Insectula! (2015)

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I don’t necessarily think it’s fair to judge extremely low-budget movies on the same scale as huge Hollywood fare. Take “Insectula”, for instance, an obvious labour of love for its cast and crew (check the number of names who do double or triple duty), where that sense that everyone was giving their all, probably working for basically no money, allows it to get away with a lot.

 

Even so…I’m sorry! This movie is aimed directly at me, a parody / homage of 1950s rubber monster movies, packed with references to classics, and it still really didn’t work. After playing the plot of “Vertigo” for laughs in its first five minutes, it then skates aimlessly between trying to recreate that 50s atmosphere, and just doing normal scenes with a weird filter on the camera (seeing a laptop in one scene felt odd).

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The clever idea it has is to present those classic monster movie scenes with a modern level of gore, and those work – but it’s an idea looking for a decent movie to build around. You can see where they’re going for comedy but it falls flat, like reading a hilarious parody of a very specific group of friends, with jokes only they would get, when you don’t know any of those friends.

 

Let’s talk ironic sexism to wrap things up. All the men in this movie are ugly, lumpy and middle-aged, and all the women are stunningly beautiful, often wearing underwear or something cleavage-revealing. Now, I’d presume the filmmakers would defend this by saying they’re mocking those old movies and the sexual politics they represented…but, the problem with that is, you’re still putting tons of semi-naked women in your movie, and giving them nothing really to do. It’s like having your sexism and eating it.

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This is writer/director Michael Peterson’s first movie, and even though I’ve been less than kind to it I think it shows promise, and I hope he goes on to bigger and better things.

 

Rating: thumbs down

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