Friday, December 11, 2015

MANSQUITO REDUX

When I requested a movie called Mosquito Man from my local library, I thought it sounded familiar. When I picked up the DVD, I realized why. Mosquito Man was actually Mansquito, a movie I had seen on the Sci-Fi Channel in 2005. Not only I had seen it, but I reviewed it shortly after its debut and, in answer to a bloggy thing reader’s request, reprinted that review here in early 2013. In an attempt to justify my watching “Mosquito Man” this week, here’s what I wrote about the movie previously, followed by some additional comments on my most recent viewing of the film.

From 2005 and 2013...

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My reviews of cheesy monster movies have proven very popular among my bloggy thing readers.  When I reviewed Spiders and mentioned the lead actress also appeared in Mansquito, Ty Kieth insisted I review the film.  Feeling a sudden deja vu, I checked my “Tony’s Online Tips” archives and found I had already reviewed Mansquito way back on March 24. 2005.  Here’s what I wrote...

"Hey, Mansquito! Take this!"

...says the police detective with the unkempt hair as he sends an armor-piecing bullet into oxygen tanks at a hospital savaged by the blood-sucking title star of this 2005 sci-fi movie. It would probably be impolite of me to mention this early in my review that only *female* mosquitos suck blood.

SPOILERS AHEAD
SPOILERS AHEAD
SPOILERS AHEAD
 
 Mansquito [2005] made its debut on the Sci-Fi Channel earlier this month. The set-up goes like this:

Deadly virus carried by mosquitos. Scientists - including the principled heroine played by Musetta Vander - try to find a cure by manipulating the DNA of other mosquitos. Typically callous head of research lab gets a mass murderer sprung from death row to test the serum on, this without the knowledge of the heroine. Oh, yeah, her detective boyfriend is the one who busted the murderer.

Murderer escapes in lab. Kills guards and heroine's assistant before some sort of nuclear rotisserie blows up. Murderer catches the worst of it and changes quickly into...Mansquito! Heroine gets smaller dose and starts changing slowly.

The creature suit isn't bad and there is some creepy fun to be had at first. Near the movie's end, director Tibor Takacs goes too heavy on the gore; heads and limbs go rolling all over the hospital where the heroine is being cared for.

The hair of Corin Nemac - he plays the detective - has a life of its own with a clump of it constantly falling over his forehead. I guess he had to do something to get noticed. That Mansquito is such a scene-stealer.

The funniest moment in the movie - and you can only watch this movie for laughs - is when I realized where I'd seen Vander before. She played the mantis-lady on the first-season episode of
Buffy the Vampire Slayer wherein Xander Harris nearly got eaten. Is this not the worst possible typecasting? To be the actress directors think of when someone turns into a giant bug?

I was going to give away the ending, but, what the heck, this stupid movie is actually worth seeing just for the fun you can have making sport of it. If I rated it on any other basis, it wouldn't get more than one Tony (for the creature suit). But, as your very own Mystery Science Theater 3000 home game, I give it a respectable three Tonys. Hey, Mansquito!


Back then, I was still rating comics and other items on a scale of zero to five Tonys.  I don’t do that anymore.

There’s something I should make clear since it’s obvious I will be reviewing more cheesy monster movies in future bloggy things.  Yes, I make mockery of many of these films.  But I mock them with love in my heart.  Cheesy monster movies are one of the great pleasures of my life and I like to share them with you.

Though I may disparage their works, I have nothing but love for the makers of these movies.  They are the heroes of their small budgets who do remarkable things with what little money they have, filming scripts that aren’t exactly Shakespeare.  Most of them are just as sincere in their love of these kinds of movies as I am.  They are brothers from another probably monstrous mother.

Though I’m not a big fan of Facebook groups, I recently requested membership in and was accepted by the Fans of SyFy Original Movies group.  There’s all sorts of news and lots of love for the movies on that page and I’m enjoying the heck out of it.  I recommend it to all of you who enjoy my monster movie reviews.

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Some additional 2015 notes and thoughts...

Mansquito was directed by Hungarian-born Tibor Tak√°cs whose later films include Kraken: Tentacles of the Deep (2006), Ice Spiders (2007), Mega Snake (2007), NYC: Tornado Terror (2008), Meteor Storm (2010) and Spiders (2013). I was a little hard on him back in 2005. His movies are fun.

The movie credits four writers, which seems like three more writers than you need for a film like this. They were...

Kenneth M. Badish (story, (as Ken Badish)
Ray Cannella (story)
Boaz Davidson (story)
Michael Hurst (screenplay)

...and they all have other writing, directing and producing credits for movies of this sort. Solid professionals.

Corin Nemec would become a favorite of mine before long. He really brings it to sci-fi monster movies and I always look forward to a film where I see he’s in it.

I haven’t seen much of Musetta Vander in recent years, which is a disappointment. She’s a fine actress, strikingly beautiful without looking all Hollywood. I would cast her as the capable heroine of a movie like this in a heartbeat.

The creature effects are as nice as I remember them. Overall, the film holds up and was worth watching a second time. Maybe the now-renamed Syfy Channel should bring Mansquito back for a “Legion of Monsters” reunion movie. I’d watch that.

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I’ll be working hard in these weeks before Christmas, posting these new bloggy things as fast as I finish them in an effort to make up for the days I missed. It won’t be unusual for me to post more than one column in a single day...and there’s lots of good stuff on my list of possible topics. Keep watching this space.

That’s all for now, my friends. Hug your loved ones and keep them close. I’ll be back soon with more stuff.

© 2015 Tony Isabella

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