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Parasite

Parasite (2004) Movie Poster
  •  UK  •    •  93m  •    •  Directed by: Andrew Prendergast.  •  Starring: Gary Condes, Saskia Gould, Conrad Whitaker, G.W. Stevens, Margaret Thompson, Oliver Price, Michelle Acuna, Luke Spencer, Nicholas Rawlinson, S. Khan, Murray Saffron, Richard Beardsley, Cathi Fredricks.  •  Music by: Tom Bible.
       An abandoned oil rig in the middle of the North Sea. Dr.Christine Hansen is charged with the task of testing an experimental cleaning fluid which could revolutionize the oil industry. Hired to carry out the tests is Jacob Rasmussen and his rough and ready crew of deconstruction engineers. But within hours one of them is missing under suspicious circumstances. Things go from bad to worse when environmental activist Mickey Hennessey and his hard-bitten associates seize control of the rig, taking everybody on board hostage. But very soon oil workers and environmentalists will be compelled to join forces in an evolutionary battle for survival. For a savage new life-form has made its home on the rig. And it is hungry.

Review:

Image from: Parasite (2004)
Image from: Parasite (2004)
Image from: Parasite (2004)
Image from: Parasite (2004)
Image from: Parasite (2004)
Image from: Parasite (2004)
Image from: Parasite (2004)
Image from: Parasite (2004)
Image from: Parasite (2004)
Image from: Parasite (2004)
Image from: Parasite (2004)
Image from: Parasite (2004)
Image from: Parasite (2004)
Parasite is set in the North Sea where the decommissioned Johnny Alpha Oil Rig is about to be sunk, the company behind the rig Carmine Oil wants to test out a new cleaning enzyme which is supposed to dissolve oil & make it clean & safe to sink into the Ocean. A four man clean-up crew is sent in by helicopter, Jacob (G.W. Stevens), Nils (Gary Condes), Gary (Luka Spencer) & Kim (Margaret Thompson) get to work straight away & start spraying the rig with the highly experimental enzyme. Then the enzyme's creator Dr. Christine Hansen (Saskia Gould) turns up to oversee the cleaning & generally take notes. Unfortunately the enzyme has the unwanted side-effect of genetically mutating living organisms & as such a small parasitic worm like creature has grown to huge proportions & using the dark corridors & air vents lies in wait picking the crew off one-by-one...

This British production was co-written, co-produced & directed by Andrew Prendergast & is a reasonable if very generic by-the-numbers 'Creature Feature'. I would probably say that Parasite is maybe just about above the usual Sci-Fi Channel made stuff standard but that's hardly any sort of recommendation. The script by Prendergast, Alan Coulson & Paul Mackman really is very generic & unoriginal as it uses all the 'Creature Feature' clichés & plot stand by's. There's the isolated location. There's the small group of humans who are trapped there. There's the usual mix of scientists & everyday people. There's the friction between several of them for varying reasons. There is some sort of animal or creature that is created due to genetic experiments gone wrong. There are lots of scenes of various character's wandering around dark corridors & air vents. That's about it, that's about all there is to Parasite. There's no attempt at trying to highlight a relevant issue, despite being set on an oil rig about to be sunk & the environmental implications that has nothing is made of it & even the revolutionary cleaning enzyme doesn't come to much. The character's are alright if a little dull, the dialogue is alright too but at over 90 odd minutes in length Parasite really drags at times with far too many scenes of people walking around near pitch black corridors or air vents & it gets very annoying.

Director Prendergast does alright actually, Parasite is better made than most of the Sci-Fi Channel 'Creature Feature' stuff with good sets & some nice moody lighting although there are times when it is too dark. The CGI computer effects are a mixed bag, the actually giant monster which looks like a cross between a giant snake, a worm & a slug looks pretty good actually & is wisely kept in the shadows for the majority of the film but the other CGI is poor especially the helicopter shots at the start which look terrible. There's not much gore here which is a shame, someone has their head bitten off, there's a dead body with it's stomach ripped open & a few scenes of mutilated bodies with blood & guts splattered everywhere & bloody bones lying around. Parasite has the unwanted distinction of having the worst most unrealistic countdown in cinematic history. The last two surviving character's find out that the oil rig has escape pods but they need to activate the rigs power to launch them & once they get the power working the pods have a countdown before they are launched. At one point we see a computer screen which says there are 12 seconds left yet the woman is half way across the rig & over five minutes of actual screen time elapses including fighting & killing the monster, opening stuck doors, avoiding explosions & helping her injured friend before she gets to the pod which says there's still 3 seconds left!

Technically the film is quite good, it has decent enough production values & is reasonably well made with tight claustrophobic sets & some nicely lit photography even if it is a little dark at times. Apparently shot in Oxfordshire here in England. The acting is alright from no-one I have ever seen before.

Parasite is an utterly routine, predictable & generic 'Creature Feature' of the sort the Sci-Fi Channel churns out by the bucket load. Probably slightly better than usual but that's no great recommendation. Not to be confused with the much more well known Demi Moore horror flick Parasite (1982).


Review by Paul Andrews from the Internet Movie Database.