Parasite (1982)

Once it gets inside you, it will do anything to get out!

Year of Release: 1982
Genre: Science Fiction/Horror
Rated: R
Running Time: 84 minutes (1:24)
Director: Charles Band


Robert Glaudini ... Dr. Paul Dean
Demi Moore ... Patricia Welles
Luca Bercovici ... Ricus
James Davidson ... Wolf the Merchant
Al Fann ... Collins
Tom Villard ... Zeke
Scott Thomson ... Chris
Cherie Currie ... Dana
Vivian Blaine ... Miss Daley
Cheryl Smith ... Captive Girl


In the future, cities are ravaged by atomic fallout and controlled by evil corporations who have developed a mutant pair of flesh-eating parasites. One is feeding inside the man who created it. The other has escaped. Now with the help of a young woman left orphaned in the wasteland ('Demi Moore' in her first starring role), a scientist on the run must destroy these horrific creatures before they can reproduce. But the more a parasite feeds, the bigger it becomes. And the more it grows, the hungrier -- and angrier -- it gets...


Parasite has important, if otherwise obscure, facts of life for all of us; so pay attention, there may be a test later. First of all, don't ever lie to a guy that wears all black an drives a black car. He probably doesn't have a great deal of patience and may well be too stupid to realize he needs the information you have before laserblasting you. Second, if you're engaged in a rape fantasy with two guys an someone busts in to rescue you, it's probably a good idea to let the would-be rescuer know that you're okay with it. Otherwise, he may pummel your dates. And third, in the future, the ultimate act of civil disobedience is stealing a man's soup. Important as these things are, I feel there's something else, much more critical to the survival of mankind, and that thing is as follows. If you've decided to create a parasite for the evil corporations of the future world, proper storage practices are a must. I realize the scientist in the movie was in kind of a hurry to get out of his laboratory, but a coffee Thermos is no way to store a deadly, man-eating parasite. I think we need to pause for a moment and focus on the gravity of this plot point in greater depth. If this thing gets out of the Thermos, it eats people. If it eats enough people, it explodes, and when it does so millions of spores are released into the ecosystem. It's a lot like unprotected sex, but with slightly less destructive ramifications. These spores then attach themselves to whatever they can find that's living and continue to grow until they're big enough to rinse and repeat. The doctor knows this, but still he stores the parasite in a coffee Thermos. Any chickenhead could come across this thing, turn it up, an viola, the whole world is screwed. Not to mention that we're in the post-atomic future here where chickenheads are in ready abundance. Didn't this guy see Blade Runner? I think maybe something with a lock on it, at minimum, is in order here for something as important as this. Or better yet, affix a bomb to it so that anyone not authorized to open it gets splattered to the four winds an kills the parasite in the process. The mind boggles. Anyway, if you're thinking of creating your own deadly parasite, consider how you intend to safely transport it from one location to another, don't come up with a plan on the fly like the good doctor.

The movie begins with a research scientist having a flash back/flash forward nap in his hijacked ambulance. The flash back shows him screwing around with some tadpoles in a Petri dish, but when he tries to put them in the washing machine he's startled by the secretary trying to take his lunch order an the tadpoles go flying. One lands on his stomach an digs in like Marlon Brando at an all you can eat buffet an the doc (lets call him Brundle, he looks just like Jeff Goldblum early in his transformation in The Fly) gets so freaked out he socks the secretary an puts the remaining parasite in a coffee Thermos for safe keepin'. The flash forward shows him strapped to a gurney inside a sauna squirming around like he's got terrible jock itch when a gigantic lamprey bursts out of his stomach an nearly swallows the camera lens. Then Brundle wakes up an decides never to eat at Taco Bell again an continues on, looking for a location to set up his lab equipment so he can rediscover the formula for Pepto Bismol, since it was apparently lost in the destruction of civilization. He finds a suitable location, but hears a woman screaming an goes to investigate, where most people would just bang on the wall an tell 'em to give it a rest. He finds two chickenheads holding a woman up against the wall about to put their junk in her trunk, so he lasers one of em an has an epic slow motion brawl with the second guy, complete with destruction of private property via both guys' hurled bodies. Eventually Brundle gets the better of the second guy an releases the woman from her bondage, only to make the realization that not only is she also a chickenhead, but that she was into it as she tries to claw his eyes out with her nails. Brundle is so repulsed he can't even look at her exposed breasts an shoves her off him so he can get back to his coffee Thermos. En route back to his ambulance he's stopped by a grizzled old man that applauds his efforts to rid the neighborhood of what he calls "sickies" an offers him some coffee. But the grizzled old man realizes Bundle is about to have explosive diarrhea all over his floor an kindly but firmly rushes him off before he turns the place into a public rest room in Detroit. So Brundle is heading back to his ride when the two surviving chickenheads from the previous encounter proceed to rough him up an break his laser pistol. He wrestles the male chickenhead an positions him near a rattlesnake that chomps down on his jugular an then Brundle taps the chickenhead with a hollow pole to extract maple syrup from him.

With that unpleasent business out of the way, Brundle stops an refills his ride an heads into town where he rents a room from Blanche of The Golden Girls an settles in to do some science stuff. Shortly thereafter a man in black driving the car from Knight Rider stops at the gas station an gets K.I.T.T. filled up with methane an pays with a silver card with the Decepticon logo on it. Meanwhile Brundle is at the local food court sampling some local delicacies an chatting up the owner when some future punks come in an start dancing badly, as only stupid white people can, to god awful music until they see Brundle. The head punk (Ricus) sits down with Brundle an eats his soup. It looks like things are about to get real when Demi Moore comes in to deliver some lemons to the shopkeep an Ricus realizes she's a much tastier dish than the soup an starts to give her the business. Then the punks follow Demi out an hassle her until the shop owner (Collins) comes out an points a gun in what passes for their faces an threatens to shoot their nuts off, but Collins can't remember how to shoot it, and between that an the fact that they know no one is a good enough marksman to shoot off nuts that small, they take it away from him so they can point it at him for awhile an ask him how he likes it. But since they're also chickenheads, they forget to keep an eye on Demi an she pulls out her own gun an runs 'em off. Then Brundle tries to go back to his science stuff but the punks stop him at his ride an rifle through his stuff looking for shiny things to take back to their chickenhead coop, then they rifle through the stuff in his room an take him back to their headquarters. They find the Thermos an Brundle tells them they're gonna be sorry if they open it, so Ricus lets one of his peons open it an the parasite flies out an latches onto him like Anna Nicole Smith on a geriatric man's bank account. Naturally, the punks, having ignored the six or seven warnings Brundle issued, blame him an kick the crap out of him, with no regard for his parasitic fetus, leaving him for dead. Demi finds Brundle an brings him home to rest up, but elsewhere KNG (Knight Rider Guy) stops at the grizzled old man's house an asks him if he's seen a guy that looks like he's just been through a telepod with a fly. The grizzled old man says he dunno nothin' but KNG knows he's lying an lasers off his hand an tells 'em he doesn't like being lied to, an that he gets enough of that at home from his tramp of a wife an his ungrateful kids.

Then KNG stops in at Collins' place an learns that Brundle's been here not too long ago an checks into the same hotel. Meanwhile, Brundle really needs to get back to his science stuff because the parasite is growing inside him an he's running on borrowed time so Demi agrees to drive him into town to grab his beakers an Bunsen burners so he can get back to his doctor stuff. Elsewhere, the punk with the parasite is starting to sound even dumber than before because Anna (the parasite) is slurping down what little blood he'd normally have in his brain an Ricus is starting to get worried enough that he's seriously contemplating a heel to babyface turn to get Anna off of his buddy. Back at the hotel KNG is going through Brundle's stuff when he hears him coming up the stairs, rather than capture him while he's alone and vulnerable, he lets him gather his science stuff an follows him towards Demi's place, only the punks see his fancy car an cut him off at the pass an drag him out of the car, but he ejects a laser gun he'd been hiding up his sleeve like Robocop an lasers a couple of the punks until they surrender an let him go. Back at Demi's place, Brundle is telling her about his impending fatherhood an lets her know that if she's not ready for parenthood he understands, but Demi's in it for the long haul an she agrees to help, at least as much as she's able for a girl that survives by selling lemons to the local grocer. Meanwhile at punk-HQ the peon has been completely drained. Ricus is bummed an more than a little concerned about Anna's current whereabouts, so he lifts up a blanket being used by another peon an finds it catching a nap. He tries to get her off the couch before it can latch onto her but Anna's got the quickness of a cat and the speed of a mongoose, an she chomps onto the girl's leg like Mike Tyson on an ear lobe. Back at Demi's place Brundle just cannot find a cure without getting his hands on Anna, fortunately, the punks bring the girl into town looking for help, but Collins doesn't answer the door when Demi checks his place. (Collins' an Demi's homes are rather close to each other, just for clarity's sake)

Elsewhere, KNG stops in at Demi's place looking for Brundle, but she won't tell 'em where he is an he has to force-feed Demi his fist a few times to talk some sense into her, but he hears a car in the distance an has to make a run for it when he remembers he left the door wide open an the keys in the ignition. When he reaches his car the scene is just as he left it, other than Ricus, who sneaks up on him an waffles him with a board an proceeds to play hackey sack with his scrotum sac until he starts talking like Mickey Mouse an can't stand up anymore. Then Ricus heads up to Demi's place looking for Brundle but he's nowhere to be seen an he can't find Demi because she's tipsy in the tulips, so he heads back to Collins' place. Meanwhile the punks have moved Anna and the girl over to Brundle's room at the hotel, but more importantly, wherever Brundle was while KNG was rearranging Demi's face, he's figured out that high frequency sound waves will kill Anna and his own parasite. But by now Anna's drained the girl an has her eyes set on Blanche, so it slithers up the wall an onto the ceiling directly above her an starts leaking mascara all over Blanche until she looks up just in time to see Anna bonzai drop onto her face. Then Demi an Brundle head back to the hotel an find all the corpses, from one of which Anna bursts an makes a run for it. They give chase an wrap Anna (who should now be waaaaaaay too big for this to work) up in a coat so they can poke it with a needle for reasons I genuinely do not understand. I think maybe a scene got cut or something. Then they go back to Brundle's room an crank the sound wave generator up so high that it makes that sound Jim Carrey makes in Dumb an Dumber until Brundle's parasite and a couple jars of Smucker's premium jam gush out of his stomach an latch onto Demi, only the sound of Jim's voice is too powerful an the parasite drops off Demi into a smouldering mass on the floor. Then, as if he senses that Anna is the only remaining parasite, KNG shows up an it's time for the big showdown beween KNG, Ricus, Collins, Demi an Brundle. Lamprey style, to the finish.

Parasite really isn't all that bad. I've gotta believe the estimated budget from IMDB is over estimated, otherwise I'd like to know who pocketed about 25% of it. Or if they spent 25% of it on that Lamborghini. It's got a couple plot holes, but for a movie made in the early 80s, by Charles Band, it was much better than I expected. I was concerned that I'd have another Laserblast on my hands, but that's not the case at all. Charles Band is probably the most hit an miss director I can think of, with movies as bad as... well everything he's making now, and as good as Puppet Master. With a ton that are just decent and in between, like Parasite. My only serious problem with this movie is it's never mentioned how the doctor came up with the idea of using sound waves to kill the parasites. He's just off screen for awhile, has a genius moment, presumably while he was on the crapper. That's where most men do their profound thinking. Seems like there's a scene missing here, a rather IMPORTANT scene. The movie's only 1:24 long, I think we could stand to have an additional minute to explain how he came up with it, even if it's just movie science, that's good enough for me. And of course, the fact that it doesn't make a lot of sense for the government, or the evil corporations ruling the world to pay a guy to create a parasite that seems as though it's been specifically designed to wipe out the entire world. When you look at the specifics of what the creature is/does, I can't even rationalize it into mad scientist logic. It's gonna kill everyone in their labor camps, then it's gonna kill them, end of story. Other than that, it really doesn't suffer from any serious problems. The acting is okay (don't make me say Troll 2 again), the shooting locations are suitable to a futuristic wasteland, the soundtrack, to be honest, I have no recollection of at all, so we can assume it was adequate but not memorable. Nor would it have been inappropriate or obnoxious, otherwise I'd remember it. The special effects are pretty good, big thumbs up to Stan Winston, his monsters were always impressive and original.

Overall, Parasite is a lot of fun. From the three categories that keep a movie in the "fun" classification (above bad and below good) this movie is fun due to it's charm. It's also got some sophistication, mostly carried single handedly by Stan Winston an his fantastic creature creations. But it's charm, more than sophistication or heart that makes Parasite enjoyable. It's not hampered by inane dialogue, and it does have enough character development to at least help us to identify with the primary characters and keep them well defined and individualized in our minds. A lot of movies have a slug of characters, but so little plot development that I can't even remember their names at times, let alone have a preference as to whether they're alive or not at the end of the movie. So we do at least have opinions about the characters in the movie, ironically, Demi Moore is probably the most "meh" character that matters in the movie. But of course, guess whose name is on the cover of the DVD in an attempt to get people who would never otherwise buy it to pick it up? Naturally. Shame on you Anchor Bay, deceiving the ignorant masses like that. I suppose it's not that big of a deal, if a few people pick it up for that reason that's a few extra bucks for Anchor Bay that'll go towards some other DVD release I'd probably like to have anyway. I guess when it was all over Charles Band remembered an thought well enough of Luca Bercovici that he was willing to give him a crack at sitting in the director's chair, as well as a writing opportunity when 1985 came around an the studio was making Ghoulies, which turned out at least as good as Parasite, in my opinion. I thought Bercovici was not only the best actor, but also played the most interesting character in Parasite. Able to pull off the degenerate punk for the first half of the movie, then also play the babyface after the morality crisis he suffers midway through. He's still a jerk, but he's a jerk you can get behind an root for. In the end, Parasite is okay, it's worth a watch at least for the average horror fan, to be avoided by anyone else. Hardcore horror fans can safely pick it up blind without being disappointed. It's a lot of fun, check it out if you're not a monocle wearing sophisto.

If I had a tumor, I'd name it Marla. But if I had a parasite, I'd name it Anna.

Rating: 65%