When I was growing up, while already a horror fan, I was always ecstatic to see the Sci-Fi Channel originals. As time went on the channel became Sci-Fi and then SyFy, but the style of movies coming through never faltered. We had our Beyond Re-Animators early in my childhood, and Big Ass Spiders as I entered college. Being out of my parents house, not having cable, SyFy still managed to find a way into my life with the re-telling of Slumber Party Massacre in 2021. A movie that divided my house, my fiancé screaming how badly they fucked up a classic and me loving the 21st Century approach to campiness. Movies and movie distribution have changed a lot since I was 8 in 2003. I can watch fun, low budget movies on Tubi, on DVDs from the Wal-Mart $5 bin, and still, on SyFy. The Deadly Swarm is a movie that feels like a love letter to the Sharknados, the Kraken: Tentacles of the Deeps, and other “you had to be there” movies of a certain era. This movie was written and directed by David Gregory, who previously helmed Krampus: The Reckoning, a movie that I did buy from the Wal-Mart $5 bin and enjoyed a lot. And it’s produced by Rhys Frake-Waterfield, who worked on both of the Winnie The Pooh: Blood and Honey titles, something that took the internet by storm for its subject matter and its marketing campaign alone. Two people that are perfect for something in the same bubble as Zoombies and The Hive. The press release says, “The Deadly Swarm offers genre enthusiasts good old-fashioned fun with inventive effects. For fans of Gremlins, The Howling, and Critters, The Deadly Swarm promises a nostalgic yet fresh take on creature horror.” Released by Uncork’d Entertainment, founded in July of 2012 by Keith Leopard.

The plot is one we know all too well, one we are always screaming to the screen, “we all know this is a bad idea. Don’t do it!” Dr. Holger Feldman is working on something and is trying to save his son, Liam from a death by disease. The disease took the doctor’s wife and he’s dead set on it ending there. Dr. Feldman has managed to get a specimen of the rare vampire fly, and not just any specimen, this is a queen. Liam however is more concerned with how dangerous that fly is, because apparently they wiped out the dinosaurs not a meteor. This outweighs whether or not it could lead to a cure for the disease that killed his mother, and will ultimately kill him. Then a group of desperately poor friends attend a medical trial retreat. Lured in under false pretenses and run by the suspicious Dr. Feldman little do they know that the doctor has unwittingly created a race of killer flies, and they are hungry for blood. The movie pulls out all the stops for this. The kid that convinced everyone to do this trial is the only one with any information on it, but he’s naturally the outsider and not really their friend, just a stray that hangs around. The doctor is weird and jump scares the kids, promising various medical professionals will “arrive in the morning” and has a new excuse every time something comes up. And of course, someone has a rare blood type and will be the one to save this doctor’s project, or so he says. Some other highlights include flies killing someone by flying through a car window, killing someone in a swimming pool, a panty sniffing incel, two giant flies fighting, and a woman who wants to earn money so she can pay for her mom’s cancer treatment.

With a tagline like, “a black carpet of death”, I think this is definitely presenting itself exactly how it wants to. This movie is not for everyone, and I’m sure some reviews will address it in an aggressive manner. But this movie is a fun ride, and it is for the people that understand “classics” like Critters are also bad in their own right. If you’re going to watch a movie about vampire flies, a movie where the scientist looks like a villain from an episode of Goosebumps, and a movie where a man in a fedora sniffs underwear, make it The Deadly Swarm. There are plenty of other titles from Uncork’d Entertainment if you want to make a marathon out of this. And if this movie came out in the 1950s, there would be a Misfits song about it. Danzig would have loved this shit. This movie is now available on digital formats including iTunes, Google Play, Xbox, and Vudu.