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Deadly Swarm
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on August 27, 2013
I don't even know where to begin as I sit down to review "Deadly Swarm." Here is a movie about killer wasps with absolutely no sting. I know it sounds like I'm trying to be witty, but it's the truth. Miramax and Lionsgate definitely played it smart when dumping this straight-to-DVD and Blu-ray.

Crazed scientist Jacob Schroeder (J. Patrick McCormack) stops at nothing to trap thousands of killer wasps in the jungle of Guatemala. He's convinced that the venom from their stingers can be used for medicinal purposes to fight serious illnesses. The truck they are smuggled in crashes during an attempting to transport them across the border into the U.S. The container the wasps are held in breaks open, unleashing them on the innocent citizens of a small town. American entomologist Daniel Lang (Shane Brolly) and a meddlesome writer Sandra Kern (Kaarina Aufranc) must find a way to stop them before they wipe out everything in their path.

"Deadly Swarm" does have an interesting story to tell and a simple question to answer. The plot is well thought out but loses its potency somewhere in the transition from script to screen. The question asked is one brought up by Mr. Spock first in "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan."

Do the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few or the one? Are the deaths of a couple thousand residents of a small town insignificant if it helps to create medicines that can cure millions? Pretty deep stuff for a film about killer wasps to tackle.

The special effects for "Deadly Swarm" are what we've come to expect from these types of nature-gone-awry flicks. The cloud of wasps is evidently CGI and filmmakers don't really try too hard to hide it. How much extra money could it possibly take to make a cluster of wasps look more realistic? The giant welts found on the bodies of their victims are convincing and rather nasty looking, though.

The biggest problem with "Deadly Swarm" is it isn't visually graphic enough. People who watch these types of horror movies want to "see" the wasps stinging and crawling all over the victims. They want more gore and graphic imagery. This seems intent on playing it safe to appeal to a wider audience. Many viewers attracted by the "Not Rated" tagline are going to be angry or disappointed as the credits roll.

Even though "Deadly Swarm" is "Not Rated," it really should be PG-13. There's some bad language sprinkled throughout and scenes of victims with welts all over their bodies. The film is devoid of any nudity or sexuality, unless you consider a girl in a half shirt obscene.

I'm not entirely sure how "Deadly Swarm" came to be released by Miramax and Lionsgate. It's tailor-made for the SyFy Channel and obviously barely missed the clutches of Roger Corman. The only reason I could see Corman passing this up is if the filmmakers just flat out refused to allow him to have bikini-clad women running around senselessly while trying to escape being stung by wasps. It's B-movie fodder without the self-aware charm found in the Asylum or Corman's releases.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on August 12, 2013
If you've ever seen a Sci-Fi Channel movie from back in the day, then you know already what kind of production quality to expect. But even though they are usually lower-budget films, they can still be fun. Take, for example, DEADLY SWARM, an insect-filled horror flick from 2003. This movie, while not good enough to win any awards, is entertaining and even almost clean enough to be dubbed a `family-friendly' film...almost being the key word there.

Notice above how I used `Sci-Fi Channel' instead of `SyFy Channel'. This is because the name change didn't occur until just a few years ago. As you can see, this film is 10 years old, and was thus presented during the golden age of the channel's film library.

DEADLY SWARM has some decent acting and the premise is pretty cool for the horror genre. I mean, how could any horror fan not want to see a swarm of killer wasps sting people to death? It was definitely a major selling point for me.

But unfortunately, we don't get to see any of that happen. I'm sure it was due to budget constraints, but all we get to see are a couple of bodies that have swollen welts on them to indicate where the stings occurred. As a result, gore-hounds wanting carnage will not be happy with this flick.

However, if you can look past that, DEADLY SWARM is sure to entertain for fans of low-budget flicks like me. I mentioned that it's almost family-friendly because there are two F-bombs in it, but otherwise it's pretty tame.

I recommend DEADLY SWARM, but don't expect a big Hollywood production going into it. Just enjoy it for what it is, and you'll have a good time.
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on July 14, 2014
This was one boring mess after another! I did get through it and I should get an "A" for effort. I usually like anything where animals or insects are chewing, chomping, swallowing or stinging, on people! This one left even me bored. The characters were shallow and as boring as the plot. Don't know whether I will watch this one again, even next year!
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on September 12, 2013
It would be far too easy to slam this movie and point out the many flaws that it has the first being the tried and true method employed by weekly SyFy films involving poor CGI graphics used for the titular creature of the week. But honestly if you watched this movie for free you wouldn't be losing anything. If you bought it on the other hand you wouldn't be a happy camper.

In Guatemala a sinister bad guy threatens a tribe to locate a sacred location that contains something he thinks will save mankind. Of course all evil scientists think this way. They find the location, watch his guide killed by a trap and hear humming as the titles pull up on screen.

Fast forward and whatever it was the scientists wanted is now crated and ready to ship. He pays a stereotypical low life south of the border thug to transport the crate across the border with instructions not to open it. As the truck travels along he gets behind another slow moving truck, attempts to pass it and flips his own truck. When a police cruiser investigates the police officer opens the crate and out comes...THE DEADLY SWARM! Okay it wasn't actually that exciting. What comes out is a poorly done CGI swarm of black dots aka wasps.

Running alongside this story is that of an entomologist trying to help a local town rid themselves of a mosquito problem by introducing bats into the area. The mayor thinks this is ridiculous since there are still mosquitoes even though they aren't the same ones carrying malaria. He's all set for a big celebration that draws in tourists and wants the solution done immediately failing to see how it takes time.

Fortunately the entomologist is friendly with the local chief of police. When that chief is called to the scene of the truck accident he takes him along to see what caused the death of his officer, covered in huge swollen stings. They come across a broken hive in the crate with the swarm long gone. The entomologist takes the hive back to investigate more, followed by a reporter who was tracking the truck for a story about drug smuggling. Sensing an even better story she tags along.

Of course they eventually realize what was in the hive and tell the mayor to cancel the celebration. Ala JAWS he refuses and we have a set up for a huge pile of victims as well as the chance to find out just what the mad scientists, who shows up pretending he's from a government organization sent to help, is up to.

No there is nothing Oscar worthy in this film but it does pass the time nicely even if it is done poorly. The story is far fetched, the solution even more so and the effects as I've said are pretty bad. But it us acted well, shot well and can offer an evening's entertainment better than some more expensive films. If nothing else is on you might watch it. If a rerun of your favorite show is on pass it by.
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