Monday, October 17, 2022

Bloodsucking Freaks (and hot dogs)


I have a distinct memory of flipping channels as a teenager and pausing briefly on a cable airing of Mosquito, only to quickly decide it wasn't for me.

How wrong I was!

It's terrible!

In all the best ways.

Quick Plot: A spaceship crashlands in an insect-laden swamp, quickly leading to mutant mosquitoes the size of labradors. But unlike earth-bound bloodsuckers who have a taste and fly away to feed their eggs, these monsters seem to relish the kill.

It's up to a ragtag band of survivors to make it through the weekend, and if you don't believe me, please understand that the big name of this movie is Gunnar Hanson in a mullet. 

And more importantly, IMDB is so concerned that you won't recognize these actors that they lay out the cast's roles more specifically than I've ever seen:

Our "New Park Ranger" Megan and "Megan's Boyfriend, Ray" get sidetracked when a 5' long mosquito hits their car. They hitch a ride with "USAF Meteor Chaser" Parks and quickly discover that the next town over has been invaded. It's a shame, because the alien mosquito onslaught occurs at the height of Cheap Summer Montage season. No more greasy grilling and camera zooms on women's midriffs (most likely because the women didn't actually want their faces in this movie) for THIS audience!

You know that scene in Wet Hot American Summer where the male counselors are spying on the ladies playing with a beachball, screaming, "HIT THE BALL" with all of the eagerness of a teenage virgin? I know that movie was inspired by '80s camp comedies, but I'm now convinced this particular moment came direct from 1994's Mosquito. Observe the schlubby ranger watching women play volleyball, binoculars in hand:

And yes, he will eventually die by alien mosquito. 

LOTS of people die by alien mosquito, and it's pretty glorious. These are real-life practical creations dripping in green goo, draining dummy corpses in Total Recall Mars-atmosphere style. It's gross and painful, and exactly what you want in a movie from this very particular, sadly dying genre. 

High Points
Despite this other bit of IMDB trivia:

the practical effects are a blast!

Low Points
I don't expect smooth sensuality from a low budget '90s monster movie, but is there anything that will destroy romance faster than watching two people roll around naked in a hot tent ON TOP OF HOT DOGS?

Lessons Learned
A radiator takes a pro

Mixing blood lines leads to illiteracy (shouldn't it be the other way around? Don't ask, nobody in this movie has the brainspace to figure it out)

Real meteorologists chase meteors, not the weather

Random Fact
IMDB was firing on all kinds of cylinders with this one, right down to a random fact I learned when Mosquito didn't come up as the first search find:

Who knew? (IMDB, obviously)

Nobody in their right mind would claim Gary Jones's Mosquito to be a good movie, but it's pure dumb fun, and something of a rarity for that particular era of early '90s low budget horror. Grill up some hot dogs and have a watch on Shudder. And seriously: eat them before the 20 minute mark because I guarantee you that after finishing this movie, you will never want to look at a hot dog again, much less put one that may have been crushed by a hairy torso in your mouth.

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