Parasite 2002 Horror Movie Review
Horror movies Review
Parasite (Charles Band, 1982)
I only know about this pile of dung because Exodus wrote a song about it a couple of years after its release, and because of that I’ve always kind of half-wanted to see it; I didn’t know until I fired it up that it was the breeding ground of one of the eighties’ hottest stars, Demi Moore. But neither my abiding love for Exodus (and especially the Pleasures of the Flesh album, from which “Parasite” hails) nor my respect for the eighties acting of Demi Moore could stop me from wanting to pick up the monitor and heave it out the window in order to stop myself from having to watch this monstrosity. And if I could afford a new monitor, I probably would have.
Parasite takes place in a post-war future where food and water are at a premium, but life is cheap. A rogue scientist, Paul Dean (The Princess Diaries’ Paul Glaudini), has fled the lab where he worked to a small desert town. Most of the inhabitants are less than welcoming, but the owner of the last surviving bar in town (TV character actor Al Fann, who last appeared on the big screen in Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot!) and a local lemon farmer (Moore) don’t seem to have any problem with him. Those who do include a local gang, who’d be a biker gang if anyone had gas left, and the Merchants, the evil corporate overlords who run things in this country, and who have sent an agent (Gray Lady Down’s James Davidson) to try and recapture the scientist. Because, you see, the scientist is not alone. (I’m pretty sure, given the title of the movie, it’s not a great spoiler to tell you what’s tagging along.)
Everything about this movie is so bad that really, watching a washed-out VHS transfer is the only way it makes sense to attempt to see this film these days. After all, a digitally remastered crisp DVD with a new sound transfer and all that will just point out the film’s glaring problems, such as the fact that no one involved with this movie (save, arguably, Miz Moore) can act his or her way out of a paper bag. It’s impossible to tell from the copy I watched, but I’m guessing the sound and lighting were as subpar as the acting. (Quality will tell even through an awful transfer; various horrendous DVD transfers of Bela Tarr movies will attest to that.) What isn’t subject to debate is the quality of the special effects, which easily eclipse the horrendousness of everything else in the movie. Sometimes a below-average flick can get away with a great deal if the special effects are great (see, for example, Alien vs. Predator); on the other end of the stick, though, a movie has to be really, really good to get away with badly-made special effects, and oftentimes even that doesn’t save it. Parasite is by no means a good, or even a decent, movie, and so the bad effects become the focal point of the movie, something to laugh at so you can try and ignore the fact that you’ve just wasted an hour and a half of your life on this crap. (half)