Picks and Pans Review: Parasite

updated 03/29/1982 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 03/29/1982 AT 01:00 AM EST

The little monsters in this hideous new 3-D horror film look as if someone had stuffed socks with oatmeal and painted fangs on the end. They ooze around trying to chew up everyone in sight and quickly win the sympathy of those who begin to hope they will chew up the film too. The setting is a Southwestern ghost town sometime in the future: Totalitarianism, atomic fallout and anarchy have left America to struggle on with only cheap sets and unfamiliar, incompetent actors. A scientist arrives, looking for a quiet spot for research. He is seeking to eradicate the parasite which he created, apparently on some sort of biological warfare project. It is now lodged in his tummy, making occasional chomping sounds. He carries its cousin around for study purposes in what looks like a thermos bottle. But some juvenile delinquents steal the thermos and let the scourge loose upon the community, what there is of it. The requisite 3-D effects—a striking snake, sudden punches, dripping blood, flying glass—are used with no great impact. The film is so badly lit you have to strain through your paper spectacles to see anything. This is a headache in any dimension. (R)

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