Be afraid. Be very afraid.
By Tod Butler
from London, England
, 14 Jul 2004
It's only right to be level-headed and fair in any critical analysis of another's work. Unbalanced, illeducated, reactionary views, with little thought and no reasoning just seem oafish and stupid. It is therefore with careful thought that I say this has got to be the worst film I have ever seen. Not in a kind of Ed Wood, Plan 9 From Outer Space 'so bad it's good' way. This is so bad it's awful. Painful even.
I watched this film with a group of friends. We sat through the 110 minutes of this film, desperate to find something, one little element of the film that had been handled well - or at least convincingly, or that, at least, was not utter tripe. Alas - there was honestly not a single thing that these guys did right. Oh, except one. They advertised it in 2000AD. I'll come back to that in a moment. The acting was atrocious - stilted and wooden at best, unthinking and unfeeling at worst - as if just reading the script out loud.
In fact some scenes were so bad you expected to see the scripts sticking out of the actors pockets. Talking of script - that was terrible too: macho, repetitive, unoriginal, unfathomable. The plot was your garden variety 'Aliens' rip-off: a bunch of people get trapped by hungry critters and have to escape alive. No bad thing in itself. If you're going to borrow an idea or two - borrow from the best - everyone else does. But the execution was so poor. It's like a film made up entirely of outtakes - or perhaps more acurately, it resembles the kind of output most often produced by a film studies class.
Saying this film looks a bit cheap is like saying the Matrix sequels didn't quite meet expectations. Parasite was made with very little budget. As one of my aforementioned mates put it 'a low budget film where you want everyone to be dead by the finish, if not before'. He also went on to say 'I've seen scarier things come out my @%$# than the alien wannabe slugs that haunt this film' but I won't include that 'cos it's rude.
The directing is poor, with apparently very little direction actually given. There are a couple of experimental shots in there, which, although thumbs up for talking the leap to try something new, unfortunately are completely out of place in what is supposed to be a suspenseful action thriller.
As for the editing, let's just say that not nearly enough of this movie made it to the cutting room floor.
Normally a film like this would never make it out of its student arena. The complete lack of budget would preclude any attempts to market it - no-one would hear about it, and the only people watching it would be those in some way connected to the cast and crew. In general everyone would be impressed by what they'd managed to acheive, and much back slapping would be done. Unfortunately, and this is where the real damage has been done, having been produced by Mr. Jason Kingsley, the creative director of Rebellion Software, the current owner of 2000AD, and generally a man who should have known better, this film managed to climb a few levels in the amateur movie food chain, and get advertorial space in 'the Galaxy's Greatest Comic', as well as the hugely undeserved DVD release that brings us here in the first place. That simple fact has put it out in the mainstream, where it's now up against the Aliens and Matrix of the world, where it can only ever hope to perform pitifully.
As a final word, I simply ponder this film's significance. Jason Kingsley signed a ?28million deal to write and produce 2 Judge Dredd movies back to back. They were to correct the mistakes made by the impressive looking, yet poorly scripted Stallone version, a fact that has many Dredd fans very exited indeed. Current news on this project is hard to find, but after seeing Parasite, I think we should no longer be excited, but afraid. Very afraid.
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