Mosquitoman (Mansquito) (2005)
Mosquitoman (Mansquito) (2005)

Genre: Sci-Fi Horror Running Time: 1 hr. 32 min.

Release Date: March 5th, 2005 MPAA Rating: R

Director: Tibor Takacs Actors: Corin Nemec, Musetta Vander, Matthew Jordan, Patrick Dreikauss, Jay Benedict, Christa Campbell, Ivo Tonchev

 


 

A

new virus more deadly than the West Nile Virus has emerged, extending rapidly across the United States to infect thousands of people – resulting in the overcrowding of hospitals and widespread panic. The epidemic leads Bellion Pharmaceuticals’ Dr. Aaron Michaels (Jay Benedict) in Baltimore to experiment on a new breed of mosquito that is unable to transfer the disease. His use of radiation and Death Row convicts as human test subjects is bad news for unwitting guinea pig Ray Erikson (Matthew Jordan), who manages to break free of his handcuffs, engage in a bullet-riddled shootout in the lab, and take scientist Liz (Christa Campbell) as a hostage.

After mercilessly killing Liz, Ray attempts to use Dr. Jennifer Allen (Musetta Vander) as a human shield, but she manages to escape his grasp long enough to take shelter under a table before a second gunfight causes a DNA-altering reactor explosion to spew blue, radioactive mosquito liquid all over Ray. Although the convict slips down into the basement and out through the parking garage, he immediately begins experiencing the effects of a drastic mutation. In short order, he becomes the Mosquitoman (or the Mansquito, as the movie was originally titled). So it’s up to homicide detective Lieutenant Thomas Randall (Corin Nemec), who happens to be Jennifer’s boyfriend, to track down the rampaging human/mosquito hybrid monstrosity.

“Look, I’m not at fault here,” insists Michaels in an utterly flat voice. Although the acting is worse than terrible and the dialogue is routinely laughable (the scenes of detective work are so generic that the officers could be investigating just about any crime imaginable), the special makeup effects are surprisingly decent. A few moments of unconvincing computer animation soon give way to enormous prosthetics and appendages and an oversized mansquito costume, which are wholly amusing and entirely refreshing. For the most part, “Mosquitoman” is a ripoff of David Cronenberg’s “The Fly,” but it’s still rare to see such an inspired creature design in a low-budget, made-for-television project.

The body count is fairly high and the gore is continuous, even if most of it takes place just outside of the frame. There’s a preoccupation with conventional staging, such as the mansquito lurking in the shadows, or descending from the ceiling onto a victim, or crossing behind a character as flashes of light reveal the creature – or even an obligatory sex scene to show off Vander’s body (especially as she undergoes a mutation of her own in a tepid secondary plot). But many of those shots are nonetheless effective. And since the villain is so quickly turned into a slimy creature – and supporting roles are so rapidly dispatched – there’s little time to care about anything other than the violence and related scares.

“He’s more mosquito than man by now.” The story was written by none other than Boaz Davidson (who loves to incorporate stunts and action into his horror yarns), the man behind such epic schlock as “Crocodile,” “Octopus,” “Spiders,” “Rats,” “Snakeman,” and “Sharkman.” So it’s really not surprising that his forte shifted from killer animal movies to mutant human movies, all with similar plotlines and comparably mediocre production values. Fortunately, the practical effects here (and the hospital rampage finale) are just impressive enough to compensate for the generally poor handling of scripting and direction and storytelling.

– Mike Massie

  • 6/10