Demi Moore in her first starring role??! Before you break out the Jergins be aware that this young, flat-chested, no ass havin’ Demi is a far cry from the gyrating, silicone factory that stole our hearts and stiffened our wood in Striptease. Parasite is an old Charles Band flick from the early 80’s (1982 to be exact!) and you’d never know it by the sneering, sleazoid, post-apocalyptic criminal drifters, modest gore and iffy dubbing. By the way, that was sarcasm. Parasite reeks 80’s and even sports a plot so thin you may actually rip it fast forwarding too many times!
The year is 1992 and the world is in the throes of post-apocalyptic extinction (natch!). Paper currency is no longer accepted, a cup of coffee costs $5 a cup and a car is missing its door. It would appear there was some kind of Atomic War that’s brought civilization to its knees. People are forced to work in “the suburbs” in labor camps run by “The Merchants” of the XYREX Corporation. Life does not appear to be wonderful.
Doctor Paul Dean (Robert Glaudini) is contracted to create a dangerous new parasite for the Merchants and the Government. Why? Who the Hell knows! It would seem Dean has a change of heart and is caught while attempting to destroy the project. A scuffle between Dean and The Government/Merchant liaison Wolf The Merchant (James Davidson) ensues and a parasite is splashed onto Dean, who narrowly escapes with a second parasite in a canister.
He makes his way to a small town called Joshua, a town that sports perhaps 15 people. Now, any sane Doctor on the run from the government would avoid a town that’s so hard to hide in but not our Doctor Dean, he stops in for gas, rents a room from Miss Daley (Vivian Blaine) and drops in at the local eatery for a cup of soup and chit chat with the owner, Collins (Al fann). Dean sets up a makeshift lab in his room and begins to work on an antidote to counteract the parasites growth. Unfortunately, he’s caught off guard by local ruffians lead by Ricus (Luca Bercovici), a disgruntled ex-labor camp kid and his team of typical 80’s cronies, bad hair, bandanas and all.
The little band of losers proceed to open the mysterious canister carrying a parasite and one of the rejects, Zeke (Tom Villard), ends up with a leech-like parasite with teeth attached to his chest. Of course, this just pisses off the scumbags even more and Dean has his ass handed to him, Hell’s Angels style. He awakens to find himself under the care of local lemon farmer and clean faced angel Patricia (Demi Moore). Doc breaks it down to Patty that this parasite will continue to feed and grow until it’s ready to reproduce by shooting spores into the air. Once the spores come in contact with skin, they’ll grow into more parasites. She decides to help Dean find a way to stop the parasites before they spread.
Meanwhile, the parasite from the canister has sucked Zeke dry and has moved on to Dana (Cherie Currie), Ricus’ main squeeze. As if things couldn’t get worse, Wolf The Merchant comes looking for Dean and the parasites! He wants the government’s property and he’ll dismember people with his laser gun to do it. And he does! The film swings into “Whose On First?” as Ricus heads out to search for Dean, who steps out, while he’s gone Wolf shows up looking for Dean, Ricus shows up and jumps Wolf, Dean shows up, Wolf leaves…Demi gets a right hook to the jaw. Got it? No? Honestly, it won’t matter. Dean and Patricia have decided to try and kill the parasite inside of him by high frequency sound, it works, there’s gore, end of story. Well, not quite but I don’t want to spoil the fun of the cardboard characters, lack of story or clichéd ending.
When the movie first started I immediately began to wonder if this flick was filmed in Italy, the cinematography, the colors & Robert Glaudini’s bulging eyes and sweaty face gave me Sergio Leone flashbacks. I gotta be honest though, the gore was fun and the parasite was cool enough. It resembled a tadpole with teeth and was designed by Stan Winston. Gore fans won’t be disappointed with the amount of grue on display though viewers looking for a solid story may take issue with…well…the whole damn movie. The DVD I own is fullscreen and came with next to no special features aside from a trailer. I have a feeling even if it were widescreen; a trailer is all you get anyhow. I should also mention Parasite was a 3-D movie and for once it wasn’t overdone. I was tempted to break out my 3-D specks but the thought of combining them with my Icehouse buzz made me dizzy. Fun film, check it out.