I just found out that the director of Skeeter had a sizeable role in Funland. Remember how you felt on the morning of September 11, 2001? That's how I feel right now. I'm holding up pretty well, all things considered. It makes perfect sense. Skeeter is about as enthralling as Funland, which isn't saying much. This "nature runs amok" flapdoodle defies logic and reason. It's a paradox that disrupts the harmony of nature. Why? Because it suffers from a glitch that you won't come across very often in the macrocosm of b-movie splendor. It's too good. I know, I know; I can't believe it either. Hear me out.
Skeeter hit American video shelves in 1994 (it was released a year earlier in Italy). 1995 saw the inception of Mosquito, a similarly-themed film starring a shopworn Gunnar Hansen. The two creature features are polar opposites. Mosquito works as an explicit, outlandish hunk of cheese. The special effects are ridiculous, the acting is stale and the gore is off the charts (pending further evidence, the jury is dithering on whether or not the gore is "off the chain"). It knows that it's a b-movie. Skeeter on the other hand...well, let's just say that the crew was trying too hard.
For all intents and purposes, this isn't your average straight-to-video bungle. The cast is competent. A couple of the characters are even amusing (Michael J. Pollard is given the best lines). The screenplay is bound and determined to develop its principal players beyond an unavailing stereotype. And I admire the effort, but a methodical exposition will always suck the blood out of a "giant mosquito" flick. The pace stagnates, and when the horror elements kick into gear, Skeeter plays it safe. Hell, our hero doesn't learn of the mutated mites until the tame finale. "Tame" also describes the violence on display.
Visually, I don't have any objections. The cinematography is polished, and the budget seems to be adequate (relatively speaking, of course). I hate to pander to the fratboy contingent, but Skeeter is like a hot chick with no personality. Actually, it's worse; I can't fuck this movie. If you're interested in renting it, however, I would advise opting for Mosquito instead. Now THAT is a schlocktail that delivers on the promise of camp. Plus, it doesn't bother with a pointless subplot involving Micheal J. Pollard and a caged mosquito. Don't ask. If you're wondering if I've seen Mansquito or Mosquito Man, I haven't. I won't lie, though; I'm curious to see how they stack up against their antecedents.
Did I mention that I have a birthday coming up? Wink? Nudge?
Posted by Dom Coccaro at 10:19 PM