[Junesploitation ’22] Mini Reviews: Mansquito (2005) and Malibu Express (1985)

Mini Review
Day 15: Bugs!
Mansquito (2005) aka MosquitoMan

The prompt for Day 15 is ‘Bugs!’ and this is one I perhaps put too much thought into, as I wanted to pick a film that had what would actually be classified as a bug and Google seemed to indicate that a mosquito was and Mansquito aka MosquitoMan (2005) felt like the perfect choice. A low budget sci-fi/horror from Nu Image, this film has what you’d expect, blood, questionable acting and a mixture of CG and practical effects for a giant mosquito.

A deadly virus that is transmitted through mosquitoes is wrecking havoc and scientists are desperate for a cure and to put a stop to the virus. Dr. Jennifer Allen (Musetta Vander) is working in a lab with mosquitoes to make them immune to the virus, in the hopes they can be released and the virus bred out. Her boss (Jay Benedict) has other ideas with the work they are doing and organises a dangerous prisoner (Matt Jordan) to be sent to the lab for experiments. The prisoner decides this is the time for an escape and takes hostages and causes chaos in Jennifer’s lab, which causes them both to exposed to an experiment. Jennifer’s partner and Detective Lt. Thomas Randall (Corin Nemec) is investigating what happened to the prisoner and they soon discover what the exposure has done to him and what will happen to Jennifer.

There is a fair bit happening in the film, a deadly virus, mosquitoes, science experiments, a romantic relationship, an escaped and mutating prisoner, it really has the works. The premise of a man muting into a giant mosquito is quite intriguing and the film does not shy away from showing the transformation and the creature. It is impressive for a film made for TV that didn’t have a high budget, the CG on the other hand is much less impressive. There are some bloody scenes because the Mansquito needs blood to survive and those work fairly well. The more human elements are less interesting at first, once the race really begins to stop the creature it definitely picks up the pace. The two leads are fine, having some nice moments with Musetta Vander working best when her character is mutating. A strangely enjoyable film, this would make for a good pairing with The Fly (1986) as a mutation double feature.

Rating:

Mini Review
Day 16: 80s Action!
Malibu Express (1985)

Is there anything better than an 80’s action movie? There isn’t much better and having that as the prompt for the day is rather awesome, for me picking a film was a no brainer for the prompt, it had to be an Andy Sidaris film. As someone who enjoys his classic film Hard Ticket To Hawaii (1987), I wanted to seek out the film he made before it Malibu Express (1985). While Hard Ticket To Hawaii may be the better film overall, Malibu Express has all the classic Sidaris tropes, barely makes any sense and is some how quite a bit of fun.

Private Detective Cody Abilene (Darby Hinton) is assigned by Countessa Luciana (Sybil Danning) to spend time with the rich Lady Chamberlain (Niki Dantine) at her property. While he is there the blackmailing exploits of chauffeur Shane (Brett Clark) come to light as he uses cameras to film and photograph sexual exploits. But also Lady Chamberlain’s daughter Liza (Lorraine Michaels) is investing with a computer company run by Jonathon Harper (Les Steinmetz), whom seems to be involved in some shady businesses. Some how this all ties together as Cody investigates the murder of Shane and tries to find out what is going on.

Yes this film is rather nonsensical, an over convoluted plot that takes up too much time with explaining things, mixed in with a lot of nudity and sex with some action thrown in there. From the beginning you know what sort of film this will be as a character is introduced called June Khnockers (Lynda Wiesmeier) and you do see those ‘knockers’ quite a bit. Cody ends up bedding almost every female character with ease, in the trope of ‘every man’s fantasy’ and no matter what 80% of the women featured have their breasts shown. The film was co-financed by Hugh Hefner and features quite a number of Playmates in various roles. Sybil Danning is one of the stand outs, who really needed much more screen time and is perhaps the only real known name in the film. If Malibu Express were paced better and spent less time having so many sub-plots it would have been far better for it, as it stands this is a weirdly enjoyable film for all the wrong reasons.

Rating:

Reviews written by Marcella Papandrea

Please check out FThisMovie.net, with many thanks to the crew for the concept of Junesploitation and some excellent prompts for 2022!

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