Directed by Benni Diez
Clifton Collins Jr.
This is an ol’ fashioned monster bug flick that feels like it came straight from the 1980’s low-budget VHS bin. I love the (mostly) practical effects, gore and goop, and monster sized wasps, trampling our victims lives. It has a simple storyline that feels familiar but is peppered with modern dialogue. We’ve seen this type of film before but that’s no reason not to bask in the b-horror blight of this monster genre flick.
Julia, a young catering business owner sets up a high society party on the grounds of a large estate. She’s having trouble managing the business since her father passed away and sees this as an opportunity to make some good impressions with new clientele. Her lone worker, Paul seems a bit aloof but also interested in Julia on a romantic level. While setting up the affair, Paul is pestered by annoying wasps and swats the goop out of a few of them. As the night progresses, an elder gentleman is stung by one of these wasps. Several minutes later a human-sized wasp breaks through the shell of the man and goes on a rampage. The survivors hole up in the mansion where they are picked off one by one by the growing colony of deadly insects.
It’s good to see Lance Henriksen in a larger role than the bit parts he often takes in recent years. His abilities raise the bar of performance and all the actors rise to the occasion, providing moderate drama to a b-horror flick. However, Henriksen’s character feels like a bit part because, despite being in most of the film, it has very little importance or impact to the story. I think the film missed some great opportunities to be really camp and funny, which would have made the awkward relationship between our MC’s more like Ash’s hopeless romanticism from Evil Dead. The effects were circa 1980, Corman-style, amusing and all covered in goop. The strongest effects scenes were probably the larvae (white worm) segment, which provided a real gross out for the film, and the shared body experience of Sydney and the Wasp bust–I sure do miss those ol’ style animatronic FX. Stung is a moderate monster flick that doesn’t aim for the fences but provides a base hit double for its fun effects. It’s traditional monster movie entertainment from three decades ago.
Don’t expect too much and you might enjoy some of the nifty effects gags.
I give it 2.3 warbling wasps on the icky insect invasion scale.