saying he'll be back for food.
Back at Pat's cabin, Pat picks some lemons. Paul tries to get up, he says he needs his equipment for his work. We hear Paul pronouncing Pat's name as 'pa-TREE-see-uh', which sounds odd. Pat tries to stop him, and says that he's been hurt and he needs to rest. She then curses the hoodlums, but says that she has to stay out of the city lest she be captured and put in a work camp. Paul asks for her help, willing to tell her anything about what he does if she takes him back to his room to pick up his things.
We cut to the gas station, and the evil car pulls back in. The man climbs out, and asks for the attendant. He finds Paul's van parked there. Huh? Was it not parked behind the bar, where Paul's room is? How did it get to the gas station? No matter, the attendant emerges carrying a gun. The man asks about Paul.
We cut to Maggie's house. The man is there, pounding on the door and demanding entry. He bursts in, ignoring Maggie's protests, and looks around. He tells her he's checking in.
Back at the warehouse, we see Zeke is very sick. The parasite is still stuck to his chest. He's afraid, and he's sure it's eating him alive. Ricus says he'll do whatever he can to help his friend, and then leaves to stand at the window and look out. Gee, way to help him. It doesn't look like you've done a thing all afternoon. The parasite stirs, and eats deeper. They rather timidly try to pull it off, but everyone is afraid to touch it. Zeke screams.
Now we're back in Paul's room behind the bar (3D!!) The man in the suit is there, looking around for Paul or, presumably, the thermos.
Just outside, Paul and Pat drive up in her jeep.
The man hears them, and leaves Paul's room to watch them from the hallway.
Paul enters the hallway, and the man spies on him. Paul packs up his equipment and starts loading them onto the jeep outside. Pat waits. Finally, Paul is finished and he leaves while the man quietly watches. Paul and Pat drive off, and the man quickly follows them in his car. Not a good idea, considering the rarity of cars on the roads out here.
They drive through the desert, and the man is following them. Unfortunately for him, as he drives, the hoodlums suddenly block the road with Paul's stolen van, blocking the man's way. The man is PO'ed, leaves his car, and demands that they move out of the way, but Ricus pulls his knife on the man and gets him down to the ground. They ask what the man wants with Paul, and the man changes his demeanor very fast. He claims he's Paul's friend. If the hoodlums are interested in Paul, why didn't they stop Paul? They stand the man up, and ask for some of those slips of silver he's been using to pay for things. Sure enough, the gas station attendant is for some reason with the hoodlums. They stupidly let go of the man, and he of course turns on them, grabbing the attendant and firing his laser to scare everybody. He orders all guns dropped, and at this point the hoodlums realize the man is a Merchant. Ricus spots a Xyrex logo tattoo on Merchant's arm. According to Ricus, Merchants run the work camps, and Ricus doesn't like them. The Merchant demands they clear the roadway, and he gets back into his car. They comply, and he resumes the chase.
Paul and Pat make it back to Pat's cabin. They unpack the boxes, and Paul remains silent about his work. Pat wants to help him, and she needs information. She notes that he must be working for the Merchants since everyone does, and then she asks about that large sore on his stomach. Finally, well into the film, we get some explanations.
Paul has been working on a new 'strain' of parasite for the Merchants, as well as for the government, which is all tied up with the Merchants. He says that the parasite in his stomach is growing, but dormant, and it will eventually kill him. He made several, but destroyed all of the others when he found out what they would be used for. Only two currently survive, the one in his stomach, and the one that was in the thermos and is now attached to Zeke. He needs that parasite as a living specimen, to find out how to kill them. You see, once the parasites grow large enough, they emit millions of microscopic spores into the air, and wherever a spore lands on a person, a new parasite will grow. How, why, or on whom the government would use such a dangerously uncontrollable weapon (for that is the only thing it could be) is unclear and never answered.
We then cut to the parasite on Zeke, who is barely sleeping. Ricus is awake, looking after him. He and a girl named Dana can't sleep. I had difficulty comprehending his next lines. He says he "can't care about people anymore," but I guess he's facing a dilemma when it comes to deliberately not caring about Zeke Why are you telling us this? The guy is sick, just try and take care of him!
They eventually fall asleep, and wake up the next morning. Ricus checks on Zeke, but he died. His face is now very skeletal looking. What's worse, the parasite is no longer attached to him. They look around rather calmly for this deadly creature, and it turns up in Dana's bed, right next to her leg, not attached to anything. It has grown. Dana is horrified. Ricus quietly and calmly instructs Dana to move her legs off the bed very slowly. Why slowly? Roll off the bed as fast and as suddenly as you possibly can! It's not like the damn thing can leap! She does so, but the parasite shifts and grabs on to her leg. She screams, but nobody tries to pull it off. It can't be that well attached so soon, pull it off! No no, that's not what happens. It's In The Script. They carry her off to their car and drive away with her. Judging by the intelligence of these people, the parasite is doing us a favour by killing them.
Back at Pat's cabin, Paul steadily works on a way to kill the parasites. He's in pain, and asks for the syringe. He injects himself, and says that he can't continue his work without the other parasite to experiment on. He says they have to find the hoodlums.
The hoodlums drive down to the bar. Ricus pounds on the door and asks for Collins, who answers with his shotgun (3D!!) Ricus asks for his help, and Collins checks on Dana. She has grown pale and sickly looking. He tells them to go in back, and that he'll meet them there with Maggie. Everyone meets and gets her upstairs, where they lay her down on the bed. They all get a look at the parasite, which shows us its big toothy mouth. It bites down on Dana's calf, and she screams. Ricus says they can't cut it off. Perhaps you should actually try before you make that statement. They need a doctor, and Maggie tells them about Paul. They all set off to find him.
At the cabin, Pat urges Paul not to give up. He reiterates that he needs the other parasite, so he heads outside for an unexplained reason.
The Merchant drives through the desert, and stops at Pat's cabin. He enters, finds Pat, and asks where Paul is. I was asking the same question too. She says she doesn't know. The Merchant isn't fooled, and says that Paul is a fugitive with their property. He then grabs her and hits her. She still won't tell, and he asks again. She punches him back, but he drags her outside into the garden around the back. He uses his laser, and in a scene probably derived from Goldfinger, or any number of other movies, he threatens to cut her up with the laser.
Back at the Merchant's car, the hoods pull up. The Merchant hears them behind the cabin, and knocks Pat out. He heads back to his car, his laser ready. Ricus appears, and knocks the laser from the Merchant's hand.
Next, we get the roughly 26-second fight between Ricus and the Merchant. At one point, the Merchant gets cut in the thigh by Ricus' knife, and is knocked out. Ricus then runs off to Pat's cabin, looks for Paul, can't find anybody there, and then leaves. Pat wakes up in her garden, stumbles back into the cabin, and then falls back down inside.
The Merchant gets back up, hobbles into his car, and drives off.
Paul suddenly reappears. Where the heck did he go? He helps Pat up, and she tells him about the man in the suit who beat her up. He guesses it's Merchant Wolf who is after him. Wolf was a government liaison man in the parasite project. He cleans her up a bit, and tells her that high-frequency sounds kill the parasites. I guess this came to him during his excursion, which really makes me wonder what he was doing. He needs to extract fluids from the other parasite to find its "frequency" so he can kill them all. He needs her help, though, and she agrees, showing us her handgun.
Dana, who was already dying, finally dies at the hands (or rather, teeth) of the parasite. Where did the other hoodlums go? Where's Ricus? It leaves her leg, moves around under the sheets (to keep the film's budget down, I guess), and slithers along the floor towards Maggie's dressing room.
In the dressing room, Maggie is playing once more with her makeup. I guess she forgot about the dying girl and the weird creature attached to her. She admires her makeup work.
We get a close up of the parasite on a glass divider next to Maggie, slithering upwards and leaving a trail of slime.
Maggie brushes her hair. She sees the parasite's slime trail on the divider. Then she sees some slime dripping down on her hands. The parasite is right above her, and we see slow-motion shots of it drooling into the camera in GLORIOUS 3D!! She slowly looks up to see it, and it drops on her, again in slow-motion and directly into the camera. She screams.
We then cut to Maggie lying on the floor, all shaky and breathing erratically. She doesn't look good at all, as if it's sucking all the fluids out of her. We get to watch her in various stages of death for a total of 42.8 seconds, and at the end her face has sunken in and is looking gruesome. At the 42.8 second mark, the parasite then suddenly and without warning explodes out of Maggie's face (3D!!) with a mouthful of Maggie-Meat. This was the coolest scene in the whole movie, 3D or not.
Pat and Paul enter the boarding house, and find Dana dead. Considering what the parasite's other victims looked like, Dana still looks pretty good. That could be an open casket funeral. They also find Maggie, who needless to say is not in as good shape. The other hoodlums are nowhere to be found. We can consider them dead, since they do not return in the movie. Pat backs away in horror, and bumps into the mantle. There, the parasite roars at her. She screams, and it somehow runs off, out of the room.
Fig. 4 - The mouth of the parasite as it roars at Pat
We never actually see the parasite move much this way, and it does move very quickly, but never mind. Paul follows the slime trail with a blanket. The parasite rests on a table now, gently hissing. Paul throws the blanket over it, and in a struggle, they get a fluid sample. The parasite gets away, which made me wonder why they couldn't hold on to it. It doesn't seem to be able to bend very much. If you just hold it around its flanks, it should be okay. Maybe it's corrosive. I really don't know.
Enter Collins, who helps them down to the jeep. Collins goes to the basement to turn on a generator to run some of Paul's instruments, but the Merchant finds him there.
Paul fools around with an oscilloscope, playing sounds of increasing pitch. Do oscilloscopes make sounds? Anyway, he plays with it and looks at his stomach the whole while. He raises the frequency and grimaces in pain. The parasite bursts out in a gross, bloody mess, and latches on to Pat. She jumps up and screams, but before it can do any damage, it falls off and dies.
Downstairs, the Merchant tries extracting information from Collins, but Ricus emerges from wherever he got to, and saves Collins. The Merchant shoots Ricus with his laser, and subdues Collins. The Merchant leaves them there. Collins nurses Ricus, but Ricus dies.
So to recap, one parasite is dead, but the larger and more dangerous one still roams freely.
We get a close up shot of its slimy body.
The Merchant appears, holding a laser at Paul. He kicks Paul down, and then chases Paul up the stairs. They fight. Meanwhile, the parasite slithers up to them, and it looks as if it will get Paul since the Merchant has Paul pinned to the ground. In a dramatic twist, it somehow leaps into the air and latches on to the Merchant, who screams and barrels out of a door in slow motion with Paul. Pat watches. The Merchant falls over a railing and down a story into the camera. He screams in pain and rolls around with this parasite attached to him. At Paul's urging, Pat fires her gun at a large propane tank near the Merchant, and after two shots, it explodes in an enormous fireball. Would this have looked good in 3D? It must have, because we get a gratuitous shot of the explosion. The Merchant burns alive, despite the fact that the stuntman is very clearly wearing a fireproof suit.
Collins joins them. The Merchant is finally dead. Both he and the parasite are really crispy. We can see it underneath the dead Merchant.
Finally, we close the film with another close up of the parasite's slimy body.
I have just one problem with this movie:
The parasite featured was not a parasite!
That's right. The biological definition of a parasite is a creature that grows, lives and reproduces in or on a host, while contributing nothing to the host's survival. I do admit, it can be a blurry definition. Blood sucking mosquitoes are considered parasites because they need the blood to reproduce, though they do not live inside a host. They also transmit diseases that are truly parasitical, such as malaria. However, the thing in Parasite simply isn't a parasite:
1) It does not live in or on the host - the parasite in the thermos survived quite well without a host;As I see it, the parasite in this movie is a worm-type creature with a taste for meat, and which reproduces in an unorthodox way. It also kills its victims, which is the sign of a "bad" parasite. Perhaps Carnivore would be a better name for this movie despite being taken by the venerable Roger Corman. If I am wrong, please feel free to correct me.
Now, the actors. I was surprised when I found this movie to see that Demi Moore was in it. I wonder if this is her Barbarella. What does she think of this movie? She was only nineteen-going-on-twenty when she did this movie, and she had only been in one other movie before, but it was a bit part (coincidentally, that other movie is called Choices, and it stars George Barrows, who played Ro-Man in Robot Monster!) Demi is the only big name in this movie. Robert Glaudini and James Davidson (Wolf the Merchant) are nobody important. Luca Bercovici starred in and directed some more B-movies.
What is interesting is that Stan Winston did the creature effects for this movie. He also worked on Predator, The Terminator, and Jurassic Park. He was also associated with creating the Queen in Aliens. This just shows us that the quality of special effects can really depend on the film's budget. This movie started a short-lived 3D movie fad in the 1980's, and this movie takes full advantage of its nature. All the shots of things and people being thrown or thrust into or at the camera made me laugh. Anybody here watch the old SCTV television series? There's a recurring skit involving two actors who are in a 3D movie, and every once in a while, they'll stop whatever they're doing and rock back and forth to and from the camera, making fun of real 3D movies. I love that skit, and this movie reminded me so much of it. That's why I was laughing all through the movie.
If you like mislabeled creatures, learning how the world ended in 1992, or worms bursting out of people's faces, you'll really enjoy Parasite.
May 20, 2004
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