Director – Michael Peterson
Starring – Pasquale Pilla (Living Arrangements), Arielle Cezanne, and Harrison Matthews (The Hagstone Demon)
Release Date – 2015
Rating – 4/5
Tagline – “From an unknown world…here to destroy ours!”
Insectula! is a throwback to the horror films of the 50s and 60s that found themselves on a late night double feature at the local drive-in. This is obviously way before my time but one of the most iconic times for cinema and is often referred to as the golden age of the b-movie. This is a rare treat for fans of horror and sci-fi flicks from that time period. Most throwback horror flicks now pay homage to the slashers of the 80s or pay tribute to the exploitation flicks of the late 60s and 70s.
I discovered Insectula! what felt like years ago when I came across the film’s page on Facebook. This was during one of the updates to Facebook that prevented people from messaging pages. I was unable to reach out to the page and over time I completely forgot about it until recently when I saw reviews pop up here and there for it. I went back to the page and reached out to them and they were kind enough to hook me up with a copy. Thanks!
**Spoiler Alert**The film follows a government agent who lost two family members to a giant mosquito like creature from another world. The beast is drawn to Earth due to the giant increase in CO2 gas. The beast starts killing while the agent is on the hunt to capture and kill it before it can take another human life.
To interfere with his search is a doctor that has experience with giant bug aliens from another world and wants to use this creature to create more like it. It is now up to the army and the agent to stop the unstoppable before the scientist is able to get his grubby little hands on it to take over the world.**Spoiler Alert**
I love the giant bug movies of the 50s and all the camp they had to offer. The monsters always looked corny and the acting is cliched but they still had a charm about them that the modern blood soaked horror flick has long forgotten. That was why I wanted to see the film. It looked like it incorporated all that camp and was able to capture that charm that we no longer see in monster movies.
The acting in this one is cheesy as hell and is done this way on purpose. All the characters are cliched and made to come off as goofy. Believe it or not, it takes talent to look bad. The story for this one is one told so many times before but the point of this film is to not be original but give the viewer a different spin on a story they told before. In a sense that makes this story seem different even though it is not. The film does succeed at that and dials up the entertainment. The film gives us more story in great lengths than it’s 50’s counterparts.
That is something I am a sucker for. The film takes us to another world where we see several creatures which also sets us up for a sequel that will be much sought after when this film is released.
Finally, the film is home to a plethora of on screen kills using both practical effects and computer generated. The visual effects for the creatures are obviously computer generated but they look fantastic. I typically hate CGI because it is rarely used correctly in the indie horror world but it looks flawless when it comes to the creatures.
With that being said, CGI is used several times during the kills scenes and it just made the kills look cheap which takes away some from the enjoyment. Now as for the practical effects, they are phenomenal. We have several scenes full of skeletons, gore, and other gross things that look great. This film really does blend the best of both worlds…and some of the bad.
Overall, Insectula! is the perfect b-movie. The film combines the camp of the classic 1950s b-movies with the camp of modern horror films that can be found on SyFy. If Dire Wit Films teamed up with the Asylum this would be the outcome. The world needs this film!