In my review of Shockwave
I mentioned that everybody is always hating on Sci Fi Channel Original Movies, regardless of the actual quality of the film, because that's the IN thing right now. I know most of the flicks the Sci Fi Channel produces seriously suck, but some are OK, and every once in a while, on a magical occasion, they make one that actually rocks pretty hard. Sure, that's quite rare, and after Fire Serpent
and Lake Placid 2
, two films with decent potential, turned out to be major crapfests, its not likely we'll see a good flick from the Sci Fi Channel for while. But again, some are pretty cool. Mansquito
is one such film.
The film opens to Jennifer, a scientist, working on a cure to a disease that's devastating the country. The illness is spread by, you guessed it, mosquitoes. Cut to death row convict Ray being transported to the research facility Jen is toiling long and hard at. This guy is a mass murderer, and is soon to be a human guinea pig at the said facility. It seems a cure may be at hand in the form of a blue serum, but it needs to be tested first. But Ray breaks free and begins shooting everything up, eventually leading to him being covered in the serum.
While he limps off, in tattered clothes, covered in burns, Tom, a detective dating Jen, is on the scene at the devastated laboratory. Soon, dead bodies drained of blood begin popping up all over the city, and Tom, with his partner Charlie are on the case. If you've read the title of the film, then it should be obvious that Ray has mutated into a half-man/half-mosquito monstrosity, and is currently on a killing spree. Jen was exposed to the same liquid that created the Mosquito Man too, but only a fraction as much as Ray was, so even though her mutation will be much slower, she's still turning into Womansquito.
Maybe the main reason why I enjoyed the hell out of this film is because I was watching it on a home theatre system with surround sound. Maybe I only enjoyed because my expectations were so low. But whatever the reason may be, I had a great time with Mansquito
. I really have to compliment the makeup crew. When Ray is shambing down the darkened streets before having completely transformed, covered in gross boils and peeling skin, it really is something deserving of praise. Same for the insectoid makeup for Jen during the climax.
The Mansquito costume looks absolutely disgusting, and even kind of scary the first few times it appears. Sure, it kind of looks like a Power Rangers
villain, but there have been dumber-looking things in TV monster movies. Another downside is that the guy in the suit is clearly having trouble moving. But still, this a rather gross-looking beast. Its the human-like features here and there that make it truly creepy. A few remaining strands of hair, the one hand that still looks vaguely human, the human teeth in the mandibles surrounding the mosquito proboscis, that sort of thing. When flying its just mediocre CGI, but for the most part this is a good movie monster.
The soundtrack is the standard Sci Fi Channel techno score. The male lead does a fairly good job, but that's about as good as the acting gets. The director, Tibor Takacs, does an outstanding job creating a suspenseful atmosphere. He keeps the movie going at a brisk pace, never allowing a scene to go on too long. The film is decently written, too. Mansquito gets plenty of screentime, gets to do some cool stuff, and racks up a high body count. How high was it again? 34? 35? This thing can't go ten minutes without killing 3 or 4 people!
I should also mention the scene where Ray completes his transformation into Mansquito. Its easily the freakiest thing ever put into a Sci Fi Channel Original Movie. I was happy to see that the creature also actually sucked the blood of his victims rather than just dismembering them. This has happened to the Chupacabra more than once. The third act where the creature goes all Terminator
on a hospital to get at Jen was seriously awesome.Mansquito
is a hugely entertaining movie that has the extra bonus of also being rather well made. Don't be put off by what IMDb has to say about it and check it out.
out of five