A garden party is swarmed by giant mutant killer wasps that are hellbent on stinging people and turning them into human/wasp hybrid monsters. Hilarity ensues. Directed by Benni Diez and starring Clifton Collins Jr., Toney de Maeyer and Jessica Cook.
Have you ever seen someone killed by a flying, severed cow head? No? Well you’re in luck, because you’re about to see just that!
During a lovely nighttime garden party at a crumbling upstate New York mansion, guests are attacked by vicious three-inch long wasps who cause their prey to mutate into man-size wasp monsters.
In the opening scene of “Stung”, a large black wasp chases a bumblebee into a field and injects it with a stinger. The bee goes through a transformation and sprouts an identical stinger.
Meanwhile, a truck marked Country Catering rambles along a rural road, and we meet Julia and Paul. She inherited the business of setting up parties from her late father, and Paul is her employee/bartender extraordinaire and the bearer of an obvious crush on his boss.
At the dilapidated manse of Mrs. Perch and her strange grandson Sydney (the great Clifton Collins, Jr), Paul sets up the outdoor party as the Perch’s Bichon Frise Percy digs up an insect nest nearby. In the Perch house we find three generations under one roof; the elderly Mrs. Perch and her bitchy 50 something daughter, whom is smothering her son (Sydney).
The guests arrive, including the boozy local mayor, Carruthers (genre legend Lance Henriksen) and an attractive woman who gives drink slinging Paul the eye. 24 minutes into the film, deadly obsidian wasps rise from their nest and begin the attack. It turns out that being stung by one of them causes the human body to gruesomely transform into a man-size version of the rapacious insects. Cue an outrageously cool blend of practical and CGI special effects as party-goers begin splitting in half, growing wings and having wasp legs burst out of their mouths. That pretty lady flirting with Paul earlier sheds her skin first, her split open head stuck to the slimy leg of the monstrous wasp hybrid that explodes out of her. Gross!
Trapped in the mansion, the survivors band together in the kitchen until an infected victim begins suddenly mutating and slaughters two others. Who has been stung and who hasn’t becomes a crucial question. Shoulda done the hot wire in the blood test from John Carpenter’s 1982 classic “The Thing”, you fools!
As the remaining survivors crowd into the Perch wine cellar, we learn that Sydney created a supercharged form of fertilizer using growth hormones and other goodies. The others turn on him as he admits responsibility for creating the wasps, and then notice that Syd isn’t looking too healthy and keeps scratching at his neck. Paul makes a courageous dash for the catering van while Sydney undergoes a bizarre transformation into something new: not man, not all wasp.
Will Julia and Paul get that first kiss? It’s worth making it to awesome final scene to find out.
The effects, sound design and production values are fantastic. Add to that list clever kills and likable performances for one hell of a fun movie! Paul and Julia really work as protagonists. You don’t want to see them get chomped on or stung. And you just can’t lose with Lance Henriksen, happily taking the edge off with a priceless 1943 Bordeaux when the heroes hide in the wine cellar. He’s brilliant.
After the initial attack, the mansion is transformed into a wasp hive, using shattered furniture, yellow monster glop and huge holes smashed through walls. There’s some really amazing set design happening here.
All this gooey monstery goodness AND a character gets decapitated by a cow head? Oh, you betcha! There’s actually even more fun craziness in this movie, but I left it out to surprise you. You’re welcome!
“Stung” is fast and funny, but never becomes outright campy. Its overall tone reminded me of the original “Tremors.” Both have elaborate and memorable monsters and likable heroes.
Watch “Stung” and curl up with a yummy 90 minutes of monster mayhem!