• Parasite (Kino Lorber) Blu-ray Review

    Released by: Kino Lorber
    Released on: October 22nd, 2019.
    Director: Charles Band
    Cast: Demi Moore, Robert Glaudini, Cherie Currie
    Year: 1982
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    Parasite – Movie Review:

    Paul Dean (Robert Glaudini of Chameleon and The Alchemist) is a scientist in a post-apocalyptic world on the run from the Merchants, a sinister government organization, that want the parasite living inside of him for their own evil purposes. He ends up in a small backwoods town, checks into a hotel, and hopes to be able to quietly conduct his research so that he can not only get rid of the monster growing inside of him, but also prevent the parasite from spreading.

    When a gang of local thugs breaks into his van and steals his research material and equipment hoping to find some narcotics inside, the only other parasite (besides the one living inside Dean) is let loose on an unsuspecting town. With the help of Patricia (played by a very young Demi Moore) and some of the other locals, Dean is off to get rid of the loose parasite before the Merchants can get it, and somehow figure out how to get rid of the one living in his stomach, all the while trying to keep the body count to a minimum.

    While the film does have some really fun spots and a couple of creepy moments, there are definitely a few drawbacks to Parasite. First off, Band seems to have decided that he should end every scene with a fade to black, which almost gives the film a made for TV look, as every time it happens, you expect there to be a cut to a commercial. Add some thoroughly bad performances from pretty much everyone involved in the film and some low budget and unconvincing effects, and you’re left with a goofy rehash of Alien set in a Road Warrior-like environment.

    Still, those with an affection for low budget monster movies will definitely get a kick out of this. If the aforementioned effects aren’t ever all that believable, they’re still weird enough and creative enough that they’re cool to see. Band paces the film pretty nicely, it moves quickly and delivers horror elements often enough to keep us engaged throughout the duration of the film. It’s all a bit silly and predictable but Band manages to put enough energy into the narrative that, if nothing else, the movie is a fun watch.

    And of course, there’s the novelty of seeing Demi Moore show up in this. This was only her second film, she’s made Choices a year prior to this in 1981, and it isn’t the performance she’ll likely be remembered for but she’s got decent screen presence here. She and Paul Dean have enough chemistry together to pull this off.

    Parasite – Blu-ray Review:

    Kino Lorber presents Parasite in an AVC encoded 1080p high definition transfer framed in the film’s original 1.85.1 aspect ratio on a 50GB disc in both 2-D and 3-D options taken from a new 4k scan of the film’s original 35mm negative. The movie features a lot of shots where things lunge at the camera so this was probably a lot of fun to watch in 3-D, but without a 3-D TV, this review will focus on the 2-D version, which looks quite good. Grain is a bit thick but not unnaturally so and colors are nicely reproduced. Detail is pretty solid here, it’s quite a nice improvement in that area over the old DVD release from Anchor Bay Entertainment, and there isn’t much in the way of print damage at all. There are no noticeable issues with compression artifacts, edge enhancement or noise reduction to discuss, and the transfer retains a proper film-like quality throughout.

    English language audio options are provided in DTS-HD 5.1 and 2.0, with removable subtitles available in English only. Both tracks sound very clean and very clear. The 5.1 mix does a pretty decent job of opening things up and placing effects and bits of the score into the surround channels rather well, while the 2.0 track stays true to the movie’s original sound mix.

    Extras start off with an audio commentary featuring writer Alan J. Adler moderated by filmmaker/historian Daniel Griffith. Alder speaks here about working with Band on the project, where some of the ideas for the storyline came from, his thoughts on the way that his story was handled, the performances and more. Griffith keeps him engaged throughout and asks a lot of good questions here. It’s an interesting track with a lot of information in it.

    From there, we move on to the featurettes, the first of which is From The Inside Out: Writing Parasite, which gets Alder and co-writer Michael Shoob in front of the camera for just under eleven-minutes to talk about their work on the film’s script, writing the screenplay, the pitch for the film and more. Three Dimensions Of Terror: Filming Parasite is made up of interviews with director Charles Band, co-writer Alan J. Adler, production manager Charles Newitt, art director Pamela B. Warner, and make-up department head Karen Kopeck and it lasts fifteen-minutes. Here we learn about the development of the film, what it was like on set, some of the effects work, the film’s success and more. Symphony For Slimy Slugs: Composing Parasite gets composer Richard Band on camera for nine-minutes to talk about what went into scoring the picture. Parasitic: Creating and Designing Parasite is a six-minute interview with creature designer/creator Lance Anderson that sees him speaking about what was involved with bringing the film’s titular monster to life. There’s also a two-minute piece here about restoring Parasite in 3-D that is quite interesting to see.

    Rounding out the extras is an extensive still gallery, two TV spots, ninety-seconds of radio spots, a theatrical trailer for the feature, menus and chapter selection. This release also comes packaged with some nice reversible cover sleeve artwork.

    Parasite – The Final Word:

    Parasite is no unsung classic but it’s a fun, low budget monster movie with some creative effects work that moves at a nice clip. Kino has done a great job with the Blu-ray release, presenting the restored version of the film in both 3-D and 2-D and with a nice selection of extra features as well. Recommended!

    Click on the images below for full sized Parasite Blu-ray screen caps!

    Comments 2 Comments
    1. Toyboy's Avatar
      Toyboy -
      This movie is weird.
    1. Scott's Avatar
      Scott -
      This is one of the first movies I rented when my family went to our first video store. I was so excited that it said 3-D but they didn't have the glasses with it. It was a very weird movie for 6 year old me.