It is as asinine as it looks

Parasite (1982) – Abysmal Sci-Fi Horror from Charles Band


As fan of fine B-movies, rarely do I run into a movie with no-redeeming qualities. I actually found a way to enjoy Dr. Gore, a.k.a The Body Shop, and I enjoyed the quirky incompetence of Plan 9 From Outer Space. H.G. Lewis is a purveyor of the finest art if you ask me. Conversely, 1982’s science fiction snooze-fest Parasite (1982), directed by Charles Band, falls into the  abyss of movies so bad that they literally don’t deserve our time.

Only in the rarest of circumstances have I seen a production team fail at almost every aspect of good film making. The acting is absolutely horrible. The special effects are cringe-worthy and the cinematography is sterile and hopelessly flat. Originally released in 3D, contrived shots of things flying at your face look ridiculously absurd when viewed in standard 2D. Making it the all more sad, Band tries to make a serious film. Had it known that it would be the butt of its own joke it could have at least tried to poke fun at itself.

Demi Moore, For Reals?

Incredibly, Demi Moore debuts her acting career in Parasite. While her performance isn’t especially strong, this stands as one of the few redeeming qualities of the film. In her defense, she minimally provides a ray of much needed light thought the putrid haze of this bland film. In fact, she looks as if she doesn’t belong in same universe that it was filmed. You can almost hear the needle tear across the record as she emerges with her first appearance. According to rumors, her only previous claim to fame had been a shot of her rearview for the poster for I Spit on Your Grave. What a resume!

Parasite - Demi Moore's big screen debut
Parasite (1982) – Demi Moore’s big screen debut

Parasite – Plot Summary

In a post-apocalyptic future a diabolical corporation creates a deadly parasite. The parasite burrows into Chief Scientist Dr. Paul Dean, the man responsible for creating it. Dean manages to flee the corporation with the intention of finding a cure. His only hope for finding a cure relies on a living specimen that he smuggled out in a Coleman thermos. In a dash of brilliant creativity, the creature burrows through the skin and gestates until it spews forth from the body. If that sounds familiar, Ridley Scott released Alien (1979) just three years prior. I guess parasites can only gestate and burst from only so many places.

After a series of sleep inducing events happen, the doctor cures himself and destroys the parasites. I refuse to waste any more time summarizing the plot of this asinine movie.

Garbage Everywhere

Starting with the special effects, the creature looks so laughable that Charles Band seems almost embarrassed to show the thing. The movie drones on for about 40 minutes before offering a good look at it. When finally revealed, it literally looks like a rubber fishing lure with sharp teeth. Honestly, this comes as a surprise since Stan Winston worked on the film. Later, he would perform an impressive body of work with films like Aliens and The Terminator.

Zeke drained of life by the parasite
Zeke drained of life by the this little rubber beastie

The movie features crude laser beams that look worse than those in syndicated TV shows released 30 years prior. The producers leverage an unmodified Lamborghini Countach as a futuristic space car. Unfortunately, Lamborghini first released that model in 1974. At times the car whistles around like it runs on anti-gravity clouds. Other times it sounds like gasoline powered V-10. At first I shuddered to think how much better the monster could look if they saved money on the car. That’s when I realized that the car was probably owned by one of the producers that wanted to show it off.

Parasite, Not Worth the Trouble

Apart from Moore, Band assembled a cast entirely composed of no-names and B-movie castoffs. It should be noted that Demi Moore eventually works again with Tom Villard (Playing parasite victim, Zeke) in the comedy One Crazy Summer (1986). For the life of me, I never thought One Crazy Summer would get a mention my horror blog. The lead, Dr. Paul Dean, suffers from a major sweating problem. He carts around a laughable cardboard box full of grade school laboratory equipment in his quest for a cure. If only he had another 200ml beaker!

It is as asinine as it looks
It is as asinine as it looks – Stan Winston did this?

I remember watching the trailer for this movie when I was a kid. I struggle to quantify my disappointment after viewing the movie for the first time. For example, there is one 3D shot where the parasite descends from the ceiling. I can remember its chomping jaws and I literally could not wait to see the film. Reality disappoints in some pretty brutal ways sometimes. While delighted to finally see this debacle show up in my streaming recommendations, I was thankful when it was done. This film is a massive turd. Parasite is a really bad movie and should only be viewed if you like shamelessly bad movies.

Parasite (1982) - Abysmal Sci-Fi Horror from Charles Band - Malevolent Dark
parasite monster

Director: Charles Band

Date Created: 1970-01-01 00:33

Editor's Rating:

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