Film Review: Deadly Swarm

Deadly Swarm
About Deadly Swarm (2003)
Deadly SwarmDeep within the jungles of Mexico lies a secret. A secret known only to local Indians, a secret they call the “black fire”, is an aggressive species of wasps. Risking life and limb they extract out of the rain forest. Schroeder pays a truck-driver to smuggle the nest over the border and into America, where his company can study it in their lab. But trouble ensues when the truck runs off the road and crashes into a ravine, the nest still in the cargo hold.

Starring: Shane Brolly, Kaarina Aufranc and J. Patrick McCormack

Directed by: Paul Andresen

Runtime: 1 hour, 30 minutes 


Review: Deadly Swarm

Mrs B is on a mission to find any potentially awful horror film and insist I watch and review it for the blog. I assumed after making me suffer Anaconda III that I would be granted some reprieve but sadly it was not to be. Deadly Swarm offered me a swarm of killer wasps that attack an isolated town in Mexico. In facing the film I grabbed some insect spray and prepared myself for what would hopefully be a good film.

The film begins in Guatemala where Dr Schroeder (J. Patrick McCormack) forces a group of natives at gunpoint to take him to some ancient ruins where a nest of deadly wasps awaits. Despite the ruins being rigged with booby traps the nest is successfully boxed and Schroeder pays for a cargo truck to take the wasps across the border into Mexico. Partaking of a spot of road rage straight out of Spielberg’s Duel our driver ends up crashing his truck. A local policeman arrives on the scene and releases the wasps which proceed to work their way through the population of a local town. It is down to entomologist Daniel Lang (Shane Brolly), local police officer Commandante Alvarez (Pepe Serna) and nosy author/journalist Sandra (Kaarina Aufranc) to warn the town of the danger and help stop the wasps.

This is your usual disturbing things in nature that really should be left alone. The natives that Dr Schroeder meets at the start are wary of what lurks in the forest and don’t want to help the curious visitors. It’s only when Schroeder threatens to kill one of the children in the village that the natives relent and guide the men to the ancient ruins. After acquiring the nest of wasps and placing them in a crate, Schroeder entrusts them to a cargo driver that asks no questions and is also transporting cocaine in his truck. Really nice man! Journalist Sandra witnesses the truck being inspected by a border patrol and one of the guards opens a box and removes a bag of cocaine for himself before waving the driver across the border. Sandra gives chase, sensing a story but gets more than she bargained for. After the accident in Mexico we’re given a fine display of law enforcement and a sense of emergency. The local police officer finding the crashed truck seems to take an age to report the incident and despite a wounded driver lying in the wreckage he chooses to climb into the trailer and open the crate with the wasps in. It’s not a clever thing to do as you can probably imagine!

After the opening segment we’re in the company of Daniel Lang who is no longer welcome in the town having left it overrun with mosquitoes though his purpose in combating disease spread by the insects has proved successful. The discovery of the dead policeman seemingly stung to death has Lang scratching his head and his friend Commandante Alvarez isn’t much brighter considering he’s part of the law. His favourite phrase seems to be “what do we do now?” which is hardly inspiring given the magnitude of the wasp crisis. Sandra is a nosy journalist who tries to use her femininity to keep Lang sweet and get information out of him. Of course love conquers all even with all the wasps getting in the way but it’s not remotely interesting. Finally, Dr Schroeder makes an appearance in the town and has some rather interesting revelations about the wasps and indeed the accident that brought them to the town.

Deadly Swarm isn’t especially scary and the wasps in question are made up of some pretty poor effects. The entrance of Dr Schroeder as the film’s villain promises to offer some excitement but sadly it doesn’t. Perhaps the most embarrassing part of the film is how the swarm of wasps are dealt with at the end. It all seems very convenient and the film declines to explain how Sandra, who is stung at one point, manages to survive whereas other people do not. Love overcomes a wasp’s sting it seems but I just wasn’t convinced by the time we got to the end credits and the hint that this could be open for a sequel fills me with dread.

Deadly Swarm is a very poor horror film which offers nothing new. The effects are terrible, the characters aren’t especially interesting and even some good acting wouldn’t have brought much depth to them. Mrs B continues to torture me with films like this and I pray that I will be blessed with something that has a degree of quality about it when I next face a film.

Verdict: 1/5

(Film source: TV)

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Dave Brown

I was born in Barnsley, South Yorkshire, England and have always been a bookworm and enjoyed creative writing at school. In 1999 I created the Elencheran Chronicles and have been writing ever since. My first novel, Fezariu's Epiphany, was published in May 2011. When not writing I'm a lover of films, games, books and blogging. I live in Barnsley, with my wife, Donna, and our six cats - Kain, Razz, Buggles, Charlie, Bilbo and Frodo.
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