Written by: George Pacheco on November 29th, 2015
BluRay released: October 13th, 2015
Approximate running time: 92 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Widescreen / 1080 Progressive / MPEG-4 AVC
Sound: DTS-HD 7.1 English, DTS-HD Stereo English
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, French, German
BluRay Release: Synapse Films
Region Coding: Region Free
Retail Price: $24.95
The landscape of horror during the mid-90s was a transitional period of sorts, where the 1980s excess was beginning to be replaced by films whose experimentation with CGI and a “less is more” 90s aesthetic would drastically change how filmmakers would choose to deliver their ideas of horror to audiences.
Mosquito is indicative of this mid-way point, a throwback to drive in monster flicks with a low budget feeling not exactly dissimilar to the sort of trash normally found during late night cable T.V. shows like the USA Network’s Up All Night. Director Gary Jones does his best here with a crew of very talented special effects wizards-headed by visual effects director Richard Jake Jacobson-as they bring to life what is essentially a very simple story of an alien meteorite which crash lands and creates extra-large and extra deadly mosquito monsters in its wake.
Yep, it’s practical effects all the way here, as goopy death scenes and messy mosquito deaths serve as the only real successful aspect of Jones’ film, which otherwise feels like a cheap and chintzy product with a pretty lackluster visual style. The acting is fairly poor across the board, although The Stooges’ Ron Asheton does some fun mugging for the camera as a bumbling deputy. Horror legend Gunnar Hansen also stars as the film’s heavy (credited as “Earl the Bankrobber”), but even Hansen’s physical presence can’t add to what is a lack of strong production value to Mosquito, hurt further by a bland, lackluster score from Allen and Randall Lynch.
Sure, there’s some gratuitous nudity to be had, and again, the mosquito effects are very well done, but Jones’ film really struggles to kick into a high enough gear to create anything memorable or striking. Jones would go on to carve a strong career working on such popular 90s television shows as Hercules: The Legendary Journey and Xena: Warrior Princess, but this full length feature simply misses the mark.
This “20th Anniversary Edition” Blu-Ray from Synapse does right by Mosquito, that’s for sure, as it’s chock full of just about all the extras a fan could demand. The picture quality is sharp and clear, despite the film’s generally drab appearance, while the audio is balanced and indicative of Synapse’s usually high standard. A fun, informative and light-hearted commentary track from Jones, producer David Thirty and DoP Tom Chaney is the key extra here, while the deleted/extended scenes and behind the scenes footage also features commentary from Jones, analyzing nearly every stage of production.
There’s also a “making of” featurette with all the cast and crew weighing in with memories (including Hansen), while the film’s original trailer and a still gallery round out what is an extremely strong showing from Synapse.
Note: This film is also being released by Synapse Films on DVD.