WARNING! SPOILERS WITHIN!
Believe it or not Mosquito-Man is not the first movie to broach the quite specific sub-genre of “man-into-monster-mosquito.” The inceptor of this borderline brilliant concept is Tibor Takács, the director who brought us the equally brilliant and memorable The Gate (1987), Gate II (1990), I, Madman (1989) and Spiders 3D (2013). Back in 2005 he made a movie for the SyFy channel called simply—Mansquito! I mainly bring up Takacs’ film because when it eventually hit DVD (now out-of-print) it went through a title change and became Mosquitoman, and if it hasn’t happened yet, it will, mark my words, someone somewhere is going to confuse his film with Director/Actor Michael Manasseri’s film. The only difference between the two on the (DVD) surface is the hyphen between Mosquito and Man. In fact SyFy still on rare occasions runs Takacs’ flick and under it’s original title. But that’s okay; these two should feed off of one another until more are made.
This brings me to my next topic, the first time I heard about Mosquito-Man, and that was in 2012, but the trailer I found back then was dated 2011, meaning I’ve been waiting roughly five years for this to hit disc. Initially I thought, damn, that’s a long time to wait for a movie, but then I remembered the Director’s Cut of Clive Barker’s Nightbreed (1990). That took several decades to come together and then there’s Micheal Mann’s still-to-this-day-has-never-had-a-legit-DVD-release The Keep (1983), compared to those two, I was wrong, five years was a cake walk. Anyhow back to my main point, when I first heard of this flick it was going under the title Sucker before it metamorphosed into Mosquito-Man. In fact here’s the life cycle of its title shift represented through posters I found on the movies site and Facebook page over the years.
The DVD may say Mosquito-Man, but when the opening credits come up it’s real title is ‘A Mosquito Man.’ Personally I’m glad it changed from Sucker, but sometime I wish Takacs’ flick didn’t exist because Mansquito fits this movie like a fuckin’ glove.
Mansquito, if I can recall, was basically a riff on The Fly, Manasseri’s man-into-mosquito is a science run amok/creature feature/comedy/revenge flick wrapped up in a superhero origin story. In Mansquito the man’s transformation is more monstrous, in Mosquito-Man, he remains humanoid with a relatively human face. Both are expertly created in the practical FX department, only drawback on the SyFy movie is that eventually the channel’s low grade CGI steps in from time to time to give Mansquito a pair of computerized legs and wings. Robert Kurtzman’s Creature Corp handled all the practical effects on Manasseri’s film and they look damn good. The “mosquito tongue,” however, does get a CGI counterpart at certain intervals, which made sense. And oddly it sort of looked like a dick. Was that deliberate? I’m not sure, but even that made sense because there’s a death where he uses his blood sucking tongue to suck a chick dry through her pussy.
That’s right, you heard me . . . through her pussy.
The timing on this DVD couldn’t have been better, as of this review South and Central America is under assault by the Zika Virus, a deadly virus carried by mosquitoes, that results in birth defects if expectant mothers are bitten, or have sex with someone who was bitten. In Mosquito-Man the world is in the grips of the Red Steela Virus. I‘m not sure I’m spelling that correctly since the disc didn’t come with subtitles, but that’s what it sounded like to me, Steela. And the Asian Tiger Mosquitoes transmitting it are immune to insecticide now. This epidemic is so bad a curfew is in effect. Entomologist, Dave Myers (Ricky Wayne), and his increasingly annoying assistant, Barry (Dana Gamarra), working for Vanguard Pharmaceuticals, believe they’ve finally found a cure, but to truly test it they have to go into human testing to see if it works (fuck the animal testing, let’s go straight to people) and since he doesn’t have permission yet . . . well, you can see the dilemma here.
Enter Jim Crawley (Michael Manasseri), who kind of reminds me of Rick Moranis. I’m a fan of Moranis. Jim works for the local nuclear power plant, Axis Nuclear Power, and he’s about to have the worst day of his life. For starters this promotion he’s hoping for doesn’t come through. His boss, Mr. Kopple (Lloyd Kaufman), fires him instead saying a machine can basically do his job now; one of his co-workers, Dan Simmons (Ted Myers), is shagging his wife, Jackie (Kimberley Kates), who doesn’t really love Jim anyway; and he has a secret crush on his other co-worker, Evelyn (Jordan Trovillion). Today though he can’t do nothin’ about nothin’ and on his way home he stops in an alley to dump his belongings into a dumpster before attempting suicide by tossing himself in front of a car, but even that doesn’t pan out when he trips over his own feet. Destiny steps in now to give Crawley a new purpose! The car he stumbled in front of was Myers’ and now Myers has a guinea pig no one will miss if the injection kills him, and it does. So, back to that alley we go where Myers and Barry dump Jim’s body. But the injection did more than kill him, the mosquito cells in the vaccine fused with his genetic code and turned him into this thing here.
What are Mosqutio-Man’s powers?
Well, aside from looking really fucked up, he’s got the aforementioned blood sucking tongue, super strength and agility, the ability to control swarms of mosquitoes, which he uses at one point like a ninja uses a smoke bomb to escape from the police when they have him cornered, and he can hold some of these skeeters inside his body, emitting them from his mouth when he needs them, and he can see through their eyes, using them at times like a surveillance drone. Now, the downside to this transformation is that he needs to feed, but for the course of the movie he’s able to keep his bloodlust under control by feeding on those who have wronged him, and thankfully none of those victims are true victims, they all deserved to die, even the security guard who was a douchbag to him after he was fired.
The entire movie takes place over roughly a 24-hour period, and who’s on the trail of the murderous Mosquito-Man? Two detectives: Grizzled dick Steve Shanahan (Monty Bane) and his younger partner, Bowen (Danny Mooney). Bowen’s a tad squeamish when it comes to peering at the sucked bodies Crawley leaves behind. Bane’s character reminded me of Tom Atkin’s detective, Ray Cameron, from Night Of The Creeps (1986). I love that movie and that character. Shanahan feels cut from that same cloth.
I don’t know if this is true or not but Myers says mosquitoes mate after they feed. This leads to scene where Crawley goes off and “attacks” Evelyn, but later we see that “attack” ended up being mutual sex. He even knocked her up. Like any good super hero origin tale the movie ends with Crawley’s revenge finally satiated, since he ends up killing all those dicks who dumped on him, in Myer’s case the dick who killed and turned him into a “monster,” and with the potential for a sequel since Mosquito-Man is still out there! Trust me, people, when this movie is over you will believe a man can become a mosquito!
Back on January 12th Big Screen Entertainment released Mosquito-Man in a 2-Disc DVD!
Extras Include . . .
- Cast & Crew (8:39)
Disc #1 is the “theatrical cut” and trailers for other Big Screen Entertainment flicks. Disc #2 houses the Director’s Cut and the extra features. There’s a 6-minute difference between the two cuts as well as what I initially thought were two different aspect ratios. The “theatrical cut” appears to be in 1.78:1 and the Director’s Cut appears to be in 2.35:1, which is wrong. It’s a matted 2.35. They just slapped bars on the top and bottom to give it a 2.35 appearance. I find movies actually filmed in a 2.35 to look more cinematic and prefer this ratio over any other, and even in matted form I still like the look of the D-Cut over the T-Cut. Aside from a lot of scenes being trimmed here and there the beginnings to both versions are different.
In the D-Cut the flick starts out with Jim at his wits end in the alley and it flashes back to earlier in the day when he fucks up his attempted suicide. In the T-Cut the movie starts with Jim rescuing Evelyn in the alley right after becoming Mosquito-Man, then it shoots back to earlier in the day so we can see how he ended up in that alley and has Mosquito-Man. The T-Cut also has an epilogue for those who can’t put two and two together and get that Jim is still out there where we see him leaping from building to building at night like Batman. These scenes were taken from the middle of the D-Cut and put at the end.
For an added treat you also get a handful of bloopers right before the end credits in the D-Cut. So, D-Cut all the way, people.
I wouldn’t mind seeing a sequel, if it means not having to wait five years. I ain’t gettin’ any younger here.