Earth is the final breeding ground.
Year of Release: 1993
Genre: Horror/Science Fiction
Running Time: 95 minutes (1:35)
Director: Clark Brandon
Tracy Griffith ... Sarah Crosby
Jim Youngs ... Roy Boone
Charles Napier ... Ernie Buckle
Jay Robinson ... Drake
William Sanderson ... Gordon Perry
Michael J. Pollard ... Hopper
Eloy Casados ... Hank Tucker
John F. Goff ... Clay Crosby
George 'Buck' Flower ... Filo
Toxic waste turns a stagnant pool of water into a breeding ground of terror. The result is a new species of mosquito in this unforgettable, spine-tingling, stinging experience. In the small desert town of Mesquite, Sarah Crosby and her boyfriend are the first to discover the horrifying truth - that the invasion has begun - and earth is the final battleground!
Skeeter's got some hitherto unexamined slices of life, ranging from the basic to the disgusting, an at least one thing that I hope the movie's writers will take into consideration should they ever get work again. Now, the basic. Something no one should have to be told, yet most everyone needs to be at some point in their lives. If someone runs away from you, even just once, let 'em go. Don't go chasing after them, that just validates their belief that they're significant in some way. Not taking the bait puts you in the driver's seat, in a win/win situation. Possibility one, they don't come back. Win. Possibility two, they have to eat crow an slink back to you, at which point you're free to rub it in mercilessly. Win. So stop allowing this kind of trolling to persist, an jerk the rug out from under this nonsense. Now, the disgusting. This just needs to be said, women love a man in uniform. That's all well an good, uniforms display power. Power implies that they'll be safe forever with said uniformed man, an maybe even able to manipulate him an make some of that power their very own. But Skeeter proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that women even love a surly senior citizen, as long as he's in a uniform, an that just makes me sick. How desperate are these women anyway? They might wanna think about moving. As if that weren't revolting enough, some women are so slutty that they'll open up for a guy that just locked them in the truck of his car an slung 'em around the back forty like they were a deer strapped to the roof. What's wrong with these women? An why don't they live a lot closer to me? Whores. Anyway, the last bit of advice is for the writers. Sub-plot almost always bogs down a movie's pacing. It's okay if we're getting back story that's relevant to what's happening now, or if the sub-plot itself is exciting, but when you're making a movie about giant mutant mosquitoes, a romantic sub plot fits in about like... well, like a god damn romantic sub plot in a giant mutant mosquito movie.
Who thought this was a good idea? I want names. Don't make me blacklist every last one of you. Don't go trying to make an eco-horror movie into a Lifetime original feature, if you were here right now I'd give your nose such a newspaper swatting you'd be breathing outta your mouths for the rest of your natural lives... oh never mind, that's probably already happening. An then, when the romantic sub-plot finally blossoms, are there any breasts for us? Oh no, of course not. She's a classy lady... who nailed the guy within two days of returning home. She can't show her ta-tas, that'd ruin the purity of the scene. You guys know who you are an I better not have to mention this again. Trying to turn my eco-horror movie into an Avon publication, the nerve of some people. An while we're on the subject of bad sub-plot, Eloy Casados' character, who's an Indian, gets ahold of some bad peyote in the middle of the movie, an instead of putting in a little sub-plot here to explain why this cop who, up to this point has been a straight shooter, is high on drugs, they don't even bother giving a little exposition that'd take all of 45 seconds, where we could really use it. Oh, but that might take away from the 10 minutes of unwanted romantic sub-plot filling up the movie. So basically, it's more important that we watch Jim Youngs be a twat tease on four or five separate occasions than to let the audience know that Indians use peyote for their spirit walking rituals, an that the guy is not just holding down a job as a cop to get his narcotic fix every night when his shift ends. An you've got to believe the writers knew that Indians use peyote for these rituals, otherwise there's no reason for including it in the movie. The movie's already got at least five minutes that doesn't need to be in it, was the 45 seconds worth of exposition the last straw that was gonna send the movie over into an unwatchable downward spiral? So it's bad enough that they've got all this plot getting in the way of the story, but they're half-assing the plot an introducing concepts they don't bother to explain, just to fill up the film canister. See, this is why Roger Corman's movies only ever lasted 78 minutes.
Skeeter begins with a bunch of scum for hire with a great big convoy, rockin' through the night to one of the most repetitive, but otherwise decent movie soundtracks I can recall, en route to an abandoned mine. The plan is to unload the toxic waste they're hauling into the mine, a la Mr. Burns, an seal the front door with a bicycle lock so it'll remain safe and secure forever. Unfortunately, after an indeterminate amount of time, two hicks on dirt bikes somehow manage to bypass the previously impregnable defenses of the mine an one of the two can be heard inside screaming like Tammy Faye Baker after she accidentally picked up a copy of 50 Shades of Grey. The other gets on his bike an peels outta there like something in the mine just threatened to make him get a job an a haircut, but it's not long before the point of view skeeters close in on him. After that, it's just a matter of time before they draw out what little blood had previously occupied his brain an he takes a hard right on a straight stretch of road into the wild grey yonder. Back in what passes for town, officer Boone is riding in to work on his own bike, doing his best Lorenzo Lamas impression for the five or six ladies that might be watching. Besides, today's the funeral of his ex-flame's mother, an he's gonna need all the smarmy charm he can muster if he's gonna hit that on the day of her mother's burial. He makes nice at the funeral an reminisces with her a little bit, but once he knows she's hooked, he plays hard to get. She (Sarah) goes home with her father to tend to the dirt farm, an Boone remembers he's got that whole cop gig goin' on an realizes he'd better do that police stuff the chief asked him to do earlier. Strangely, though the chief did tell him that the two missing boys' father an sister were out looking for them, but not where, he knows exactly where to look, an drives up on a rather ugly scene. The boys' father is trying to get his daughter to shut up an quit showing Boone an Tucker (Boone's partner) how dysfunctional they are as a family, but she's having none of it. B & T try to get them to stop frying what little brains they have out in the hot sun, but Dad tells 'em this is how they bond as a family, an sides that, he's really looking forward to beatin' the hell out of the two boys if he can find 'em before the heat stroke paralyzes him.
Elsewhere, the chief (Murdoch from Rambo II) is consorting with a man of questionable character (Jay Robinson) an basically building up more bad karma than the Christian Children's Fund. Jay's the one that paid the scum for hire to dump the toxic waste up in the mine an he wants all the residents to sell their land to him so he can build a movie studio an sell the footage of whatever mutants cook up to the Sci Fi channel. In still another bit of sub-plot, Boone has hired an Enviro from some agency intended to resemble the EPA (but that isn't so they don't have to pay for the use of the agency's name), to come to town an check out the town's water supply. But Murdoch doesn't like it, cause he's getting a cut of the Sci Fi channel proceeds when Jay can finally get everyone's land. Then Boone goes back out to Sarah's place so he can make sure she still wants to KerPlunk his junk. Then, still out under the blazing sun, Dad an Sis notice a cloud of Malaria an West Nile virus floating their way an Dad is just able to get Sis shoved in the car before they latch onto him an start bleeding him dry like a medical billings specialist. Later that evening, Murdoch sends Tucker out to get Boone so they can form a search party to locate the previous search party, only Tucker is pretty messed up on a bad batch of peyote an Boone has to drive even though he's pretty messed up from welding modern art for the last two hours without a mask on. So between the two of 'em they're able to see well enough to get back to where they last left the search party, only Dad's got a lot more nickle sized puncture wounds in 'em than they remember an Sis is clinging to the backseat of the car like Elliot Spitzer on a prostitute. So while Boone peels Sis off the backseat so he can get her home, Tucker's off doing the rain dance around Dad's body cause he's so whacked out of his skull he thinks the guy's a dried up strawberry patch. The next morning, Sarah finds the juvenile delinquent that went sailing off the highway into the waiting arms of the rocky terrain below an calls Boone out to see if he's ready to stick it in her yet. He still isn't, but he at least decides to follow her home where they find her Dad holding the Enviro at gunpoint because he thinks he's trying to pee in his watering trough. So Boone has to get Sarah's Elmer Fudd of a father to stop pointing his double barrel at the Enviro an after seeing the sight of the gun Sarah is reminded of how Boone won't show her his an flies off the handle like a stereotypical red head an goes in the house to find her shower head adapter.
Elsewhere, in what has to be the busiest patch of sage brush country in the continental United States, is still another weirdo spinning donuts an trying to drive erratically enough to loose all the rocks he's got embedded in his tires. Eventually he stops an opens up the trunk of his car, where he's met by a nasty chick who was misled by his inquiry as to whether she liked it rough. But as it turns out, he only put her in there for getting too nasty with the other guys, so she turns on the charm (by which I mean she rubs her leg on his groin), an just when it seems like she's gonna score, he drops her back in the trunk. Because after all, he can rub one out anytime, but he may never get the chance to concuss her in the trunk of his car again. But first, he's gotta take care of some business. Unfortunately, in the process, he gets a skeeter on his peter, an various other places, an pretty quick there's a bunch of Hispanics surrounding his corpse filing Chupacabra reports to the National Enquirer. The nasty broad is able to kick her way out of the trunk, but when she's unable to locate the body with the 10 giant mosquitoes using it as a big gulp, she gets in the car an heads back to town. Later that evening, Sarah shows up at Boone's place to whine a little bit about how the shower head just isn't the same, an he finally agrees to Boone her. Wasn't that anti climactic. The next morning, the Enviro is stopped on the highway by his supervisor who wants to know why the hell he's not at his desk, an why it took him this many days to notice. The Enviro tells the boss he's found a real problem here, only the boss is in Jay's pocket an he smashes his chemistry set an tells him that if he doesn't get back to the office he's got half a mind to write him up. Then Jay sends some goons over to Boone's after he spoons Sarah's poon. He's able to fight them off for awhile, but eventually they taze him an take him out to the desert to dump 'em, only they get swarmed by another pack of skeeters an Boone starts to understand the appeal of the chain wheel, cause it's real hard to drive a car wearing hand cuffs without one. Yadda yadda, Sarah's taken the Enviro out to the mine so he can fart around with his test tubes some more, only Sarah falls down a shaft (not to be confused with the earlier sequence in which she bounced on one) an the Enviro runs back to town to get a 50 gallon drum of Raid an get Boone an Tucker to fish Sarah out of the hole.
Skeeter really only has two problems. They're crippling problems, but there's only two of them none the less. I've been over the painful sub-plot, in an explanation that's almost as painful an drawn out as the scenes in the movie were. An it's not just that the sub-plot is out of place, unnecessary and unwanted, it really screws up the pacing. All those sequences were missed opportunities. An I don't wanna come off as one of those idiots that isn't happy if someone isn't being mutilated or a car isn't exploding, so let's make this perfectly clear. They didn't have to use what would have been extra time for more skeeter kills. Would have been immensely better, but really, how much of that can you watch before it wears thin? Where I think they missed the boat, is by not using that time to work the corrupt land developer angle with Jay Robinson an the crooked sheriff. That's sub-plot that doesn't bring the movie to a grinding halt anytime Tracy Griffith's character comes on screen an we know that Jim Youngs is about to get this dopey look on his face like he got a funny feeling in his pants. Romance an horror go together like porn an church, you just shouldn't do that, an I hope the writers know they're bad people an should feel bad. The other problem? Strangely, slightly less crippling than the first problem. Bad special effects, an I do mean bad. Now I don't wanna slander these guys too bad, because I can't be certain they had any kind of a budget here to work with. It could just be that there wasn't enough money available to make anything decent, but the mosquitoes are the reason we're watching the movie for fuck's sake. An by we, I mean me an the two other people that have seen it. Maybe the writers really did think the terribly conceived romance was the reason to watch the movie an didn't leave any money for the effects crew. Maybe they had plenty of money an they're just terrible, I really can't say for certain. What I can say for certain is it'd take great special effects to bring this movie back from the edge of the toilet bowl, an these are not only not great, they're great at being shitty. Now that's a one-two punch that even Holyfield couldn't get up from.
Overall, Skeeter's watchable. If you can choke down the sub-plot, the rest of the movie is actually pretty entertaining. The best metaphor I can devise for this movie is, imagine a Nascar race. One of the cars is driving with a dead battery an a burned out alternator. Every time the sub-plot hits, the car dies. An with the alternator out an the battery toasted, you can't simply restart the car, it has to be jumped. Every time the sub-plot strikes. Now, how do you imagine that car is gonna perform in a competitive race? An oh yeah, it's competitive. There's lots of eco-horror out there. There's lots of mutant bug movies out there. We don't need this. So anyway, the rest of the movie is okay. The acting is pretty decent, got a few genre actors an all around weird guys in Jay Robinson (the host of Beyond Bizarre), William Sanderson (Man's Best Friend, Sometimes They Come Back, Blade Runner) an Michael J. Pollard (Sleepaway Camp III, House of 1000 Corpses). Not to mention Buck Flower telling his fellow bar patrons the story about the time he was attacked by killer ducks while he was out hunting. That's probably the best scene in the movie, Buck Flower is one of my favorite character actors ever, he's in way too much good stuff to try to list it all, an the truly unfortunate thing is, he's easily the most talented actor in the entire movie, an his scene is all of two minutes. So anyway, good acting, liked the cast. The plot's decent, the real plot I mean. Good shooting locations, an the soundtrack is adequate. By adequate, I mean I like the way it sounds most of the time. Whether it adds any atmosphere... now that's a different story. I suppose what comes to mind when making this determination is Jim Youngs riding his bike to the police station at sunrise with his shirt open. But quite frankly, it's not the music that makes that scene fall flat. I don't think a soundtrack by Pantera could have helped him live up to the badass persona they were painting for him. So we can say it's atmosphere is reminiscent of Mercury, an leave it at that.
Ultimately, it's watchable, but hampered by two bludgeoning sledge hammers. One that keeps it from being good, an one that stops it from even being fun. I'll let you decide which is which.