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Mosquito: 20th Anniversary Edition (1995) - Blu-ray Review

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Mosquito - Blu-ray Review

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5 BeersRiddle me this. Besides being movies I like, what do Evil Dead II, Moontrap, Army of Darkness and John Woo's Hard Target all have in common? It's not Bruce Campbell. It's the not the splatterific amount of gore either...but close. It's special effects artist Gary Jones. Writer/director Jones, who was the gore wizard responsible for the effects in those titles, doesn't get the attention he deserves. Outside of the B-movie realm, he is a relative unknown which is a tragedy. To assist you with your hurry-up-and-appreciate task, allow me to introduce you to a viscous little horror/comedy that is all about humanity's worst nightmare: giant skeeters from space.

Mosquito, a bloodsucking creature feature from 1995, celebrates its 20th anniversary with this blu-ray release from Synapse Films. While it is regularly seen on the Syfy channel, you can't exactly call this a box office bomb. It was made for a mere $200,000 but it grossed, when it was all said and done in its very limited release, almost $1,000,000 and given that the gore-ridden adventure is primarily delivered by some seriously detailed animatronic puppets and Harryhausen-like stop motion FXs, well, (and this is AFTER Jurassic Park, mind you, in which CGI became the expected norm) that's a pretty big damn deal. Sure it was slapped around by critics in the printed press but – in the age of the internet – the insect-helmed movie seems to have grown large enough to develop a bit of a cult following.

With a bit of a nudge and a wink, the earth – or at least parts of Michigan – becomes infested with giant-sized alien bloodsuckers that are most definitely not going to be taken down by any amount of bug repellent. Jones – who co-wrote the script with Tom Chaney and Steve Hodge – loads the film with "dialogue" so incredibly inane that its actors – Gunnar Hansen (Texas Chainsaw Massacre), Tim Lovelace, Rachel Loiselle, Ron Asheton (of The Stooges) and Steve Dixon – can't help but embrace the ridiculousness of it all. Mosquito is a film that definitely does not disappoint as the insanity around a small group of people – who wind up taking shelter in an isolated farm house – extends to park rangers, fisherman, children, and buck-naked campers who only want to have sex in the woods.

These pesky mass-invading bugs are almost impossible to take down with a shotgun. There's quite a number of misfortunate episodes in which a mosquito's target becomes accidental shotgun prey. Friendly fire indeed. Scenes like this amp up the gore and the humor. Virtually no one is safe as the panic spreads. One of the more unforgettable scenes involve a naked woman who, after enjoying a bit of quality time with her man (who has exited the tent to piss on a nearby tree), finds her butt cheek pierced by a very frisky skeeter. She screams and is suddenly pounced on by one who wants nothing more than to make sexy time with her. Gross. Effective. And, like I said, very memorable.

Oh, it's all tongue-in-cheek gooeyness to be certain but it definitely works to create a madcap matinee old-school vibe. Nothing in Mosquito – even if the beginning is a bit ... quiet – is disappointing. For me, this was originally a DVD rental. I laughed myself crazy at the time and now, on a remastered print, the laughs are second only to the practical effects as a swarm of alien giant-sized mosquitos attempt to make earth their new home.

Mosquito - Blu-ray Review

MPAA Rating: R for sci-fi violence and gore, a scene of sexuality/nudity, and for some language
Runtime:
92 mins
Director
: Gary Jones
Writer:
Tom Chaney, Steve Hodge
Cast:
Gunnar Hansen, Ron Asheton, Steve Dixon
Genre
: Sci-fi | Horror
Tagline:
Blood never tasted better
Memorable Movie Quote: "In the basement. Eggs, mosquito eggs. Hundreds of them, thousands of them."
Distributor:
Acme Films Ltd.
Official Site:
Release Date:
May 20, 1995
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
October 13, 2015
Synopsis: An alien starship dumps a space-trash in a swamp in a U.S. National Park. Some mosquitoes begin to feed from the alien's corpses, causing them to grow to the size of a vulture. These mutant insects became very aggressive, killing every human being they find. Will the few survivors fight successfully against this nightmare...?

Mosquito - Blu-ray Review

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Available on Blu-ray - October 13, 2015
Screen Formats: 1.85:1
Subtitles
: English SDH, French, Spanish, German
Audio:
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1; English: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0
Discs: 50GB Blu-ray Disc; Single disc (1 BD)
Region Encoding: Region-free playback

From the insert included with the blu-ray: "Mosquito was scanned in 3K resolution utilizing double-flash HDR on an SRRISCAN film scanner, then down-sampled to 2K for output to a DPX file sequence, using the director's personal archival 35mm internegative element. The majority of the film was originally photographed in 16mm and blown up to 35mm for theatrical exhibition. Many of the optical effects shots were photographed natively in 35mm and inserted in the final edit. You may notice a number of out of focus shots in the film. This issue is inherent in the original photography, and is not a fault of the new scan or transfer. Additional digital cleanup was performed on the original DPX film scan files, and thousands of instances of dirt, scratches and film imperfections were removed for optimal picture presentation in 1080p. The audio used for this release was taken from a set of archived TASCAM DA-88 digital audio tapes. The original 35mm magnetic audio reels could not be located. Extensive re-synching, equalization, and remastering of the audio was performed for both the 2.0 stereo mix, as well as our new 7.1 surround sound remix."

Supplements:

Commentary:

  • Featuring director/co-writer Gary Jones, director of photography/co-writer Tom Chaney, and producer David Thiry, the commentary is an absolute blast to listen to while watching the film.

Special Features:

Synapse loads this release with a great making-of feature that is almost as long as the movie itself. From the clear beginning of the project to the modern day, this is a good look at how a movie about big mosquitos became a cult classic. It features good interviews with the film's cast and crew. There is also a nice collection of deleted scenes. They don't add anything of consequence, though. There is also a collection of behind the scenes moments and it can be viewed with commentary from Jones. A still gallery of 50 images and a trailer rounds out the collection.

  • Bugging Out! (76 min)
  • Deleted & Extended Scenes (7 min)
  • Behind the Scenes Footage (40 min)
  • Still Gallery (4 min)
  • Trailer (3 min)

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