How could anyone resist a movie about troubled teens on a nature retreat, menanced by drug dealers and GIANT TICKS??!!! I can't resist a movie like that!! How could you say "No" to a movie like TICKS?? But interestingly enough, the movie "Ticks" is about saying "no." That's right. This twisted tale about mutant bloodsuckers is in the same realm as "Panic in Needle Park" and "Go Ask Alice." Check this out.... Crazed, murderous pot growers in Northern California treat their weed with STEROIDS(!), which causes ticks to grow to the size of your hand. The ticks' natural pain killers, to keep the host from scratching them off, is now mega-dosed to an LSD-like hallucinogen.
In the 50s it was radiation that made killer bugs. In the 90s, drugs make the bugs. Ya gotta love it!!! And like the 1950s killer bug movies, TICKS is glorious, brainless, headbanging fun, with cute girls, awkward guys who find inner-strength in the face of danger, a kindly, pot-bellied, white-haired sherriff, a scene in a lab where the wise voice of science explains where the ticks came from, and best of all... BUGS, MAN!!! BUGS!!! How long has it been since you've seen a good old fashioned MONSTER MOVIE??? With no apologies... with no remorse... a monster movie that's PROUD to be a monster movie???
And mighty fine monsters they are, too... done by Doug Beswick, an alum of "Aliens" and "The Empire Strikes Back," with special-yucko-make-up effects by KNB studios, who do a lot of the "Nightmare on Elm Street" flicks. Not meaning to harp on the drug theme, but "Ticks" is a real shot in the arm. Sure, there's plot holes. Sure, one shot of a kid dangling by a sheet from a burning building is immediately followed by a shot of the same kid magically transported to the driver's seat of a van making his escape. I DON'T CARE!!! "Ticks" is the most fun I've had with a movie since "Tremors." On our headbanger scale of 1-4, "Ticks" gets 3 and 1/2 headbangs.
Copyright 1996 Mike Marano
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