There’s a movie that is about a man who turns into a half-man half-mosquito that hunts Nazis. It delivers exactly what it promises. Also, it has an amazing trailer that I will embed at the bottom and use liberally for this review.
Much of the film is told through flashbacks to WWII, where a man in POV is being tortured and experimented on by a Nazi Doctor named Schramm (James Norgard). Schramm keeps most of what he’s doing fairly concealed, but since the movie is called “Weresquito,” I think you can guess.
In the 1950s, Cpl. John Baker (Douglas Sidney) is in a small Wisconsin town called New Berlin that has a high population of German citizens. He awakens on the side of the road with blood dripping from his mouth and makes his way to a diner where he meets a woman named Leisl (Rachel Grubb). The two hit it off, with a romance blooming until it is revealed that John is actually on a mission to kill off all of the Nazis who turned him into a monstrosity. Whenever John sees blood, he cannot resist changing into the awesome, the terrifying, the unbelievable: WERESQUITO!!!!
Christopher R. Mihm, the director, is a man who knows exactly what he wants to do. Mihm has stated that he was a fan of the cheap black-and-white horror films from the 1950s and 60s, such as The Amazing Colossal Man or Cat-women of the Moon, which were genuine and creative, but also cheap and straightforward. Mihm’s entire filmography is nothing but a tribute to that, with him creating one cheap horror film in the signature style of that period every year since 2006. Titles include gems like Attack of the Moon Zombies, It Came from Another World!, Demon with the Atomic Brain, and Terror from Beneath the Earth. The thing is, they’re not bad films, nor so-bad-they’re-good films, nor are they great films. They’re all films that are designed to match a style, tone, and feel of a specific time period and, if I’m being honest, this movie seems to nail it.
The dialogue in this movie is mediocre, containing a lot of trope lines from B-movies of the Cold War Era, and it is all delivered in an extremely stilted manner, reminiscent of those films. The thing is, it’s not parodying or satirizing those films, nor is it exactly a tribute to that cinematic period, it’s just doing an original movie in that particular style. If you don’t like it, you probably will hate this movie. If you enjoy that kind of corny, old format, then you’ll probably enjoy this film.
The special effects consist of… well, really only the one effect, that of John turning into Weresquito. As far as I can remember seeing, no photomorphing is used, the transformation is always done offscreen and it cuts back to the now menacing “Weresquito” (Michael G. Kaiser). The Weresquito mask is exactly the level of quality that you would expect from this kind of film if it has been made 60 years ago. It’s cool looking, but you’d never actually think it was real, nor are you supposed to. That said, it’s still fun to watch him fight people as the Weresquito. The only other notable effect is that blood in this film is always bright red, which, in an otherwise black-and-white movie, stands out and creates a solid effect that, in a subtle way, makes us inevitably drawn to look at the blood in the same way that Weresquito does.
The only complaint I can really give for this movie, since it’s mostly insulated from traditional criticism by its own nature, is that filming it on digital makes the shots a little too clear. The definition is a little too high. Those movies in the 1950s were all blurry and awkward because that’s what you got from filming a movie without a super-high lighting budget. It’s not that it makes the movie any worse, although it does make the already cheap sets and effects look even cheaper, but it kills a little bit of the feel that the movie was going for.
Overall, like I said, I can’t say that this movie is anything other than exactly what it was trying to be, a cheap 1950s horror film.
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