Review by Kelly
“A criminal vigilante organisation forces a scientist to create a flesh-eating parasite capable of wiping out the human race.”
This is a Sin & Tonic/Spinsters of Horror crossover! Directed by a favorite of mine, Charles Band, this 1982 release (not a Full Moon or Empire release), was set to be “the first American-made monster film in 3-D.” I sadly wasn’t able to watch it in 3D but I can tell that it wouldn’t have been very effective. As much as I adore Charles Band, sometimes the movies released by him aren’t….great. The music is done by the ever wonderful brother of Charles, Richard Band.
Parasite starts with scientists working in a lab and things go awry. One of them, Dr. Paul Dean played by Robert Glaudini, becomes infected with an experimental parasite (what really looks like a leech). It turns out that this is a secret government lab and once the infected Dr. Dean leaves, he becomes tracked by a man in a basic black suit and fancy ass car (a Lamborghini?). Parasite is set in the future where laser weapons are used. However, that is all that is used to make the film look futuristic. While subverting the government, Dr. Dean is trying to investigate the parasite to see how he can truly rid himself of the one that lives in his skin. He has one specimen, but local hooligans let it escape and it starts killing people! It attaches onto their skin and kills them. How? Who knows. Why? Who cares. Dr. Dean meets a local named Patricia, played by Demi Moore (in her first role!), and together they track down the creature and kill it, saving humankind.
This movie could have been much bigger and better than it was. Although, the title card, which is cheesy AF, will tell you what to expect going into the movie. It’s very low budget and has that early 80s feel. Richard Bands’ score is fantastic but unfortunately, it doesn’t save this movie. The acting is very stiff and thankfully Demi Moore was given more roles after this as we know she can do better! There was a line in the movie I thought was a bit poignant, “You can’t care about people anymore.” This is in reference to one of the local miscreant’s friends dying and in a, seemingly, post-apocalyptic futuristic world, truer words haven’t been spoken.
The practical effects are great! A fun, Alien inspired, moment is when the parasite crawls out of a dead woman’s face. Another great shot is of the young parasite being killed on Dr. Dean - there is some great spurting! The movie ends abruptly with Patricia saying “It’s finally over” followed by an image of another parasite, hinting towards a sequel? Hopefully not.
I enjoy Charles Band and all that he stands for but this movie was below average with untapped potential. Unless this kind of movie is your thing, I wouldn’t recommend it.