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I've just bought the DVD for "Parasite". The widescreen DVD is totally superior to the old vhs rental copies, and the fun of this awesome 80s prediction film only gets better with age. The debut of Demi Moore isn't even nearly as interesting as the campy story of a scientist meeting a bunch of strange early eighties punk bikers (who have to be the stupidest gang I've ever seen)and unleash a big wormy looking monster with teeth. The story is fun and scary at the same time. The world was going to come to and end in '92, well that was '83 thinking anyway. There's no end to the fury of bad films you love being promoted to DVD. This one of them.
oh yes! This great piece of cinema history was original shot in 3D. Cinema photographer Mac Ahlberg did a absolutely wonderful job on it. This was the first picture he and Charles Band worked on together. The hole mood and felling of the film is very dark and sinister. Then I watched this movie for the first time about 10 years ago, It really gave me goosebumps. I own the Laserdisc edition of the film and as the viewer you get the sort of fell that you are watching it in 3D. you don't need the glasses to see it, so I would say that it is properly not in true 3D. I know it is out on two DVD editions, one In true glorious 3D, if you like these 1980 Horror films? you would what to get a bag of popcorn and check this great film out. Injoy.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Every hardcore film buff worth his weight in celluloid has a certain
special favorite film which struck a peculiarly responsive chord in him
when it was first seen at a young, tender, impressionable age. The
fan's deep-seated affection for this picture defies a logical, rational
explanation, but holds strong throughout the years nonetheless.
"Parasite," an admittedly cheesy handy dandy low budget sci-fi/horror
rip-off of "ALIEN," "They Came from Within," and "Mad Max" which tells
the bleak futuristic story of a man with a dangerous scientifically
created killer slug growing in his belly, is that type of movie for me.
Sure, there are numerous concrete bits and pieces of "Parasite" which can be singled out as key attractive attributes. Neither Charles Band's inert direction nor the murky, uninspired script amount to anything other than merely blah, although both do considerably add to the film's overall bizarrely beguiling mediocre quality. Scrawny, swarthy, long-faced and bug-eyed longtime unsung favorite Robert Glaudini portrays the sweaty, frazzle-nerved protagonist with his customary enthralling humorless solemnity. The adorable Cheryl "Rainbeaux" Smith, looking like a scraggly, haggard, totally strung-out heroin junkie (all dingy frizzy hair, indecipherable feral grumbling and sneering facial expressions), does a welcome, albeit fleeting topless cameo as a deranged "sickie." Al Fann contributes a wonderfully warm and engaging performance as a nice guy diner proprietor. Luca Bercovici as a brutish punk gang leader makes for a perfectly hateful villain. Cherie Currie, the former lead singer of the seminal all-girl punk-rock group the Runaways, isn't given much to do, but still catches the eye with her sweetly pretty tall drink of dirty blonde water looks all the same. Mac Ahlberg's grainy, washed-out cinematography somehow manages to be oddly apropos. Richard Band's redundantly rattling score likewise weirdly works.
The lead pipe firmly embedded in a guy's abdomen profusely leaking blood gag is a genuine pip. The scene where the parasite attacks and kills Vivian Blaine by dropping from the ceiling is a corker; the moment when foul thing reduces Blaine to a dessicated, prune-faced husk before gorily bursting out of her shriveled head really hits the splattery spot. The sporadic use of strained, drawn-out and overamplified slow motion provides a few solid belly laughs. The lethargic pace slogs along at a hypnotically gradual clip. Watching the eternally obnoxious Demi Moore in her first starring role have her lip split open will forever remain a sadistically satisfying sight to behold. Stan Winston's black, slimy, and truly revolting monster design is deliciously disgusting. While all these cited specifics are credible reasons for liking -- no, scratch that, seriously loving -- "Parasite," the film ultimately gets to me and bowls me over in a way that I simply can't describe, but inevitably feel quite profoundly whenever I rewatch it. I guess you can say that for me "Parasite" has that inexplicable, yet undeniable and unmistakable mondo schlock flick zing.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I typically dig the "post-apocalyptic" 80's films where apparently the
future will be over-run with mullet-sportin',
bad-music-listenin'-jerk-offs...but this one was pretty damn dull.
A scientist is infected with some sort of parasite. The parasite escapes (of course) and causes some havoc. A young Demi Moore is in it. End Of Story...
This wasn't the worst film I've ever seen, but it really has nothing going for it either. Apparently it was shot in 3-D but I didn't see it that way, so who cares. Semi-amusing for the bad acting and "futuristic" ray-gun elements (including an old Lamborghini Countach that sounds like a jet plane...), and for an early debut by Moore, but nothing I would bother watching again. Supremely mediocre - 5/10
Most people are only interested in this for the then unknown Demi
Moore's appearance. Seeing her in her tight shorts made this worth a
The lack of cast was obvious. It's as if the producers were cutting costs in the middle of scenes. Keep changing the camera direction and maybe no one will notice the two cheap sets they kept using.
Robert Glaudini did an OK job with his role. Sometimes it seemed as if he was sleepwalking though. Some rumors flew around at one point that it was really David Carradine slumming, but nope.
Demi's acting hasn't changed much. She was a wide-eyed emotional type back then too. But she looked good because she looked NORMAL. Not so much enhancement if you get my drift.
But what was her character doing there anyway?
Lots of fire and threatening gestures. But the creature itself looked pretty good. And it mostly took place during a sunny day, which was kind of different.
But I agree with Chas. Balun. "Worth a look only if you see it in 3-D, FORGET the videocassette."
No, this is not a very good movie at all. However, I saw it when it was
first released in 1982 in 3D, and not once since then, and I still remember
some creepy scenes. The big gross-out in the movie -- when the dripping
parasite falls down on you from the ceiling in 3D!! -- had me squirming in
my seat in 1982.
I saw a number of films during the short-lived 3D revival of the early '80's, and, believe me, there were very few kick-ass uses of the 3D effect anywhere, but Parasite had one of the better ones. (Most of the other good 3D moments are in House of Wax with Vincent Price. Even Hitchcock couldn't figure out what to do with the gimmick.)
By the way, in 1982 no one had ever heard of Demi Moore. Did we predict big things for her after seeing her in this? Yeah, right.
Calling PARASITE a good movie is as arguable as whether or not Paris
Hilton has had a breast enlargement. It's no secret that I've always
had a soft spot for Charles Band's pre-Full Moon stuff. And even though
I've liked PARASITE ever since I saw it in my mid-teens, I think I'm
not being biased if I say that watching this movie is a worthwhile
effort and it's worthy of an honourable mention as an entry in B-movie
horror history set in a post-apocalyptic future. Well, "future", is
somewhat of a debatable topic here, since the movie is set in the year
1992 (while having been produced in 1982).
PARASITE is noticeable for quite some aspects. One of them being that it was originally shot and released in theaters as a 3-D feature. While 3-Dimensional Photography was a popular phenomena in cinematic history during the 50's (CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON, anyone?), its popularity soon fizzled out by the decade's end. Fast forward to the early 80's and we encounter director/producer Charles Band as one of the people (in collaboration with 3-D specialist Randall Larsen) who revived 3-D for a short-lived period and brought it back to theaters. PARASITE was his contribution to the sudden but short wave of 3-D features to emerge around that time (FRIDAY THE 13th PART 3, AMITYVILLE 3-D and JAWS 3-D being the most famous ones). One year later Charles would make another 3-D feature, the sci-fi/adventure flick METALSTORM: THE DESTRUCTION OF JARED-SYN (another worthwhile watch, if you ask me). The use of the 3-D gimmick is integrated nicely with the rest of the movie (e.g. during a fist-fight you can see a snake lashing out at the camera; the titular parasite creature falling from the ceiling towards the camera positioned on the ground). The two most memorable scenes involving 3-D cinematography involve one killing (a guy gets impaled by an iron pipe; when the camera slowly closes in on the hollow pipe, blood starts dripping out of it) and the parasite-creature bursting out of the head of actress Viviane Blaine (well, not her real head, of course).
The story itself is rather simplistic and sometimes moves at a slow pace, but there are a lot of enjoyable scenes to make up for that. A scientist, played by tormented-looking Robert Glaudini, flees from an oppressive paramilitary government, for which he created the flesh-eating parasite. He takes with him two specimens. One he keeps in a canister; the other creature is growing inside his stomach. We don't get to see much of the futuristic paramilitary government, though. The only information we learn about it, is coming from the various characters our scientist meets when he's stranded in an isolated desert town (amongst them being a group of post-apocalyptic punks and a scarred-by-radiation black bartender). But... there is one black-suited (and laser-armed) villainous Government Agent (called "Wolf The Merchant" and sadistically played by James Davidson) on the hunt for him (it all leads to an enjoyable but short showdown near the end, of course). Children of the 80's will sure love the Lamborghini Countach Car he drives (complete with vertically opening doors). The acting even is fair enough for this type of movie, and another reason to watch this flick is that it stars no-one less than Demi Moore in her second motion picture role ever (although, indeed, one can clearly tell that Miss Moore was only just getting started with her acting career). She plays an all-American post-apocalyptic cutie (that even makes and sells lemonade), eventually teaming op with Robert Glaudini. A small role is also granted to Cherie Currie (Former lead singer of the Runaways).
Another aspect of PARASITE worthwhile mentioning is the work of cinematographer Mac Ahlberg. For one thing, while around the same time (early 80's) his Italian colleagues were still obsessed with getting a spontaneous erection by touching the zoom-button on their camera's, Ahlberg prefers to use slow tracking shots every now and then while equipping his camera with wide-angled lenses. His images bring a dusty and desolate feeling to PARASITE. And then there's the contribution of Stan Winston, who designed the creature and did the make-up effects. While far from being his best work (hey, the man was just getting started too), most of the effects are quite grotesque, slimy and deliciously cheesy. I wouldn't want it any other way in a movie from the early 80's.
I can understand that, to some, PARASITE might be considered a post-apocalyptic snooze-fest (with bad acting, bad special effects and whatever else they might find to nag about). But my love for it and the joy I got out of (re-)watching this slightly offbeat and rather obscure 80's gem, encourages me to be generous in my final rating. I can say one other thing too even: Once you've seen one of Charles Band's older movies and liked it, there's a big chance you'll like all his other stuff up until the early 90's too (whether he produced or directed it doesn't even matter). Reportedly, there were plans to produce an inevitable sequel back in the early 80's, simply titled PARASITE II. I think it's safe to say that, sadly, we can abandon all hope of that ever happening, in this year of writing, 2007.
Good times, you'll think. One of my friends lent the DVD to me and
expressed they didn't understand the hate towards the film. I've had my
chances to grab it, but the not-so-flattering comments left me to pass
it up, but after hearing it wasn't that bad (and I seem to share the
same thoughts about particular horror films with this friend). I dived
right in to it. As it stands it wasn't great, but nonetheless it was
entertainingly simple b-grade fun in a post-apocalyptic backdrop.
Charles Brand in only his third feature paves the way for outrageously ham-fisted splatter effects and make-up artist Stan Winston formulates a nasty, icky looking slug-like parasite with a mean looking grin. The criticism against his design is unfair sure it isn't first-rate but with budget associated (as this is truly low-rent feature produced by Embassy Pictures) it's an acceptable effort. Trying to be different around that time was adding a new gimmick that it would be in 3D for movie-going audiences. Sadly the DVD doesn't come with the 3D version. Anyhow it didn't destroy the mood in any way. What can really hurt it though, was that the script is slipshod and it never truly gets in any sort of groove and comes up being a little too sparse and repetitive in its actions. The atmosphere remains non-existent and tension doesn't come by easily, but Brand (unintentional or not) engraves a grimy edge to it all (with Mac Ahlberg's well-executed panning of the camera) and throws about some graphic diversions. It's hard to forget Broadway siren Vivian Blaine's encounter with a parasite and some slow-motion passages are rather funny. Richard Band's shivering score feels like it's on a loop, but seems to suit it.
There are earnest performances from the likes of Robert Glaudini, Luca Bercovici, Al Fann, James Davidson, Cherrie Currie and a quick show-in by Cheryl Smith. Demi Moore in her first on-screen role doesn't make much of a dent, but it's far from awful.
In the end it's immensely forgettable, but lately watching these modern (and sometimes leaden) Sci-fi original TV features is making me appreciate this schlock far more.
I don't know how I missed this one when it came out, because I watched
a LOT of VHS in the 80s. It's great. Characters fail to pull the
trigger and consequently get disarmed on about half a dozen occasions
when I would have just shot the muppet (there don't seem to be any
police around) but otherwise this is a well-made action/horror/sci-fi
thriller set in the outer dusty fringes of a future corporate dystopia
with ray guns.
The world-building is simple enough but the elements fit together convincingly to frame a story in which an infected fugitive from a world-threatening corporate conspiracy stumbles into sleazy desert-dweller shenanigans.
No-one in it was ever heard from again apart from a feisty 20 year old Demi Moore in her third ever film.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
A scientist flees his lab with an ugly looking parasite just eager to
rip out of his stomach in the futuristic world of 1992! When a gang of
punks beat him up & steal a cannister containing another parasite, the
thing gets loose & immediately attach's itself onto the various gang
members before ripping out of them & growing bigger with each kill! &
unless a cure is found, the creatures will over run the earth. Hot on
his trail is a government agent in a hot car that will do anything
including killing to get both the parasites & scientist back. PARASITE
is well remembered for a lot of things, DEMI MOORE'S film debut, the
"first futuristic monster movie in 3-D & of course STAN WINSTON'S gooey
monster effects, however despite the fact that it's well acted &
directed than most & has good monster effects, PARASITE sadly had lot's
of potential but was either afraid to execute them or uncertain on how
to carry them out, most of the problem deals with the fact that the
film is way to chatty, with very few scenes involving the parasites,
the film is also to short & could have been made longer to tell it's
story better & the supposed futuristic look of the city is really just
a desert with only a neat looking zap gun as the only futuristic
product shown & the dialog is a little clunky, as is some of it's
idea's of what the future world is like, Coffee is almost extinct &
really expensive if you can find some (Pretty lame, the same thing
happened in another futuristic landscape in Charles Band's other film,
TRANCERS) All in all some decent effects but little else worth
recommending unless you're a die hard genre fan. LUCA BERCOVICI, the
lead gang member later directed the very first GHOULIES movie for
Charles Band three years later, in fact the score for that film is the
same one used in this film. After it's brief revival, Director Charles
Band abandon several planned 3-D projects following the poor box office
returns of his other 3-D project METAL STORM: THE DESTRUCTION OF JARED
SYN, one of which was PARASITE 2.
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