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|Index||15 reviews in total|
In some respects, I've always felt a little sorry for town mayors in
films like "The Deadly Swarm." Ever since Jaws, they've been depicted
as greedy Capitalist entrepreneurs that readily ignore the sensible
advice of the scientist/cop/journalist/sexy teens who know about the
rapidly approaching ferocious monster(s) for the sake of chasing those
delicious American dollars. Call it crazy, but I've always felt a
twinge of sympathy for them, they are just trying to do their jobs and
protects local economic interests at a time of tremendous cultural
importance. However, none have tugged at my heart strings quite like
the Mayor in this film.
Here is a man who we are supposed to despise, but when we first meet him, he is asking the hero (an insect specialist this time around) how the job of solving the mosquito problem is going. Rather than saying "yeah, I've killed them all with my fancy insect-specialist stuff," the response is more along the lines of: "well, I'm bringing thousands more mosquito's into the neighbouring countryside. Oh, and some bats too." The movie then expects us an audience to condemn the mayor when he makes the logical step of firing the man, enchanting though his eyes may be and telling him to get out of town. All because he's fat, wearing a designer shirt and smoking a cigar. Lousy successful people! How dare they occupy positions of office!
Fast forward about twenty five minutes and the Mayor now has the town's police chief sat before him. When asked whether the previously mentioned insect specialist has been thrown out of town, the sheriff doesn't say: "yes of course mayor, he's well on his way to the border." No, instead, the reply this time is more like: "no, actually I've been hanging out with him for the past few hours and done nothing but blow up the city morgue because it had a bit of a wasp problem." Just like before, we are expected to applaud this decision and cheer on the honest lawman for not giving in to the reasonable demands made of him. But surely shelling out for a can of Raid would do?
Fast forward even more and for the third time in the movie, we are expected to condone the mayor. The reason this time? Simple, a large group of men in military uniforms have turned up with a very polite man and lots of expensive looking equipment, claiming to be from an environmental protection agency. Yet again, the mayor tells the good natured old sheriff to deal with the rugged hero. He's a loose cannon! A wild card! For all we know, he could be siding with the bees! From the tone of the scene, it's quite obvious that we should be shaking our fists with rage at the mayor's foolish decisions but let's be fair now...the only reason he's willing to trust this new group is because they look like professionals, act like professionals, haven't blown up any of the town and haven't said "actually, we're here to carry out an evil plan." Needless to say then, this is not a great movie when it comes to even-handed depictions of public officials. Though to be honest now, films about swarms of killer bees which have remote Guatemalan tribesmen speaking fluent Castellan Spanish probably didn't spend much time on the script. "The Deadly Swarm" is a terrible movie, the only reason I'm giving it two stars is because at one bit, a UFO nut starts firing a shotgun wildly into the swarm while shouting "Nobody's probing my rectum!" Don't even rent this one folks.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The movie opens in Guatemala where a man in military garb threatens to kill a native boy unless the guide takes them to a specific, but "very dangerous" place. The native guide takes them to ancient ruins, but eventually runs away. The hired translator is killed easily by a booby trap. (He must have thought that ruins are safe for strangers. You think he would notice that if the rest of his party are in protective suits, that being in shorts and a t-shirt wouldn't help him any) Then two more extras, though they are in protective gear, fade to black screaming as wasps (or bees, I couldn't tell the difference) appear. Then the two remaining guys, the main bad guy and his right hand goon, who are unharmed, hand this huge crate to this trucker, warning him not to open it. Of course the truck crashes. Like we didn't see that coming. The first police officer on the scene inspects the truck and though a lot of the crates are broken, showing drugs and other contraband, he approaches this one unbroken crate and opens it, and dies. The resident scientist, (Shane Brolly) is on the crash site and finds what looks to be an empty hive in the opened crate, and the police officer apparently "stung to death". He tries to adivse the mayor, who naturally refuses to close a coincidental "festival" in hopes of making more money from tourists. Blah, blah, blah, lots of people are killed during the festival and the bad guys conviently arrive, promising to provide medical help. Basically, the military bad guy obtained a hive of really, nasty killer bees. Even though the truck crashes, there's a town of about 500 people that are excellent test subjects. Why? Because the military posing as medical scientists are looking for the one person out of 500 people that survives the wasp stings. And guess what, if the military finds someone that can survive the stings, and can make an antibiotic out of their blood, then the wasps turn in a biological weapon or a possible cure for diseases. Oooooooooooooooo.... So the leading lady just happens to be the one that survives. The scientist confronts the bad guy who has taken the queen, and is holding the lady hostage. The bad guy is in an protective suit, while the scientist and lady are in their street clothes, and all three are standing in front of the hive and no one gets stung. (Even though there was a guy with a smoke machine and when the smoke clears, the wasps are busy elsewhere until the bad guy dies) Obvious plot problems: 1. There are four guys in protective suits, and two guys are apparently killed and the other two remain alive only because they are the bad guys, and bad guys don't die until the end of the film. 2. If there's a hive within a crate, those wasps are going to be royally p***ed off, so the box would be totally humming. Yet the trucker, the customs officer, and the police officer don't seem to notice that there's a hive of really angry wasps shut in a wooden crate. 3. When the leading lady is found to be immune to the wasp stings, the bad guys tries to take the queen and run. The queen is carefully extracted from the hive and put in a metal box. I'm no entomologist, but I would think that if the queen was threatened in any way, the rest of the hive wouldn't be just flying around even with smoke around. They would be attacking anything that moved, protective suits or not. 4. As in all insect movies, the only way to kill them is to either kill them all in a huge explosion, which is nearly impossible; or suddenly introduce a natural disaster or predator to the killer insects. In this case, when the scientist and the leading lady are running for their lives (even though trying to outrun a swarm of insects is pointless), who comes to save them? Is it a giant explosion? No. Is it a giant flood? Not a chance. No, a gigantic swarm of bats (which the scientist just happened to be studying and attracting with tape recorded sounds of wasps) appears and proceeds to attack the swarm of wasps. And the scientist assures the leading lady, "Don't worry, bats eat hundreds of insects every night. Those wasps don't stand a chance." Yeeeeaaaahhhhhhhhh, right. Predictable and abismal dialogue, obvious plot, and bad computer effects surround this movie. I have a great time laughing, it's like watching a comedy. If you like laughing at bad horror movies like me, then you'll enjoy this movie. It's right up there with Marabunta, the Killer Ants, but where as the ants are "killed" by a flood; the wasps are killed by a conviently timed swarm of bats. Guess the perfect followup movie to this would be the movie with Lou Diamond Phillips about killer bats. hehehehehehe
In Guatemala, a team leaded by the lunatic scientist Dr. Schroeder (J.
Patrick McCormack) gets rare specie of killing wasps by force from some
Indians. They hire a drug dealer to bring the insects to Mexico, and
provoke an accident with his truck, releasing the wasps. The truck is
followed by a snoopy American journalist, Sandra (Kaarina Aufranc),
that is covering a matter about traffic of cocaine. In the location,
coincidently the American entomologist Daniel Lang (Shane Brolly) is
making a research with mosquitoes. When the wasps attack the locals,
Daniel sees how dangerous the species is and tries to help the
population with the support of Sandra.
"Deadly Swarm"is supposed to be a horror movie, but is so absurd and has so many flaws that become funny. I found this low-budget flick very entertainment, and laughed a lot. Therefore, if you shut-down your brain and stop thinking, you may find this movie a great joke and have a good time. My vote is five.
Title (Brazil): "Vespas Assassinas" ("Assassin Wasps")
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I don't even know where to begin as I sit down to review "Deadly
Swarm." Here is a movie about killer wasps with absolutely no sting. I
know it sounds like I'm trying to be witty, but it's the truth. Miramax
and Lionsgate definitely played it smart when dumping this
straight-to-DVD and Blu-ray.
Crazed scientist Jacob Schroeder (J. Patrick McCormack) stops at nothing to trap thousands of killer wasps in the jungle of Guatemala. He's convinced that the venom from their stingers can be used for medicinal purposes to fight serious illnesses. The truck they are smuggled in crashes during an attempting to transport them across the border into the U.S. The container the wasps are held in breaks open, unleashing them on the innocent citizens of a small town. American entomologist Daniel Lang (Shane Brolly) and a meddlesome writer Sandra Kern (Kaarina Aufranc) must find a way to stop them before they wipe out everything in their path.
"Deadly Swarm" does have an interesting story to tell and a simple question to answer. The plot is well thought out but loses its potency somewhere in the transition from script to screen. The question asked is one brought up by Mr. Spock first in "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan."
Do the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few or the one? Are the deaths of a couple thousand residents of a small town insignificant if it helps to create medicines that can cure millions? Pretty deep stuff for a film about killer wasps to tackle.
The special effects for "Deadly Swarm" are what we've come to expect from these types of nature-gone-awry flicks. The cloud of wasps is evidently CGI and filmmakers don't really try too hard to hide it. How much extra money could it possibly take to make a cluster of wasps look more realistic? The giant welts found on the bodies of their victims are convincing and rather nasty looking, though.
The biggest problem with "Deadly Swarm" is it isn't visually graphic enough. People who watch these types of horror movies want to "see" the wasps stinging and crawling all over the victims. They want more gore and graphic imagery. This seems intent on playing it safe to appeal to a wider audience. Many viewers attracted by the "Not Rated" tagline are going to be angry or disappointed as the credits roll.
Even though "Deadly Swarm" is "Not Rated," it really should be PG-13. There's some bad language sprinkled throughout and scenes of victims with welts all over their bodies. The film is devoid of any nudity or sexuality, unless you consider a girl in a half shirt obscene.
I'm not entirely sure how "Deadly Swarm" came to be released by Miramax and Lionsgate. It's tailor-made for the SyFy Channel and obviously barely missed the clutches of Roger Corman. The only reason I could see Corman passing this up is if the filmmakers just flat out refused to allow him to have bikini-clad women running around senselessly while trying to escape being stung by wasps. It's B-movie fodder without the self-aware charm found in the Asylum or Corman's releases.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
**** Spoilers **** I have to admit up front that I saw this on the
Sci-Fi channel, so I'm reviewing the edited version, though I don't
think an unedited version would be any better.
The plot is similar to every other movie with an insect/ reptile/ animal attacking a small town. A scientist and a nosy reporter try to warn townspeople about an impending killer wasp attack, but the corrupt/ greedy/ stubborn mayor won't listen because of the upcoming festival and the lost business. Sound familiar? You bet, and it's been done way better in loads of other movies.
The bad guy, your run-of-the-mill nasty scientist, is the only actor who doesn't embarrass himself, though his character and motives are sorely underdeveloped. Shane Brolly, the lead, and I'm being kind here, is wooden and gets upstaged by his hair. His final turn as action hero is simply laughable. The female reporter, I'm not even going to take a stab at her name, can't figure out the proper look on her face for the emotion she is trying to show, so she usually settles for a simpering little smile. Ugh. Pepe Serna chews scenery and delivers his lines badly as the town lawman.
Skip this turkey and and check out the 1967 movie The Deadly Bees.
Watchable, but totally absurd. This is yet another take on the killer
bugs idea; this time somebody, somewhere in Mexico, is somehow
engineering our buzzing friends, but something goes wrong and (hold on
to your seats, folks:)they attack people!
There are some good action scenes, if you can overlook all the mockeries of scientific law that occur. Swarms of bees, or wasps, or something....take direction very well and choreograph their dive-bomb attacks viciously. You have the usual idiot politician who insists there's nothing wrong, (this time the mayor of a tiny town); thus ensuring lots of violence and carnage.
The movie doesn't seem to be sure if it's a horror movie, or a comedy, though. Mostly, the plot darts around, and doesn't make much sense. The irony of the potential victims being at a Dia de los Muertos ("Day of the Dead") observance suggests it wanted to be taken seriously. But then, during the generic panic scene; well, there's this policia guy who tries to exterminate the swarm with....ahhh, I'm laughing too hard to type it--just see the movie.
There's lots more that's outrageous to the point of being comical in this film. It's like watching John Belushi in the old Killer Bees skits on SNL. Of course, the movie is topped off with another one of those "Oh, come on!!!!" endings that are so notoriously common in these "nature gone berserk" movies.
All the flaws notwithstanding, however, this one actually has its moments, and is fun to watch. If nothing else, it's good for a few laughs.
DEADLY SWARM? DEADLY JUNK, more like, because this is the nadir of the
B-movie genre; a piece of junk, filled with lame effects and worse
acting, and not much else. The attacks by a swarm of killer bees are
animated via cheesy CGI effects, as you'd expect, but even they are few
and far between and the rest of the running time is taken up by boring
dialogue scenes and cheesy emoting.
Most noticeably, DEADLY SWARM lacks the 'hook' of a name actor to hold the whole production together. These B-movies usually wheel out some old face or another, but not so here; the viewer is left rudderless as a result, drifting aimlessly in an ocean of inanity. Although a US production, this was shot in Mexico, giving it a slightly exotic look, but the production values are so poor that it's difficult to sit through from beginning to end.
Another case of black CGI killer dots swarming around and killing people. As far as CGI effects go in these new millennium killer bee/wasp/housefly flicks, there's only one that got it right and that's "Swarmed" (the one with Tim Thomerson). "Deadly Swarm" is a bit on par with "Flying Virus" (the one with Rutger Hauer), only it doesn't go over the top as much. "Deadly Swarm" features a funny line when the local sheriff says "They look like @#$&%# flying piranhas!". The scene were they blew up the morgue (especially how they do it) got me laughing. And the ending is waaaay too convenient. But still, if you switch off your brain, you just might have some fun with it. But probably not enough.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
"Deadly Swarm" is a really unremarkable killer bug movie.
After a series of bug reports, Daniel Lang, (Shane Brolly) is asked by Mexican officials to leave the country, only for Sandra Kearn, (Kaarina Anfranc) and her assistant Charlie Moreno, (Freddy Soto) to stumble upon a strange accident where the victims appeared to be stung to death. After finding a strange nest at the site, he takes it back for study and suspects that it's wasps. Thinking she has a story due to several more strange accidents around the local town, and when they find that the problem is the wasps, they turn over the information to Commandante Alvarez, (Pepe Serna) who tries to block the town's activities. When they decide to keep the festival as planned, a massacre of the town from the wasps soon occurs, forcing them to notify that the wasps are actually genetically enhanced wasps as a cover to develop antibodies from the stings. With that last bit of information, they raid the countryside in an attempt to locate who left them in the way of the threat before more are attacked.
The Good News: There really wasn't a whole lot about this one. The big thing in this one is that the wasps do get in a fairly large number of attacks. The opening scene in the jungle, where we see them swarm the group through the visor of the lead victim, is a really impressive visual and a creative way to introduce the threat. A later attack on a minivan is a big suspense scene and brings the film's few true spectacle scenes. The big one, though, is the main assault during the festival. This is simply fun to see as there's so many going on that it's nearly impossible to see everything and the few glimpses given amount to a lot of disaster. The panic, the chaos and sheer pandemonium unleashed is a fine sight to see, and that's also a pretty lengthy one is a good sign. The real action scene is the morgue assault, where the sight of the mortician succumbing to the creatures engulfing the room and the escape to the quick solution to stop them resulting in some nice action scenes. It's also surprisingly watchable, never really generating a lot of boredom or the need to turn it off, as the attacks are fairly spaced out and this keeps the interest up. The only other part that really works is the twist, which is set-up to merely be some form, but the actual one taken is a pretty clever one. It's obvious that there's going to be some kind, but the one used is a rarely used one and is to be commended. Otherwise, this was just fine.
The Bad News: This here wasn't that great and did have some problems. The big one is that they're definitely running out of ways to kill the wasps, which the way they are finally overcome is one of the most cop-out endings ever seen. Bit of credit due for not having them blow the nest up but ending with all the wasps getting eaten by a bunch of bats. This is just insanely stupid and doesn't even come as off as that well done. It just happens, and doesn't even say why this has happened or why they knew where they were. It just doesn't make sense in any way shape or form. Another big flaw is that the creatures are CGI and obviously so. There's never really any instance where the film offers them as anything other than a series of badly-done CGI models. They offer up no threat and there's nothing to prove otherwise since there's no indication that they are real. The other real problem is that this is just a by-the-numbers affair that offers up no surprises. There's nothing here that differentiates it from just about any other creature feature out there other than a change of creature. This here will lower it much more than others, and affects it the most. It's decent but has it's own problems.
The Final Verdict: While not as bad as it could've been, this is still only a decent entry in the genre that doesn't really have anything else beyond decent films. Give it a shot if it sounds like fun, but those who don't really like these kinds of films won't find anything here to really sway them to it either.
Rated R: Violence and Language
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Deadly Swarm is a perfect example of the "Cheese SciFi" genre that I
have become so attached to. It definitely requires a large suspension
of disbelief, but is quite good once you get into it.
Basically, for a non-disclosed reason, surviving being stung by the wasps means that, somehow you hold a cure for cancer. Now, it's not specified whether this cure is a genetic thing, or a cure that could be distributed, and there are signs in the movie that point both ways.
It has a similar aspect of entertainment to Die Hard, in that it has random explosions and very little in the way of plot to get in the way of the nonstop action. It is generic "hero warns of scourge, is ignored, scourge attacks earth/village/town/city, the guy who ignored the hero gets his just deserts, ridiculous Deus Ex Machina resolution, ride off into the sunset" at it's best. Highly recommend for fans of b-movie SciFi.
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