Three chums head home after attending a football game and promptly get lost in the really bad part o’ town; a part of town that seems to be inhabited solely by a ruthless gang of blood crazed bums. Well at least they are safe inside their SUV, so that’s the end of that nightmare…oh, until they get a flat and those beastly bums almost immediately kill two of our three protagonists. As you can imagine, things get right shit, right fast for our remaining pal, Marshal as he must run for his life against the ever encroaching horde of horrifying hobos!
Parasites is as simple as it gets when it comes to it’s narrative; it’s basically one long chase sequence that plays out over a single nightmarish night (and part of the next morning). It’s totally See Marshal run, See Marshal fight, wash, rinse, repeat…Now, you may think that with a paper thin premise like that things might get a case of the ol’ drag ass, but the film moves at an amazing pace, it’s never boring, and there’s some white knuckle, brutal action on display for sure…all of which makes you forget that you are basically watching a dude run for eighty minutes (though the acting chops of Sean Samuels makes Marshal a compelling hero to root for so that helps a lot as well). So there’s one for the ol’ plus column.
Another plus is that Writer/Director Chad Ferrin is a stylish mofo that’s for sure; and his chief inspiration is the early work of none other than John Carpenter. Everything from the ramshackle, burned out city streets, to the cool stark lighting, to the electronic soundtrack…it all screams ol’ J-Carp, and since he definitely isn’t using that routine anymore someone should give us a bit more of what we love, right? Besides, Ferrin adds enough of his own idiosyncrasies that the affair plays more as homage than rip-off.
Also of note is the incredibly strong acting of Robert Miano as Wilco; the absolutely batshit leader of the homicidal homeless. The character is unpredictable, psychotically violent, and all together off the rails, and Milano plays him to the hilt…which actually brings me to the one complaint I had with Parasites; the rest of the bums are rather bland and generic characters with zero backstory (hell, they are mostly named after the weapons they wield). I could have done with a few outlandish characters to heighten the already exaggerated reality the film resides in (think The Warriors to catch my drift…another film this one brings to mind).
To put this one to bed: I would definitely recommend Parasites especially if you dig on Escape From New York, Assault on Precinct 13, or the aforementioned The Warriors; it’s a nihilistic type of filmmaking that we haven’t seen much of since the pictures mentioned previous played movie houses.