The first time I ever watched “Mosquito” was on late night cable on the USA Network when cable channels were fun. Right around the nineties when horror was kind of a killjoy with overly serious horror movies, “Mosquito” is that hard shot that really goes down well. It has gratuitous nudity, giant monsters, stop motion, and even Gunnar Hansen brandishing a chainsaw a few times. How can you bash something that genuinely tries to make the most out of very little? Director Gary Jones comprises a fun little science fiction horror fest in where an alien crash landing turns the local mosquito population in to truck sized predators that get off on feeding on people in the worst ways. Apparently mosquitoes just aren’t biased when it comes to feeding off of living things, so when the ship crash lands, the mosquitoes begin feeding on the blood of its dead alien pilot.
Either aliens do or don’t have blood similar to ours, it’s never explained. All we need to know is that once the mosquitoes get a taste of the blood, they begin to grow larger and larger. This arouses the attention of local park ranger Ray and his girlfriend Megan, both of whom team up with a NASA scientist to track down the source of the infestation. They unfortunately come across a pair of bank robbers, both of whom are attempting to flee the country, but are stopped by the carnivorous bugs. Now the survivors have to form an uneasy band and work together to survive long enough to snuff out the potential invasion. Director Jones takes advantage of the giant stingers pulling off some grotesque kill shots, including a stinger in the eye, a man gets sucked dry like a Capri Sun juice bag, and a gorgeous naked woman gets a stinger right in her bare bottom.
Director Jones combines a lot of methods in bringing his giant mosquitoes to life, including craftily injected hand drawn animation, some stop motion, giant models, and crafty edited puppets. Surprisingly the combination is effective, allowing the monsters to feel like genuine threats to our cast. “Mosquito” is slim on narrative, but works mainly as a film where our survivors throttle the giant mosquitoes and try to come up with new ways to battle them. Gary Jones’ “Mosquito” is just a film you have to sit back and enjoy without poking holes in to. It thrives on being silly, absurd, and idiotic, and doesn’t really aim for high class horror entertainment. If you want to sit through it simply to hate every element, you’re going to leave angered, but if you appreciate it for what it tries to pull off, it’s quite a fun B movie. In fact, it’s more of a D- horror movie when you get right down to it. I think the sheer novelty of the movie alone deserves this twentieth anniversary edition for cult movie buffs.
The twentieth anniversary edition Blu-Ray comes with “Bugging Out!,” a nearly eighty minute retrospective of “Mosquito”! Settle in and prepare for an exhaustive documentary about the film’s production, which offers interviews with co-writer/director Gary Jones, co-writer/cinematographer Tom Chaney, producer David Thiry, investor Lee Jacobson, and actors Josh Becker, Tim Lovelace, Rachel Loiselle, Margaret Gomoll, Gunnar Hansen, and Mike Hard, respectively. There are also some wonderful looks at the production, and anecdotes about the constant difficulties during the shoot, including Becker’s difficulty with his privates during a sex scene, Hansen’s pants falling down during a big shot, and how Loiselle was nearly decapitated.
That and so much more make, “Bugging Out!” so worth the time for any fan. There’s an audio commentary with director/co-writer Gary Jones, co-producer David Thiry, and co-writer/cinematographer Tom Chaney, both of whom discuss the film with enthusiasm. The trio explore some scenes they couldn’t afford to film, the method to filming the big storm drain scene, and the hazard of using red letters in your end credits. There are seven minutes of Deleted and Extended scenes with optional commentary from Gary Jones, a still gallery of high res images, the standard def film trailer, and a forty minute Behind the Scenes segment. This also garners optional commentary from Gary Jones, which features looks at the effects, the rehearsals, pre-production, table readings, a tour through the set, and a ton of footage! It’s tough to resist this feature, especially if you need help and want to see how real filmmakers can have so little and get so much out of it.