THE MOVIE Jeff Fahey may be the gabacho Danny Trejo. The One Life to Live alum has starred in so many B-picture and TV schlock over his career—The Lawnmower Man, Serpent’s Lair, Maniacts—that you almost wish the creators of V.I.P., She Spies, or the Stargate franchise would pair him up with Kari Wuhrer and give them one or two seasons of something ridiculous that the SciFi Channel or Spike TV could run in syndication for a few years, just some financial thanks for time served. Fahey’s latest cinematic gem, Scorpius Gigantus, arrives with that grade-Z seal of approval—executive producer Roger Corman—and the shoestring budget such entails. In fact, this DVD is front-loaded with a trailer announcing the imminent DVD release of Corman’s back catalog on Buena Vista Home Entertainment, one of Disney’s many underlings. There’s probably a joke somewhere in the fact that the money from such wholesome fare as High School Musical and The Princess Diaries mingles with the profits of Caged Heat, Death Race 2000, and Big Bad Mama, but given the stories behind some contributions to political campaigns, what’s a little sex- and goresploitation in the land of Jiminy Cricket. It is a small world, after all.
Fahey stars as Maj. Nick Reynolds, the commander and trainer of some elite military squad stationed in some random Eastern European country, for some important purpose to be sure—but they’re called into duty when the Russian mafia hijack a military convoy seeking to score some uranium and end up with the military’s top-secret pet project instead: megabugs. These mutants came about through the research of one Dr. Jane Preston (Jo Bourne-Taylor), who, while trying to find a cure-all vaccine from insects’ impressive adaptability and resilience—they’ve been around for millions of years, you see—combined a scorpion, warrior bug, and cockroach, added some human DNA, and irradiated the whole thing so that it can grow to the size of a Hummer in about eight hours. Needless to say, the megabugs make short shrift of Russian mafia Eurotrash.
Preston, Reynolds, his small crew, and a parcel of four NATO “reinforcements”—whose idea of an Eastern European accent is to talk like they’re from Yonkers—start hunting the megabugs through the abandoned warehouse space that looks sort of like Clipper Mill before the influx of Struever Bros. money. Two decapitations, a few bitten-off arms, one torso splitting, one giant insect sucking soldier’s insides out through a chest wound, one basketball-sized exploding neck corpuscle, megabug point-of-view shots that look like blurry night vision, an Army captain that looks like the $1.98 Sam Elliott, and one character’s glorious summation, “All I’m saying is something ain’t natural.”
THE DISC Nothing to speak of, really—but you’re watching a movie called Scorpius Gigantus. What more do you want?