Thursday, October 15, 2015

MOSQUITO (Synapse Blu-ray) - 16mm with the 35mm Giant Bugs

I love the way they synopsis talks this one up as a “Tour de force of terror”.  Is Mosquito a scary movie? Not hardly, but that’s absolutely what you would expect when you pick up the box and slide the movie into your Blu-ray player. I expected nothing more than schlock special effects and some enjoyable B level Horror performances from some good, not great actors (Gunnar Hansen aside). That’s exactly what I got. You know what clues you in to the production value and content of the movie you’re about to watch? The little card on the inside of the Blu-ray that runs down the restoration notes. It’s a movie shot on 16mm, blown up for your TV and then 35mm effects footage added at time of production. That pretty much screams low budget, giant bug movie right there. Synapse Films has done a remarkable job with a somewhat questionable movie.

Once you see the giant mosquito effects you’ll understand where this movie fits into the giant bug movie genre. It’s not 1950’s Claymation effects that wow and woo. These are some fun, low budget effects that pre-date the SyFy movie boom of a similar plotted movie only using practical effects projected over 16mm footage. The result is pure cheese, but it is exactly the cheese you’d want and expect from a movie called Mosquito. As a Horror enthusiasts who frowns up computer generated effects, this is a movie that at least stood the test of its age to produce a practically effected movie by whatever means necessary.

Yes Gunnar Hansen is in this movie, and it’s a great reason to check it out, but for those of you who know Hansen’s work solely from Texas Chain Saw Massacre, you may be in for a shock when you see him without a mask on, delivering dialogue. It’s just different, and it won’t be the same man witch which you a familiar. His performance is just fine.

There’s plenty of splat and splatter on screen and given the production and the restoration from unique source materials, the whole thing looks damn good. This brings up the importance of enjoying the making of featurette to better understand how the effects were constructed. Before computerized everything, this is how you made a giant bug movie on a budget. You get alternate cover art and a commentary track to elaborate on the production.

I remember Mosquito on the shelves of my mom and pop video store growing up, and simply by looking at the cover you’d know exactly what you were in for. At the time, this was what bug movies looked like and it was a bit shocking when compared to the hey day of the giant monster movies of the 50’s. The production value of said monsters may have slacked in the years leading up to Mosquito, but the fun gained from viewing a giant bug movie certainly has never dissipated. You don’t watch a movie like Mosquito for the film grain and then restoration although in this case you absolutely can with Synapse at the helm.

You can order Mosquito now from Synapse Films.

Not from the Synapse films transfer.

From Synapse:

From the Makers of THE BLOB, PRINCE OF DARKNESS and THEY LIVE and the SPFX Team of ARMY OF DARKNESS, DARKMAN and BATMAN RETURNS comes the high-definition world premiere of this giant monster cult classic!
Science-fiction becomes horrifyingly real for a park full of innocent campers, as a hideous horde of mutated mosquitos viciously attack without warning! A band of survivors flees the bloodthirsty swarm in a death-defying attempt to warn the world of the mosquito menace. Led by a brave young couple and a resourceful government agent, the group realizes their only hope is to take on the bloodthirsty bugs in an explosive final showdown! A chilling blend of sci-fi, humor and old-school horror, MOSQUITO is a tour de force of terror. Starring genre icon Gunnar Hansen (the original “Leatherface” from THE TEXAS CHAIN SAW MASSACRE) and the late, great Ron Asheton (founding member of the punk rock band, The Stooges), MOSQUITO is a gore-drenched tale made with traditional stop-motion and practical effects!

Audio Commentary with Director Gary Jones, Director of Photography and Co-Writer Tom Chaney, and Producer David Thiry
"Bugging Out!" The Making of Mosquito - Featurette
Deleted & Extended Scenes with Optional Director Commentary
Behind-the-Scenes Footage with Optional Director Commentary
Still Gallery
Theatrical Trailer
Reversible Cover Art

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