Exploitation Retrospect | The Journal of Junk Culture and Fringe Media
Mosquito Man aka Mansquito (2005)
Review by Dan Taylor

I have a problem with MOSQUITO MAN. And I'm not talking about the DVD box description which gets the plot so wrong you wonder if anybody bothered to watch the movie.

No, I'm talking about the incompetent re-titling at work. When it premiered on Sci-Fi in March of 2005 it appeared under the much more appealing title of MANSQUITO, the kind of mashed-up horror/sci-fi name that I'm a complete sucker for. (See AQUANOIDS if you don't believe me.) For some reason, the flick was re-titled MOSQUITO MAN when it appeared on DVD, a change that I find somewhat peculiar. Were they trying to make people confuse it with CINDERELLA MAN? Did they hope to capture insect mutation completists who wouldn't bother to read the back cover and see that they'd already watched this on cable?

Whatever the reason for the re-titling that is my one, and only, problem with the borderline brilliant MANSQUITO. Directed by Tibor Takacs (80s horror afficianados will remember his THE GATE), MANSQUITO is a lightning-paced rip-off of THE FLY that dispenses with that flick's scientific mumbo-jumbo and yakety-yak first act.

Instead, we're treated to a quickie set-up that gets the action moving in record time: a deadly virus is sweeping the globe and a team of scientists are working with mosquitoes to develop a way to beat the aforementioned virus. (And, when I say "a team of scientists" I really mean two chicks in lab coats.) With dollar signs flashing in front of his eyes, the pharmaceutical lab's director (Jay Benedict) brings in convicted killer Ray Erikson (Austin Jordan) to be a human guinea pig. Erikson escapes – 'natch – kills one chick and gets blasted with mutated, radioactive mosquito goo during a shoot-out with the security team.

Eleven minutes into the flick Erikson/Mansquito is on the loose, CGI-mutating like crazy and attacking everybody from his ex-galpal to the staff at the bar where she works. Further complicating matters is the fact that the cop who put Erikson away – played by Corin Nemec of 'Parker Lewis Can't Lose' fame – is the boyfriend of science chick Jennifer Allen (the exotic Musetta Vander), who got hit with a bit o' insect goo herself.

What follows is a B-movie monster gore mini-masterpiece that rarely lets its foot off the accelerator. Mansquito rampages while Tom (Nemec) and his partner (Patrick Dreikauss) track him down, puzzling through clues like corpses drained of blood. All the while Jennifer finds herself going cuckoo for sugar – and blood. While she mutate? Will Mansquito and the cop's girlfriend mate? Does anybody else think Nemec still looks like he's 13?

Kudos to Takacs and writers Ken Badish (no jokes, please), Ray Cannella, Boaz Davidson and Mike Hurst for concocting a bloody good time that never bores and totally delivers the goods. Sure, you'll see the ending long before Parker Lewis figures it out, but this 80s-esque monster-on-the-loose throwback is a guaranteed good time.

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