Field Guide to Invertebrates in Film: Parasite (2004)

Parasite (2004)

Critter: The worst CGI, toothy Annelids ever committed to film.

Size: Apparently, this was up to the whim of the animator for each scene

Modus Operandi: Slimily slither around, gnashing teeth and occasionally biting or eating people.

How the Menace Emerges: An environmentally concerned bioengineer gets a gig with an oil company to try to make things right from the inside by creating an oil-eating enzyme. When the drunk, cowardly and otherwise useless blue-collar crew ignores her precise instructions, a huge dose of the enzyme is sprayed on an annelid and wreaks genetic havoc.

End Goal: Who cares.

A worm, of sorts, is sprayed with an experimental enzyme engineered to eat oil. It then builds a chrysalis made of masking tape (well, at least it’s not CGI). Strangely, once it’s out of it’s chrysalis, it hasn’t metamorphosized at all. Add to the mess a group of ecoterrorists from the head scientist’s past and you have a heck of a mess. So, what about the so-called parasites of the title? They don’t seem to be parasites at all, but rather run of mill predators. And they are portrayed with, hands-down, the worst CGI ever.

I know I’ve said this before, but Parasite really is the worst entry in the Guide to date. Terrible acting, terrible, terrible CGI and an absolutely useless story. It attempts to play the eco-horror card, but fails miserably. Just tossing in a villainous corporate executive, a concerned scientist and a group of ecoterrorists without any story or character development just doesn’t cut it.

To be fair, the makers of Parasite were attempting to make a complete rip-off of Alien/Aliens. They saw a successful formula and thought that stealing bits and pieces of it would be enough. It just wasn’t.

Nit-picking Science: Dr. Hansen, there is no way that you can tell if the cells you are looking at are acidic or not. Also, what about those little cells tells you that any organic matter, living or dead, can serve as hosts for this so-called parasite? Despite your completely unfounded prognosis, these things behave exactly like man-eating predators in every way. Just because 90% of your film was a sorry rehash of Alien/Aliens that doesn’t mean that you have to stretch the story to include parasites, too. If you are going to, at least look up what they are in the dictionary first.

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