Parasite (1982) Review

This is my second Sci-Fi Creature Feature review for the Vetala Blog. I had this on video for a while, but it went along with all my others when I had to move and had to cut down on the stuff I was lugging with me. I can't say it had all too many watches to be fair. You can easily find this film on youtube.

I think Parasite's main nostalgic quality and claim to notoriety, is due to the fact it was one of Demi Moore's very first on-screen performances.

The reason I wanted to watch it initially, was because of the scene where the titular parasite gets a hold of Miss Daley, the lady who runs the hotel. The result is a fairly brave, but ultimately mediocre special effects sequence. If you watch it, you'll see...!

The plot revolves around a scientist, Paul Dean (Robert Glaudini - who was also in The Alchemist 1983 [Dear god, don't even think about watching that...])

The opening scenes are a nightmare sequence - Dean is working in his lab, in a simultaneous sequence, he is strapped to a gurney, howling in pain. In the lab, he is handling some petri dishes, some bloke comes in and grabs Dean's shoulder, causing him to drop the contents of the dish on himself. We see a small leach-like creature thrashing around in a wound created by the liquid in the petri dish burning into his flesh.

Dean awakes and gets rolling in his stolen ambulance, he stops off, gets in a fight with some feral types. A slow-mo fight sequence follows. One pissed of rattlesnake, munches on a bad guys face as a result of a fight with Dean, who subsequently thrusts a metal pole into his abdomen.
Somewhere in this section, he meets 'Buddy,' who fills us in with some of the situation of the world depicted by the film - post apocalyptic wasteland etc.

Dean continues on to another small town and gets set up with a room, in which to carry out his experiments. He goes to the local bar, meets Collins, the owner and gets into trouble with the local thugs, who hassle Patricia (Moore,) who bought Collins some lemons. Collins helps her get rid of the thugs. They come back and hassle Dean, beat him up and steal a big metal container from his room. They head back to their hideout, where they open the container and lo and behold, out comes the parasite, which latches itself to the goober who opens the container, eventually killing him by the next morning, detaching itself and clamping onto the leader (Ricus) of the gang's main squeeze. Now it's personal.

Somewhere along the line a 'Merchant,' called wolf appears to recover the parasite who his organisation, who employed Dean to engineer it. He beats everyone up, trying to locate Dean.

The thugs come back to the little town, looking for help to save the girl, Dean is happy because he has his parasite / test subject back - thus he can continue to experiment on it to find a cure for his own parasite infestation, which is slowly killing him. You get to see a brownish pulsating blister on his stomach a few times, into which he periodically injects some kind of chemical to subdue the parasite within him.

The girl who has the big parasite latched onto her dies and the thing hunts the house for more prey. It happens upon Miss Daley, doing her makeup and a pretty silly sequence follows that in truth is pretty arbitrary as no other characters interact with her at this point, it's all about a bad puppet of her and a parasite erupting from her face.

Anyway, wolf catches up to Dean, after killing Ricus and fighting with Collins. Somehow Dean obtains a sample from the big rogue parasite and uses a high frequency generator to kill the parasite inside him.

Dean and Wolf fight it out. Struggling on the floor, the big parasite emerges and chomps down on Wolf. Dean throws him out of the top floor door and over the stairs. Patricia shoots out a fuel-tank, incinerating wolf's broken body and the parasite latched onto it.

The film has a score by Richard Band and is Directed and Produced by the notorious and prolific Charles Band, known for Troll and Ghoulies (exec producer.) He was exec producer on Stuart Gordon's 'From Beyond' which as I guess you'll know if you've bothered to read this, is a flat out work of art in comparison to most of the dross Charles Band's name is attached to.

Anyway, I've bashed the film a bunch, but what is good? It's got a gritty atmosphere and a relatively interesting premise. The creature effects are kinda fun and gross. The score, is performed by a live orchestra (as opposed to synths) and is pretty good.

Robert Glaudini is weirdly enigmatic in the film. To me he looks like a speed-freak / praying mantis version of a distant cousin of Jeff Goldblum and often pulls the strange coy little smile, like a bashful child, when interacting with the other characters, which is just so very confusing, given the context of the film being set in a post-apocalyptic future, where you'd imagine everyone was paranoid as hell and toughened beyond these strange expressions. Who knows...

Should you watch this film? If, like myself, you have a strange curiosity and have exhausted most other films from this era, then yes, have a go, you may find some enjoyment in it, there are certainly far worse films out there!


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