PLOT: Residents of a high-rise apartment complex are infected with a parasite that turns them into sex-crazed maniacs.
Let me tell you something: I have seen a lot of sci-fi and horror movies in my time, and I can’t think of a dumber medical experiment I have ever heard of than “let’s genetically engineer parasites so they can replace organ transplants”. And I’ve seen Re-Animator, which I guess the experiment in that is just “let’s try and prolong how long severed heads can survive just because we want to play God”. Aside from the asinine scientific merit of this film’s big conceit, I just didn’t really like this movie. I like a lot of Cronenberg’s later stuff, and his brand of body horror is present here, but this is kind of an ugly, grotesque movie, even by his standards.
The story starts off with a scientist cutting open a woman and pouring acid into her insides, then slitting his own throat. Eventually, we find out that the scientist was working on trying to find a replacement for organ transplants using parasites. Per usual in these movies, when you start messing with parasites, things go south and the parasite gets look and starts infecting the residents.
This movie is not unlike Parasite, which I reviewed earlier in the month, but it’s somehow even trashier than Parasite. The practical effects are about what you’d expect from a b-movie like this, and it kind of shows off things to come later in Cronenberg’s career, but this movie is unpleasant; though I guess I shouldn’t be that surprised by that. I’ve enjoyed Cronenberg’s later films like The Fly, Eastern Promises, and Videodrome, but this one didn’t hit for me too well.
I want to give this movie the benefit of the doubt as a movie that’s one of the earliest in a director’s filmography, but the content of this movie didn’t really win me over enough to get into the grossness of it. It’s cool to see where a filmmaker started out, but he Cronenberg would obviously go on to bigger and better things than this one.
Overall Rating: 5 out of 10