And I've got a pretty damned good memory, too. One would actually think that Parasite would be a memorable movie for a few reasons. First off, Parasite was originally shown in 3D, which was noteworthy for a lower-budget fright flick. Low budget may be the case (and certainly was at a budget of 800 grand) but with the great Stan Winston credited as "head of character effects" you can bet the visuals would be impressive for the budget and... well, memorable. Third, the director was B-Movie Entrepreneur Charles Band who went on to bring us such series as the Trancers and Puppetmaster sagas along with such films as Laserblast, The Dungeonmaster, Robot Holocaust, Sorority Babes in the Slimeball Bowl-O-Rama, Evil Bong II: King Bong, The Gingerdead Man, Assault of the Killer Bimbos, Slave Girls from Beyond Infinity and a fuckload of other films you may (but probably don't) remember!
Lastly, Parasite should be memorable because it features one of the earliest appearances by a hot, young actress born in Roswell, New Mexico by the name of Demetria Gene Guynes and her husband at the time, rock musician Freddie Moore. By that time the lead actress was going by the shortened version of her first name and had taken her then-husband's last name, thus she was (and is) credited as Demi Moore!
I hear she went on to appear in a few other parts as well.
But this isn't her story. This is, at core, the story of Dr. Paul Dean (Robert Glaudini), a scientist in the far, dystopic future who busies himself experimenting on a dangerous new parasite and potential biological weapon. Naturally, it's not too long before Doc Dean not only lets the germs out into the already ailing world, but also accidentally infects himself in the process.
Soon Dean-o must stagger out into the nuclear wastelands to attempt to save what's left of the world. The bad news is that this is hardly the post-apocalyptic future we see in Mad Max. It looks a lot more like the lame-ass tomorrow we soon find in such films as Mattei's Rats - Night of Terror and Margi's The Final Executioner. The good news is, the first person the newly vigilant Vigilante, Dr. Dean, attempts to rescue is a firm and lovely naked woman played by Cheryl Smith (and credited, appropriately, as "Captive Girl"... sounds like an ineffectual comic book heroine). Not that Cheryl's nude-and-loving-it character is terribly grateful for the rescue. She does remain topless, however!
The Paulenator must then hole-up in a frontier town while he works on a cure. The problemmo is that he's being chased by a renegade gang of atomic punks led by Luca Bercovici's goofy Ricus. Ricus' equally ridiculous gang consists of Cherie Currie's Dana, Natalie May's Shell, Joanelle Romero's Bo, Tom Villard's Zeke and, of course, Freddy Moore's Arn. They basically spend their time acting like your usual teenage pranksters featured in every third film of the day harassing the ladies (even though some of them - Joanelle, Natalie, Cherie and possibly Freddie - actually are female) and annoying shopkeepers like bar-owner Collins (Al Fann) and hotel clerk Miss Daley (Vivian Blaine).
Little do they realize that the Ricus Ruckus is just a small threat in the overall scheme of things. For one thing, if Clan Ricus defines "Badass" for the era, they're about to meet a "Worseass" in the form of Wolf the Merchant (James Davidson)! Between his off-the-rack suits (with "memory"), torture devices, 80s hair and then "futuristic" Lamborghini Countach, he's almost as humorous as he is deadly. Were it not for his cool car, I'd have thought he was maybe the assistant principal at some wayward primary school or something. Well, hell... considering this was intended to be the year 1992, I guess his look would have worked well enough. I'd still have to question how he got that rockin' car, though. Regardless, the real threat is the title Parasite itself, which grows monstrously larger with each feeding. The real question, besides the obvious wonder about whether Demi will get naked (she doesn't), is can farm girl Patricia Welles (the clothed Demi Moore) and her new avenging partner Dr. Paul Dean fight the bad guys, save the day and kill the monster before Miller Time?
Quite a B-Move setup, isn't it? And, to be fair, considering the day and budget, the Parasite of Parasite is actually quite a B-Movie monster. Band and crew do pull off some interesting tricks here and there to overcome their small funding and offer some valid thrills. I can only imagine how much better they might have worked in 3D! This Creature Feature may have been much more of a joke without the talented supervision of Stan Winston who takes a somewhat silly rubber prop and makes it into a scary little beast.
By no means is Parasite a great movie or even anything transcendent in the genre. However, it is inventive and fun, mostly because it never takes itself too seriously. It's hard to tell just what writers Alan J. Adler, Frank Levering and Michael Shoob were shooting for with their script but under Band the ultimate result is a pretty scary B-Movie with a few (mostly unintentional) laughs and it's main gimmick (3D Presentation) replaced by the newer curiosity of those crazy Moore kids in their first (and only) screen appearance together.
Still, the best part is seeing the work of Stan Winston. It may not be incredible, but considering what he did with what he had, Parasite and its title critter come off as much better than they could have. Most practical effects in a film of this kind wouldn't work as well... even though the monster often seems to be working questionably. Movies like this today would have all the technological shortcuts computers can grant. Watching Parasite in hindsight provides an interesting insight into the trite, but bright, world of the creative B-Movie makers of the age.
And, yes, even though I had to rack my memory and re-view this film before I reviewed it, Parasite is most definitely better than Night of the Demon by a Post-Apocalyptic, Dystopian Mile! Two and One half Stars out of Five for Parasite, by damn sight. I've often said that a film critic is one of the last truly parasitic posts left in this world. You make the films, we skewer them while secretly wishing we were able to make our own. As Benjamin Disraeli said, "Critics are those who have failed in literature and art." Does Parasite suck? Maybe, but it won't "tick" you off or make you want to "flea"! Critics who "leech" off of hardworking artists, though? Trust me... they're all just "flukes".
Leech off of me by
Clicking HERE for more Reviews!
You'll find them in a warm, nourishing place
And you might want to stay a while!
Yes, I realize I made those bad "Parasite" jokes already. No, I don't feel the slightest bit bad about it!
What's New? Alphabetical Listing of Reviews! SearchThisSite: Advertise With Us! About... Lynx Links: F*A*Q