Last month I was able to host the Toronto Theatrical premiere for The Millennium Bug. It was an easy decision for me since I’m such a huge fan of giant bugs. Apparently I’m also a fan of inbred hillbillies. Who knew.
The story follows the Haskin family. Dad Byron (Jon Briddell), step-mom Joany (Jessica Simons) and daughter Clarissa (Christine Haeberman, who starred in this role just before being a part of Scream Queens Season 2). The family is heading to the mountains to avoid Y2K but run into the Crawford clan. The inbred hillbillies are looking for some new members since all their offspring are deformed. Neither of the families realize that a giant bug resides in the hills and is about to be unleashed on the world.
The most important thing to remember about The Millennium Bug is that it involved no CGI. Even the giant bug was built from the ground up, having to be big enough to even have some of the actors sit in its mouth. Writer/director Kenneth Cran isn’t screwing around here. He and his crew have created a film that every horror lover should see. It’s inappropriate, gory, funny, and creative. They manage to deliver on every aspect of the film. Hell, anyone that sets out to make a giant bug movie without using any CG is alright by me.
The start of the film is basically redneck mayhem. When the Haskin family is captured, it can be uncomfortable as well as darkly funny. A scene involving one of the Crawford clan and a wood carving was hilarious and does a nice job of lightening up what is some really brutal ideas. Those moments of nervous laughter are quickly turned on their head when the next round of violence kicks in. There’s no holding back as Byron tries to fight back to save his daughter and wife from being wed into the Crawford family. Some shocking moments follow that had the crowd gasping. We just couldn’t believe what was happening. Before you’ve got a chance to come to grips with what you’re watching, the giant bug is let loose to destroy everything in its path.
Things really go nuts from that point on. The giant bug heads out to munch some people and crush some countryside. Imagine a Godzilla sized Jaws and you’ll get the idea. Director Kenneth Cran admits to the film showing his love of Jaws. There’s plenty of moments where you’ll be reminded of that series but it probably won’t be until after you’ve watched the film. The Millennium Bug is one of the best throwbacks to the classic bug flicks that I’ve ever seen. You can feel the love in the film with all its practical effects and attention to detail, including the leftovers that are stuck in the giant bug’s teeth.
There’s no distribution yet, but they’re working on it. For now, you can head over to their store to pick up some great swag. I left with a shirt and a DVD from our screening and I’m glad I’ll be able to watch this one over and over again. Horror fans can’t go wrong with this one, so keep it on your radar and pick it up as soon as you can!
Under the marquee – Will