Some movies with ridiculous premises and a bargain basement budget manage to overcome the odds to make for an entertaining and entertaining ride. Cicada is not that movie.
An invasion of mutant killer cicadas could have had potential. There’s definitely dumber concepts. Anyone who endured the last round of cicadas can attest to their level of annoyance.
Cicada goes the least entertaining way possible with performances that start at bad at spiral down to terrible, weak special effects and an abysmal script.
An eclectic group of characters rally to tackle the invasion of cicadas hungry for the sugar in the human blood stream.
One of the film’s biggest problems is none of the characters are likable. They’re either jerks like the “main character” Johnny Bash (Jeffrey Ryan Kent), an obnoxious disgraced baseball player or goofy.
It’s hard to care if they get munched on by an oversized stuffed animal roach if the characters aren’t likeable or at least entertaining. This is where the lackluster script really hurts. Some of the cheesiness could be overcome with dialogue that gives the actors something to work with instead of providing them another obstacle.
Director/Screenwriter David Willis clearly isn’t aspiring to add an Oscar to his mantle. He’s just trying to have a good time goofing off with this idea.
Humor is subjective, but it’s hard to envision the crew having to do multiple takes from not being able to stop laughing while shooting a scene.
The smartest cast members grew their hair out or wear some fake facial hair to disguise themselves for theoretical future work. That shouldn’t happen based on anyone’s performance, but it’s a nice thought.
Willis’ cast don’t add much to the film and it feels like they’re intentionally trying to be as hammy and goofy as possible. There’s some skill involved in making a bad movie charming and getting away with a minimal budget. Willis isn’t the kind of director/writer capable of making this kind of film come off anything more than cheap and frustrating to endure.
The cicada designs weren’t great and looked more like puppets suspending on strings than badly animated CGI. Makeup and the post death practical effects look much better however.
Far too much of the film was shot against a green screen resulting in cheap looking backgrounds and bad perspectives.
As is the case way too often with these kinds of films, it features an amazing poster with legit looking action stars and much better graphics for the cicadas.
The poster is a massive bait and switch as it suggests a higher level of quality than the movie has to offer. Clearly audiences would be less likely to sign up if the poster featured an actual screenshot or even featured the actual cast.
There’s no need for you to get fooled though. Skip this one as sitting through it is even more grating than hearing the title characters’ mating calls.
Rating: 1 out of 10