Swarmed (TV Movie 2005) Poster

(2005 TV Movie)

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3/10
So-so made for telly 'Creature Feature'.
Paul Andrews15 October 2009
Warning: Spoilers
Swarmed is set in the small Southern Indiana town of Dundas where an annual best burger cook off competition is fast approaching, mega rich businessman Phineas Washburn (Tim Thomerson) is sponsoring the event & local mayor Darel Gibson (Christopher Bondy) can just see the dollar signs in his eyes so doesn't want anything to spoil the cook off. However at genetics laboratory MGA scientist Kenth Horvath (Michael Shanks) is developing a new pesticide, the one Kent has developed has the unwanted side effect of increasing the toxicity of Wasp's he's testing it on. Idiot night janitor (John Baktis) accidentally lets a couple of the genetically altered Wasp's go & they sting him to death & one escapes the laboratory. Then idiot Wasp exterminator Q (Richard Chevolleau) uses the new pesticide to try & destroy a Wasp nest which also turns them into genetically altered killers that can kill with one sting, with the cook off happening & hundreds of people attending Kent & entomologist Cristina Brown (Carol Alt) must find a way to stop the swarm...

This Canadian production was directed by Paul Ziller & is your typical standard 'Creature Feature' fare the likes of which the Sc-Fi Channel churn out with monotonous regularity, while not the worst example of it's numerous kind Swarmed isn't really anything to get excited about & seasoned 'Creature Feature' watchers will be throughly bored by it. All the usual clichés are here, a genetically altered creature of some sort, a misguided scientist, the hero expert, the city official, the greedy town Mayor who doesn't want a scandal so doesn't warn anyone, some annoying comedy relief black character & some news reporter. It's all here like the laboratory accident that sets the menace loose, the town gathering where lots of potential victims are located as said menace lurks nearby & in the end all the bad people get killed & all the good people live even though it was a combination of these so called good people that got the ball rolling in the first place as it were. There's also a metaphor for the state of the world as it is, the thick black guy is told in no uncertain terms not to use the pesticide in the red bottles yet he still does anyway, that in a nutshell is why the world is so messed up folks. At 90 odd minutes not enough happens, it takes ages for Swarmed to get going & then it never really comes to life with small scale attacks & people just generally running around doing nothing in particular.

The film looks alright, it has decent production values & seems fairly competent although my eyes had glazed over & my brain had all but shut-down by the half hour mark. Swarmed doesn't even feature that much gore, there are a few dead bodies with Wasp stings & a shot of a Wasp stinging someone's eyeball who is seen later with his eye missing. There are some odd moments too as a mad secretary uses a double barrelled shotgun to kill one Wasp (after she has hunted it) in a ridiculous scene. The CGI computer effects are poor, it's quite amazing that in 2005 the makers of Swarmed couldn't convincingly reproduce a swarm of Wasp's which is just basically lots of little black dots flying in the air.

This was made for telly & it shows with no blood, gore, profanity or nudity. Although set in the US this was filmed in Ontario in Canada. The cast look bored & the acting isn't great especially from the really annoying Q who has nothing to do with the James Bond films.

Swarmed is yet another 'Creature Feature' with all the usual clichés & bad CGI computer effects, definitely one to avoid.
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7/10
Buzz is Good
Pietruck22 May 2006
If you enjoy your typical genetically altered insect turned into environmental catastrophe movie, then you will like Swarmed. Begins with run of the mill experimentations that are inadvertently foiled by the ever clumsy custodial engineer. For his part, the janitor pays dearly and hence begins the death toll for an innocent unsuspecting town. The absurdity of the story multiplies as quickly as the town folks death count yet somehow only serves to further augment the entertainment value.

The movie's story revolves around an impending barbecued hamburger contest which co-incidentally and conveniently is exactly what the wasps are attracted to....yum....love that sauce!! This meat fest occurs in a tasty slice of small town America wrought with corruption, stupidity, and greed - bad combination for city and event planning, great combination for carnage. No worries for the citizens though, the local professor of entomology (doesn't every small town have one?), that also happens to be thank goodness a hotty, will piece it all together with help from the lab scientist that engineered the original overly aggressive easily antagonized wasps.

This is a definite must see if you ever wanted to see an administrative assistant hunt city hall for a wasp with a double barreled shotgun. Quite impressive!! Equally impressive was the actual cook off where pandemonium strikes as the meat hungry wasps arrive. Kudos to Tim Matherson for masterful cameo - good to see he hasn't totally lost his B stature which he strongly enforces in the scene where he knocks over the mother and her baby stroller while trying to escape - well done Tim.

Overall, it is much better than you might expect.
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5/10
clearly light humor science fiction
drystyx17 August 2008
On the surface, this movie is about mutated wasps that make a huge swarm to kill people.

In effect,it is light comedy, and obviously done on purpose. This is one of those movies that has a lot of little things, and probably a lot in the background that I didn't bother noticing, but that the geeks surely will.

The formula story of the officials who refuse to believe in an emergency situation, straight from "Jaws", the ambitious reporter, the camera man who will do anything to get a camera shot, the few people who know what is going on that no one will listen to (which is actually true to life, which is what makes these movies work.) All of these are in this movie.

There are then the light hearted comic bits. The head honcho macho guy who has a spotter for his 65 pound bench press will crack up any gym goer. The attacks as seen from the bug's point of view is purposely comical. The girl using a rifle to shoot at a wasp. These and other little things make this formula movie almost bearable. It is possibly made for those who will try to spot little things. A great movie for the dorks, but with enough obvious comedy to appease the masses somewhat. Not a great flick, but not a bad one.
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4/10
For fans of mutated creature flicks only
jcbond-27 December 2005
Okay, so this is not a great movie, but I have to admit I was engaged through the whole 90 minutes. It was also one of those rare creatures in that it was made for TV and never made it to TV, it went straight to the Movie Channel. You have to be tipped off by the size of the budget when the 'big' confrontation scene should have thousands of extras milling around but you can actually count them- less than 30 by my count. I'm a fan of any mutated creature film: fish, insects, rodents, whatever, so I HAD to watch this one. The special effects were pretty good for the most part but not great. The acting is also not great but less wooden that in all those '50's movies I love like Them and Kronos. There are holes in the plot you could drive a wasp through but without them there wouldn't be a movie. And by 'them' I mean both plot-holes and wasps. I think if you are a fan of mutated creature movies it won't supplant your favorites but because there aren't that many made you have to see it. If you aren't a fan, give it a pass because it doesn't have any interesting sub-plots (it doesn't actually have any sub-plots) to keep you interested.
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7/10
Great low-budget creature-feature with wasp protagonists!
Mike Foxx4 February 2006
If you like 'natures revenge' or 'creature-feature' movies, then you should really love this, especially if like me, you suffer from Spheksophobia, a fear of wasps - the movie had me squirming in places. The CGI effects are pretty good with one or two touches of gore for good measure (the fate of the mayor is worth the admission fee alone!) The plot involves a new insecticide which is being tested on German yellow-jacket wasps - evil looking things - but it only kills a percentage of them, leaving the survivors stronger and deadlier than ever. Of course, it doesn't take them long to find freedom and they soon head towards a busy town. For the collectors out there, I managed to get a copy on DVD but please note it went under the (rather misleading) title 'Killer Bee'.
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2/10
A Movie No Humans Will Swarm To See
jrgreenmd-129 January 2006
This made for TV film is another in a long line of science fiction human versus nature films, and unfortunately it is not one of the best of the genre. The directing, cinematography, pacing, script, and acting are poor. It may fulfill cable TV's need to fill a time slot with inexpensive fare, but does not compare well with the vast selection of viewing available to the modern cable viewer.

Who will like this film? If you relish watching bad guys get their due, you'll get plenty of satisfaction. If you like films that are so bad that they are funny, you'll get plenty to mock and laugh at. If you love the B films of the 1950's, you might find this a entertaining way to waste ninety minutes. If you like the campy and quirky, check out Richard Chevolleau's portrayal of Q, the exterminator.

Chevolleau does a great job in the role and is a pleasant distraction in an otherwise dull and plodding flick. I did not recognize him as the same actor who played Marcus 'Augur' Deveraux in "Earth: Final Conflict" or Charlie in "Flowers for Algernon" (2000). His performance made me want to re-watch both.

Who will dislike this film? Any die hard science fiction fans will be disappointed by the lack of thought in the plot and the unoriginal scenario. Special effects junkies will be in heavy withdrawals by the cheap effects. The scientifically inclined will be at a loss with the weak to absent science and logic in this flick. Connoisseurs of fine film will be horrified than the horror occurred behind and in front of the lens.

In all, there is not much to recommend in "Swarmed." As I was voting at IMDb, I was conflicted in giving it as low a score as I did. If it was that bad, why did I watch the whole thing? Was it such a train wreck that I could not pry my eyes away? Was there a belief that it had to get better? In the end, it was one actor's performance and a desire to be intellectually honest in this review.

Should you watch? Well if you are actually thinking about it, probably not. This is more a movie for a mindless moment.
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6/10
Who do you call? Bug Busters!
krorie29 January 2006
Did you know that you can kill a deadly mutated yellow jacket wasp with a shotgun? You'll find out if you watch this SciFi channel flick. The script is intentionally campy and funny with lines such as, "Why don't you go out and play with the cows or something?" The acting runs the gamut from Joe Namath level to a screamingly funny performance by the awesome bug buster Richard Chevolleau with a trusty Robin-like assistant he is sort of keeping out of trouble. Tasty Sauce King Phineas Washburn (Tim Thomerson) is almost as hilarious. Don't miss Miss Washburn Tasty Sauce 2005.

Don't expect anything on the level of "Them" or "Arachnophobia" and you won't be disappointed. The special effects are really cheesy and the ending is as predictable as the sun going over the mountain. Otherwise, it's fun all the way right down to the comical stereotyping of the rather stout, donut-loving police chief everybody calls Tiny. And, oh, yes, the satirical commercials within the film are better than the real-life commercials that appeared during the showing. Actually many of them are much better.
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3/10
Better burger contest in danger.
Michael O'Keefe28 January 2006
Warning: Spoilers
Swarmy. The Sci-Fi Channel gives yet another flying menace flick. A chemist (Michael Shanks)is working on a better insecticide. A few of his experimental yellow jacket wasps accidentally get loose and seem to be growing more aggressive and stronger after being sprayed with a super-pesticide. A nationally televised burger cook-off is scheduled sponsored by Phineas Washburn's(Tim Thomerson)barbecue sauce. The grilled burgers and the crowd become a huge buffet for the chemically enhanced killer wasps. The F/X are not all that bad; but the acting is. Also in the cast: Carol Alt, Balazs Koos, Booth Savage and Maria Brooks. The funniest scene is a secretary trying to shoot a wasp with a shotgun. As bad as this is...you still end up watching it.
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1/10
What a bad insect movie come on people you are not trying
dsd114 August 2008
Oh where do I begin.I'll start with the fact that this movie was lousy in every way. Nothing at all was cool.Wasps are now genetically altered and are killing people for the most part this movie was dragged out. Parts that got me were the part where the police officer goes to investigate the scene where the doc was killed by a wasp is still in the room and doesn't sting him but flys away. We see the swarm of wasps going and flying around and see people walking around and attack no one. If we saw people getting attacked everywhere they went on the streets in the police station everywhere that would have been better. This film is a complete waste of time. Never watch it again for those who hated it. The part where the people were at the festival was very lame to attract the wasps. The swarm 1978 version looked better than this garbage, with more action and people dying. This was sad. The special effects were totally lame. The actors weren't the best.the only time in this film the wasps only attack when people cook meat another lame idea.The venom in the wasps altered and should have killed those peole right when they got stung. Boy they should make better movies than this. I'll never watch this again. The wasps going for meat is just laughable. Along with the wasps. I'll never get my time back. Just do me a favor and don't show crap like this anymore. Stay home people if you don't want crap like this. Awful in every way.
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1/10
Worst Movie Ever
Courtney Wolfson3 January 2009
Wow, I caught this on TV, and was dumbfounded the entire time. This movie is unbelievably bad. Poor acting, bad writing, predictable format, just so generally unconvincing, not amusing, unbelievably bad! There are not nearly enough poor comments posted here! I mean we're watching killer bees here, attacking people.. we don't even see them stinging? .. the girl couldn't unlock the door and get out of the car in that time?! Please! If we must go to lengths of entertaining the idea that this many people can be killed by swarming bees, before using their brains and defeating them, then the actors should at least convince us that they're feeling genuinely threatened, and not completely stupid!
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3/10
bugs and bites
jez9 December 2005
Warning: Spoilers
Predictable, dry and continuous, this movie is all about yellowjacket wasps, and how they turn deadly, thanks to the scientific researcher and his fickle so-called bug-killing friend. Although this is all an accident, the deadly wasps are caused by the curious minded bug killer guy. The science man TOLD you not to get the BIG RED BOTTLE of bug juice which stands out from all the other normal clear jugged ones, because it was "stronger" and there were a "few glitches" to fix up with that one. Well guess what. It would be too un-interesting for that bug killer guy to pick up a clear bottled one. SO, he gets the red one!! Making ALL yellowjacket wasps DEADLY! whoo! Just in time for the city burger cookout too! And it just so happens that all these people cannot hear very well. The wasp is half a metre away, you still cannot see where the heck it is! Guess what?! it kills you now. too late! and it chews out the mayor's eye as well. how brilliant... So it attacks the whole city, and all the burgers. Now what!? Drive a golf cart with meat and drag the wasps into the gargage! BUt do they actually kill all the yellowjackets!? You should drag yourself to watch this movie to find out.
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5/10
A Killer Bee, for you and me. One to skip, and one to see.
Vomitron_G21 January 2010
Some time ago, I had this crazy idea of seeing as much Killer Bee-movies possible (since I never saw any in this sub-genre). I started with the soap-opera vehicle "Killer Bees!" (starring C. Thomas Howell), which was a boring pile of crap. So, fortunately, I did have a reasonable amount of fun watching "Swarmed" (in my country known as the less imaginatively titled "Killer Bee"). "Swarmed" gets it at least half right. The plot is sort of a "Jaws" rip-off with all the possible clichés. The effects are pretty good (this time no crappy black CGI killer dots, but nice-moving CGI close-ups of flying yellow jacket wasps). Some fine gory make-up FX's (the mayor with one of his eyes eaten away by a wasp), some corrupt politicians and cops, a male/female duo of scientists trying to stop this mayhem, a pretty fast pace, and an okay climax. This one also stars Carol Alt (I don't know how I do it, but I regularly get this: watching random movies in a short period of time which, as it turns out, can be related to each other in one way or another), and let's not forget Tim"Jack Deth"Thomerson, always a pleasure seeing him pop up in a flick. "Swarmed" is just fun to watch in a not-scary way (killer bees, or wasps or ladybugs or whatever just aren't scary...), it's unpretentious B-movie entertainment, really. Watch it for the scene where the mayor's assistant blows away one wasp with... a shotgun!
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3/10
Seen it before x 10
Leofwine_draca6 November 2016
Another day, another Sci Fi Channel TV movie, this time from Canada. SWARMED is, unsurprisingly enough, a film about killer wasps, although it's not enough for them to be mere killer wasps. They're genetically engineered killer wasps, don't you know, ones which escape from the lab and go on a low budget rampage for the film's duration.

You get exactly what you expect in a film like this and nobody disappoints you. Director Paul Ziller has made a string of cheap and cheesy movies with titles like ICE QUAKE, STONEHENGE APOCALYPSE, and SEEDS OF DESTRUCTION, and SWARMED fits into his resume quite neatly. It's certainly not one of his better films as this isn't even so-bad-it's-good kind of viewable for half the time as there are long boring stretches where nothing much happens.

The usual B-movie flaws of bad special effects are present here (the appalling CGI is something to behold), along with wooden acting from the lead star Michael Shanks. The old-timer part is played by Tim Thomerson with less screen time than they usually give to these familiar faces. The film follows the age-old storyline that originated in the likes of JAWS and PIRANHA and never for a moment does it offer anything out of the ordinary.
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4/10
Didn't buzz anywhere near as much as it ought to have done
TheLittleSongbird3 January 2013
Swarmed is a long way from the worst movie I've ever seen, but it was to me still rather lame. The photography and scenery are quite good though, as is the decently spooky music and the acting, Richard Chevolleau especially is a lot of fun. While the characters are very clichéd with not much development to them, they thankfully didn't annoy me as much as I feared they would. Apart from it, Swarmed just doesn't cut it. The special effects are very cheesy and cheap, while the wasps are nowhere near menacing enough for my tastes. The dialogue is constantly awkward and the comical moments(mainly at the banter and the stereotyping of Tiny) feel forced and annoying. On top of that, complete with a predictable ending and a lack of suspenseful atmosphere or a sense of genuine horror the story plods like mad, it does take ages to get going and when it does it's too late and I didn't care anymore. All in all, not terrible but just didn't buzz for me. 4/10 Bethany Cox
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A cheesy good time
slayrrr66612 April 2007
Warning: Spoilers
"Swarmed" is a clichéd and blood-less but still fun creature feature.

**SPOILERS**

Following an accidental chemical leak, exterminators Q, (Richard Chevolleau) and Rafe, (Jonathan Malen) are sent out to take care of an increased yellow-jackets in the area. After one assignment, they take more poison from Dr. Kent Horvath, (Michael Shanks) only to take the last batch of the chemical accidentally on their next job. Spraying the bugs with the poison, it results in them getting ultra-aggressive and forcing them to take stock of the fact that they took the accidental spray. Dr. Horvath joins the hunt, but when coupled with their increased mating drive, are unsuccessful and call in Cristina Brown, (Carol Alt) a prominent insect expert to help them. Realizing that their path will take them in direct contact with a small-town and their upcoming harvest festival, they race against time to stop the swarm before it overtakes the country.

The Good News: This wasn't as bad as it could've been and does have a few decent points. For once, the CGI is pretty solid. Granted, computer generating yellow jackets isn't that huge of a feat, but these little creatures look convincing enough. A few shots betray their digital creation, but the vast majority of the yellow jacket sequences are effective. And when they do come across as a bit too unrealistic, it doesn't matter because it fits the lighter mood of the film. This is a real case that the CGI doesn't distract, even when it's sub-par, is a great plus for the film. When it gets down to it, the insect mayhem itself is decent. While there are presumably a finite number of inventive "sting-kills" one could conjure up, this one manages to throw together some entertaining dispatches. One guy gets a stinger square in the eye, another while hiding in a dunk tank, sucking in air through a hose inadvertently swallows a few enterprising bugs, a girl is overtaken inside a car when the jackets ooze through the heater vents, and more than a few victims are gang-stung. Most of these scenes are prefaced by a yellow-jacket POV shot, which is cheesy but appropriate for the film's tone. It's the ending, though, that really scores a lot of great scenes, as the long-promised overtaking of the festival that draws the best response from the film. To see that kind of mayhem is the general reason to see these, and it doesn't disappoint at all, and the on-screen action isn't that terrible. This also resorts to going for some cheap laughs, such as the one-liners uttered or by having someone go nuts and chase a lone wasp around a building blasting away it with a shotgun. The cheesy tone helps to make it more bearable and this does it well. Altogether, this could've been a lot worse than it is.

The Bad News: This here does have some problems with it. The main factor is that there is really no surprise with this one. It's so clichéd and unoriginal that it's possible to watch only five minutes of this and know what's going to happen. That doesn't make the viewers who enjoy strong plots all that impressed when you know the film before getting into it. It's also pretty irritated that the film, for all it's cool deaths, manages to sneak out without showing anything in terms of gore or blood. There's not so much as a drop spilled in this, despite an entire massacre at a big festival or even some other deaths, which show nothing at all. Most annoying of all is that the film constantly resorts to showing us the wasps' point-of-view. The decision to make it look like it was filmed through the bottom of an amber-colored soda bottle to simulate what they were seeing is utterly nonsensical. There really is no need for it since virtually every creature movie has required some type of colored creature vision. The pace is also a little off, as it does take a while to get into the attacks and spends the majority of the beginning setting up the possible effects of the serum and ignoring the creatures until the middle section, and while it does redeem the film slightly, the technical jabber isn't that interesting. Overall, this wasn't as bad as it could've been, but it loses a couple points for the errors it does have.

The Final Verdict: While it's not that bad of a creature feature, the strikes it does have are the worst ones it can have. Being slow, clichéd and quite bloodless isn't that endearing, but when it gets going, there's some good action and a nice cheesy charm, so there's far worse ones out there than this to waste on. Give it a shot, but don't set expectations too high.

Rated PG-13: Violence
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4/10
I suppose there are worse ways to kill 2 hours
Jack29 January 2006
Warning: Spoilers
Michael Shanks (Jackson from Stargate SG-1) is a bee guy, studying new insecticides which somehow genetically mutate wasps. His latest experiment turns out to be a flop, only killing 75% of the wasps and making the remaining 25% into super killer yellow jackets. But wouldn't you know it, there just happens to be a clumsy janitor that manages to let the wasps loose that night, and the fun begins. There also happens to be a big burger cookout scheduled in the town, with national TV coverage and everything. Everyone is counting on all the money this will bring in. So, yeah...guess what happens next?

This movie wasn't all that terrible. The characters were okay, certainly not great and not really approaching good, but still watchable. Shanks plays a low-key version of his Daniel Jackson character from Stargate, I don't think he ever gets excited throughout the whole film. The plot proceeded in completely predictable fashion along the same lines as every other creature feature I've ever seen. Take Jaws, Sabertooth, and Deadly Swarm, remove all the interesting parts, and you've basically got this. Special effects were actually surprisingly good. What this movie really needed what a plot with a lot more originality and characters with a lot more personality. But there wasn't anything particularly awful about it, so I'll give it 4 stars.
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2/10
When You Get Attacked By A Bee, Please Don't Use A Shotgun (SPOILERS)
I_Am_The_Taylrus6 October 2007
Warning: Spoilers
SPOILERS

Okay, I must admit, I do enjoy those campy Sci-Fi movies when they are on. They try to be scary, but they just end up being a hilarious comedy with terrible acting and moments when you want to yell at the person in the movie for doing something incredibly stupid. Well, Swarmed is no exception. Even though I must say that it is better than most of the Sci-Fi made-for-TV-movies, hence the reason I am giving it a two instead of one, this was just a pathetic film that started off as a comedy and never stopped. I mean, the people in this movie clearly have no idea what they are doing. For example, when a woman is being attacked by one single bee, she uses a shotgun, and never hits her target. Now, she could use one if she was fighting a whole swarm, but using the shotgun against one little bee is just plain dumb.

Here is the plot of this movie. When a chemical leak occurs, bug busters Q and Rafe have to fight the rapidly increasing population of bees in the town. When they do that, they get help from Kent Horvath, who gives them poison to fight against the bees. However the poison only makes them even more powerful and aggressive. Kent eventually starts to hunt with them, and so does bug expert Christina Brown. They quickly realize that the population is increasing more and more, and the town festival is approaching. They need to get rid of the bees before it is too late. At the festival the bees attack the entire city, killing hundreds. Q, Rafe, Kent, and Christina manage to destroy most of them. They then lure the rest of the bees into a garage and blow it up. They bees are gone, except for one, and the film ends.

Overall, this is a cheesy, over-the-top, and corny time. In the category so-bad-it's-good, this movie fits perfectly. You will laugh more than you will jump. In fact, you will not jump at all. I must admit, though, even with all my negative comments, there are some creative death scenes, like when a man hides from the bees in a dunk tank, and breathes using a hose, and the bees fly into the hose, and sting him inside the mouth. That was kind of neat. Anyway, with all the cheesy CGI, the terrible acting, and the pure corny elements of this film, it is impossible to call this movie a good one. It is a great comedy, but for horror, it falls flat.

2/10

Recommended Films: Frankenfish, Mega-Snake.
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