Saturday, April 2, 2011


I don’t really support the practice of mail order brides, but perhaps I’m a hypocrite because here’s the thing: when I hear the words “Big Bug Movie,” my first reaction is, plain and simple, marry me.
Ponder that while I get rolling with today’s feature, Kyle Rankin’s 2009 bugapalooza, Infestation.
Quick Plot: A slacker named Cooper (Chris Marquette) is about to be fired from his tedious telemarketing job selling organic Viagra. Just when he thinks his day couldn’t get any worse, a loud dog whistle sounds, putting the population to sleep until they wake up a few days later wrapped in Halloween spider webbing--er, mysterious cocoons. After a little pukage and disorientation, Cooper catches sight of some hostile bugs of the crawling and flying sort. 

After waking up an assorted selection of fodder--er, survivors, Cooper & Co. do as you do during a Mist-y apocalypse. Hide out and hit on the cute doctor. Take up smoking. Board up a bank. Amass goo samples and count on the plucky masseuse to analyze protein content. Leave on a journey to a maybe-bomb shelter, the usual.

Infestation is cinema’s equivalent of a cupcake. Small, not so incredible that you’ll never forget it, but an overall more-than-pleasant experience that puts a smile on your face with each bite. The film was clearly made from a place of affection, with a light spirit that lets its characters be genuinely likable without cloying. The violence has a certain Eight Legged Freaks sense about it with a better mixture of blatant (but still above SyFy quality) CGI and some gooey practical effects. Added to that are some fabulous monster designs, including a new twist on arachnids that looks better than anything that slogged through sludgy 3D in the Clash of the Titans remake.

You might say I heartily enjoyed Infestation
High Points
While most of the kills have a certain cartoon sense about them, one shotgun blast comes as quite a surprise, with dark undertones that are quickly passed by for the logic of the situation. I’m not explaining it well for fear of spoiling, but perhaps you’ll know it when you see it and you’ll say “Oh yeah, totally.” These are the moments in life I live for
Ray Wise is slowly joining the club of actors who make me happy in supporting roles. As a strict militaristic widowed dad with a softness for shitzus, his brief stop in the film adds a nice touch
Low Points
Perhaps it’s simply because I enjoyed the movie so much that I’m left wondering, “where’d the bugs come from? what’s the government doing?” and more questions such as these.

Lessons Learned
Massage therapists are a CSI show just waiting to happen
Real survivalists pack extra double AAs
Gigantic aphids don’t enjoy being kept in captivity for fluid samples. Fancy that!
While it’s no Starship Troopers, Infestation was a true joy that passed my Saturday afternoon with a genuine smile. The DVD includes a commentary track (which I can’t speak for as time didn’t allow me to listen) and I can see this holding up for casual clean-the-kitchen rewatches to warrant a bargain buy. Let’s hope that it is indeed slated for a sequel (the ending is a tease for it) because it’s certainly a universe of characters, monsters, and style that deserves to be revisited. 


  1. Like you, just the word "giant bug movie" bring me great happiness! This movie was such a treat to come across, and a worthy entry into this awesome sub-genre! Hopefully there will be a sequel- I'd love some more explanation.

  2. Maybe it's an Emily thing! I really hope they do some more of these movies. The filmmakers definitely have a great sense of spirit and I think the material still has plenty of potential.