Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

So what can the Sci-Fi network possibly think of next to have become genetically altered and run amok killing virtually everything in its path? There have been cockroaches, mosquitoes, ants, piranha, bees, sharks, spiders on top of spiders, man turned INTO mosquitoes… What’s left? Shrimp? Snails? Ladybugs? Lobsters perhaps? Yesterday it was butter sauce… Today it’s Death! Hmmm…. it would seem that tagline writing is harder than it looks. Regardless today’s out of control creature of nature as brought to you on DVD ripped from the Sci-Fi channel, are those always troublesome, Barbecue ruining, raw meat landing, buzzing menaces know as the German Yellow Jacket in ‘Swarmed’.

Kent Horvath (Michael Shanks) is some kind of entomological genetical scientist working for D-Con or Raid or somebody on a new yellow jacket pesticide that changes the genetical (yes, I realize ‘genetical’ isn’t a word but that’s not going to stop me from using it over and over again) structure of the creatures. Messing with the geneticals of anything is generally bad, like when Black Flag or whoever had that ‘Birth Control’ for roaches that created screwed up roaches that couldn’t mate? Now because of that there are roaches like six feet tall and eat small children? I seent one the other day for real. So in Kent’s’ little gassing experiment, six yellow jackets die but two survive stronger than ever with venom that kills instantly. He wonders why that is but it’s quittin’ time and off to home he goes. Later that night a goofy cleanup dude manages to free the two super wasps and gets killed for his stupidity and one of the wasps in now running around in the free world.

One killer wasp a swarm doesn’t make and since yellow jackets can’t individually breed I was curious to see how they were going make a swarm. Well it comes in the

form of Q (Richard Chevallou) who has a little pesticide firm called Bug Busters. He’s run out of wasp kill juice so he runs down to the lab where his good friend Kent works to pester him for some of his ‘good stuff’. Kent tells Q to go in the back and help himself but LEAVE THE RED BOTTLE ALONE!!! As if. While Q is loading up on yellow jacket genetical alterer, this little town in Indiana somewhere is prepping for a huge barbeque cook-off sponsored by some BBQ sauce company lead by the legendary actor Tim Thommerson. So while Q’s genetically altered wasps are killing people, Kent and his new sidekick, university Entomologist / Super Model Dr. Christina Brown (Carol Alt) are warning the mayor, the chief of police, and the BBQ sauce chief to call it off before more people die but we know that’s not going to happen because we’ve all seen every movie since ‘Jaws’ and we know that mayors of small towns love their electorate and will never call of a fun event. Now the race is on to see if our team of genetical changers can stop the swarm before they get all up in that BBQ festival!

There is absolutely nothing wrong with ‘Swarmed’ as it is a well paced, decently acted, completely run of the mill nature gone awry sci-fi movie of the week type of flick. No, it’s not in possession of a single original bone in its little body, but that’s okay because chances are if you’re picking up swarmed you’re not searching for cinematic enlightenment. But the one thing about ‘Swarmed’ that I guess could be conceived as unsettling is the fact that our heroes in this film are the ones responsible of all this mayhem, death and terror. I mean these are Dr. Kent’s horribly mutated Yellow Jackets that are going around killing up all these poor people, right? And he is the idiot who sent the obviously retarded character of Q into the backroom of this apparently security free genetical research lab unsupervised for the acquisition of his genetical altering wasp killer mix. However, the ‘bad guys’ are the BBQ dude who is blessing the town with a free hamburger festival and the mayor who is allowing the BBQ dude to bless the town with a free hamburger festival all in the hope that the BBQ dude will open up a bunch of hamburger joints in the town and give these unfortunate hoosiers jobs. Thus this movie is essentially anti-free hamburgers and anti-job which obviously makes it anti-American. Thought you almost slipped that one past me didn’t you director and Detroit native Paul Ziller, huh? Expect to be hearing from the office of Homeland Security soon Mr. Ziller and look for some of those rights you have so freely abused by directing this anti-American movie to be repealed! Damn free hamburger hating bastard.

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