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I thought I'd kick the new year off with another movie marathon. I thought it was time to check out a few old school mystery flicks. Som...

Monday, August 28, 2023

Scorpius Gigantus (2006)

Sometimes I just know what is coming and still can’t help myself. When I dug thru my pile of movies that I hadn’t watched yet this thing jumped out at me. Not literally as I don’t have a ghost haunting me that wants me to watch shitty movies. Not yet anyways… Seeing that it was executive produced by Roger Corman and starred Jeff Fahey I thought ‘Hey this might be okay.’ That was immediately followed up by ‘Don’t be a dumbass!’

The story begins with a convoy getting ambushed by some bad guys. They shoot the army dudes guarding it and steal the trucks. They think that they are hijacking some valuable plutonium but instead get some science experiments that kill them all as soon as they open the doors! We find out later that a lady scientist had genetically modified some scorpions with cockroach and human DNA to make a super drug that would cure everything. Hey if you are going to science badly at least be ambitious I say.

Then we meet some more army dudes lead by Major Nick (Fahey’s character) who practice saving hostages and then get sent to retrieve the bugs. Only they don’t know that they are looking for bugs until they run into them and some of the army dudes get killed. They get some NATO army dudes as replacements and then arm wrestle. Also Nick argues with the lady scientist some as well. Then they shoot a bug and find out that it isn’t dead because the bugs are able to “eat” the bullets that were inside them. How? SCIENCE! Almost all the army dudes die before Nick and the lady scientist decide to blow up the bugs. By then they are on a boat so that makes it much easier to accomplish. Why are they on a boat? Don’t know… don’t care. Just happy that the movie is over after an excruciating ninety one minutes.

I could tell by looking at the DVD cover that I was making a huge mistake. Not only is it incredibly generic but the tagline “In the Tradition of Starship Troopers” clued me in on a minimum effort production to cash in on what was renting well at the video store at the moment they crapped this one out. Sure enough this plays out just like a copy of a much better movie where the scriptwriters were more concerned about checking the boxes than they were about telling a story or developing characters.

A prime example of this is how we keep getting unnamed soldiers/cops/security/criminals walking into the same abandoned factory (the location where this movie was clearly shot almost entirely) to be killed off by the bugs. Don’t have anything to say or do… grab an extra and have him scream at the camera before cutting to some CGI blood. This happens over and over again, and it gets boring. I’d say this plays out like a video game but they at least try and have a story. I’m not even talking about the newer games either. The Pitfall guy on my Atari 2600 at least was motivated to not fall into the pits or get eaten by the alligator. That is more than we get with Scorpius Gigantus. How sad is that?

The cast is made up of Jeff Fahey and a bunch of folks who happened to be in Bulgaria where they filmed this thing. The only casting choices that I can see is if you have a less obvious accent you got to play the American soldiers and if you accent was thick you then became the NATO reinforcements. That is about all I can say about the cast. Well other than I hope that Mr. Fahey’s check cleared.

The special effects work is a combination of terrible CGI where the same model was used repeatedly and latex for the close up encounters. There is a bit of gore with the kills but not enough to make the ninety plus minute runtime any less painful. My favorite bit, and that wasn’t a high bar to clear, was the previously mentioned occasional use of a latex puppet for the close up attacks. That had a cheesy seventies feel to it that I appreciated and was the closest I got to enjoying what I was watching. I mean I didn’t but at least it almost happened.

I’m a huge fan of Roger Corman but this late in his career when you saw him as an executive producer it simply meant that he had a financial stake but likely not any creative control. Most of those movies ended up being as bad as this one. What is even more frustrating is this is a remake of Carnosaur 3 with the bugs standing in for the dinosaurs. Let me just say this. I watched Carnosaur 3. I know Carnosaur 3Scorpius Gigantus you are no Carnosaur 3! And Carnosaur 3 isn’t even that great of a movie! If you haven’t figured it out yet I’m not recommending this one.


© Copyright 2023 John Shatzer

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