Friday, August 17, 2018

Vampire Ticks from Outer Space – review

Director: Michael Butt

First released: 2013

Contains spoilers

On a genre level, are ticks enough to be classed as vampires and thus make a film part of the vampire genre? It is a dilemma I’ve struggled with. For instance, I explored Attack of the Giant Leeches and whilst I was still conflicted I think I ultimately went ‘Vamp’ partly because of their unnaturalness and partly because they were intelligent.

In this case the film does contain the v-word in the title, these are intergalactic visitors but most importantly they indicate that the creatures have empathy (for their own kind). It is also a terrible, terrible movie.

out in t'woods
Starting in the woods we meet George, who has just been sent back to the car to get a tent by his girlfriend Frieda. Back at the campsite he can’t find her and struggles with the tent (muttering to himself in an unconvincing manner – though the lack of conviction may be in the acting, the dialogue writing or, to be absolutely honest, both) until there is a crack of a branch. He goes to investigate and finds a crate that he declares to be a shipping crate from outer space, opens it and is attacked by a large tick.

Out on the road a graduate returning home after college runs over a tick, causing it to burst. We move to a farmer wondering what happened to his cows (we do not see dead cows but do see a couple of bovines nonchalantly wandering around). He is attacked by ticks, pitchforks a couple and is then killed. We then see a man talking to his fiancée on the phone, whilst driving. He is going to pick her up (she turns out to be the farmer’s daughter and a goth) and elope to Vegas. He runs over something (a tick), checks it out and is then attacked by another tick and dragged off. Yes the wee guys are apparently strong.

graduate attacked
The graduate gets home but mum and dad aren’t there. The house phone is down and he hasn’t got a cell signal so wanders around looking for a bar on his mobile phone and eventually calls his brother – he has a bad feeling, he confesses... Meanwhile Susan, the goth, is sent to look for her dad. She is attacked by ticks, legs it (and is pursued) and eventually finds her boyfriend’s body. Then there is a couple, with a brother and sister, heading out to meet George and Frieda. The brother finds the crate and is drained (his hand is inside the crate and he acts as though he can’t pull it out, eventually falling down, white in the face - in a rubbish piece of film-making). The remaining campers leg it and, eventually, they all end up at the graduate’s house.

tick empathy
The house is under siege, ticks throw themselves at windows (eventually breaking the basement window and getting in that way). During all this we see the graduate shoot one with a BB gun, it pops and we see another tick reach out to it. The puppetry and puppets are rudimentary – there is a giant one at the end, which we see only parts of. When the ticks throw themselves at victims they are literally thrown from stage left. We also get a camper suggesting that she saw a spaceship – something she never said earlier and something we don’t see in the woods. We do see a ship of the intergalactic company that lost the crate – that is basically rotating lights.

The acting and dialogue is awful but I do like to find a positive. There is a weapon collecting scene and the soundtrack accompanying it is really good and suits the scene. Other than that, there is little about this to make me recommend this. 1 out of 10.

The imdb page is here.

On Demand @ Amazon US

On Demand @ Amazon UK

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