March 13th, 2005


Mansquito, Woman's Santo Domingo

It's hard to go wrong with a movie called Mansquito, at least when it's on TV for free. One might have thought it was a poorly thought out retitling by some SciFi Channel exec, like Pod People ("Nothing to do with pods, nothing to do with people, everything to do with hurting"), but since the main character actually shouts "Hey, Mansquito!" at one point this is harder to credit. (The best line, however, is uttered by the protagonist's girlfriend/Womansquito: "He's more mosquito than man by now." My previous favorite line, in which she told him that the only way to kill the Mansquito was to "deflate the hump," turned out, sadly, to be an artifact of mumbling.)

It's the old familiar story: a psychopath (he had a name, but let's call him Hannibal Lesser) escapes from the guards overseeing his transfer, denying the evil corporation the chance to use him for medical experiments, only to accidentally blow up said experiments and infect himself with mosquito DNA after all. Ha ha, he is a wacky bumbling psychopath! He then turns into Jeff Goldblum turning into The Fly and starts drinking people with his new proboscis. ("This isn't his usual MO," the clever police point out.)

Our protagonist, Corin Nemec, is, of course, the cop who put him away, and he spends the entire movie with an expression of befuddled intensity on his face. Whether he's comforting his sweetie, having sex, or just stepping over the mutilated corpses of his fellow officers, his face says: "What's going on? What just happened? Hey, I feel damn strongly about something." When he leaps onto the Mansquito's back, shouting "Remember this?" in reference to something that the audience certainly doesn't remember happening, it's easy to feel sorry for the Mansquito, who seems to be as befuddled as we are. "Remember what? Did it happen in this movie? Who are you?"

The movie builds to a butchery, wave after wave of police getting drunk (in the "Just ask a glass of water" way) and dismemberly, without any rhythm or crescendo, without even plot developments to space out the increasingly questionable assaults. The SWAT team arrives, in what I can only assume is an unintentional pun, and fares no better. I don't want to spoil the end for you...but I have to, because I cannot resist telling you that they kill the Mansquito with a giant ersatz bug-zapper. Actinic purple flashes of electricity, buzzy-frying noises, the works.

By that point, everybody we might have cared about is dead, so we can't feel good about the victory. (This is not so strange—the only person I cared about died in the first fifteen minutes, and her only appealing attributes were under her sweater.) After this pyrrhic victory ("The day was won, but we had to watch the movie"), the final line we hear, in a Corin Nemec voiceover, is as profound and original as anything in this movie:

"As with any ending, it is also a beginning."

That sound you just heard was audiences across the country, shouting "Nooooooo!"
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