The residents of a half-way house finds their efforts to fit into the community challenged by giant arachnids in this throw back to the ‘giant bugs run amok’ flicks of the 50s.
We open on a scorpion scurrying across some sand . It’s probably looking for food but all it finds is the wrong end of a boot when a guy in coveralls steps on it. He is quite oblivious to the critter as he is all about dumping some toxic waste and not getting caught by the authorities. A few of the cans are obviously leaking but that is someone else’s problem- like that second scorpion crawling out from underneath a rock.
Cut to a drab apartment where a macho doofus is clumsily putting the moves on a young blonde. This dunce doesn’t understand the word no and he has even less comprehension for the shambling shape that rescues the young lady. Turns out our scorpion from earlier is now six feet long and enjoys dining on male chauvinist pigs. Bon appetite.
The young woman, Joey, hustles back to the half-way house where her sister is in charge. The police are summoned . They have little regard for the residents of the residents. Like most people they believe in rehabilitation as a good will gesture but prefer not to have their beliefs tested in their own back yard. This could be the perfect opportunity for the mayor ,and local real estate honcho, to have his Sheriff get a warrant and search the place in hopes of closing it down.
Meanwhile the scorpions now have a taste for human tissue and decide to dine out. They manage to feast on a pair of nearby homeowners as well as a representative of the phone company. The attacks go unnoticed even though the bugs are soon putting the bite on the Sheriff and the mayor himself.
The ex-cons must now team up with the county coroner (he’s the only officer left) and find out how to manage six foot pests before they all wind up on the menu.
This is good, albeit down and dirty, filmmaking. Luckily it avoids being just another CGI bugfest by employing good old stop motion animation for the creature effects. It gives the film an old time feel and manages to deliver a monster that doesn’t look like every other SyFy Channel critter.
The film is well paced at an hour and fifteen minutes and gets right on with the action thanks to director/writer J.R. Bookwalter(The Dead Next Door). They don’t try to reinvent the wheel here but they do offer a few shocks and plenty of gooey bug carnage.
Best Lines: ” I’ve been living with crank monkeys.”
“You’re gonna need every knife and every Lady Gillette in this place.”
Tom Doty is a columnist for The Floyd County Times.