Larva (2005)

Before I begin, please understand that this was a made-for-TV movie. Sometimes those are gems, like Killdozer. Other times they can be laughably bad, like Gargoyles. Unfortunately, Larva sits somewhere in the middle, well within the realm of almost completely forgettable.

In Larva, a new vet to the poorly named Host, Missouri, discovers a new strain of parasite that grows and evolves rapidly until it’s a weird bat-looking thing made of bad CGI. But the townsfolk don’t want to hear it; they’re almost all slaves to the big meat corporation in town that has been giving out free experimental feed…which in turn has caused the parasites to evolve. And since the parasites evolved, they’re now in the meat, so anyone who eats meat is infected. Luckily, the vet is a vegetarian. Unfortunately, just about nobody else is, because meat is delicious murder. This means we get to see a bad CGI, low violence equivalent of a chest burster popping out…which is actually pretty surprising, because the filmmakers had no issue with blood. You’ll see a fair bit of blood in this movie, but the gore is weirdly limited. TV restrictions are weird.

One thing this movie does that I appreciate is killing kids; look, let’s face it, it’s both a ballsy move and a low blow to parents to show kids getting attacked in films. Often times this can have a gut reaction in a parent that will trigger emotions those of us without kids won’t necessarily experience. As someone who isn’t a parent, I’m all for it. Hell yeah, uber larva, eat that kid right in front of his mom! This happens, and I love it. Don’t judge me.

There is also a Jurassic Park moment of a guy trying to escape town only to find one of the parasites sitting in his car. He doesn’t make it. Moments like this make this into a much better movie than it deserves to be, though they don’t save it.

With all of these crazy antics going on, the vet, a farmer, a lawyer, and the town sheriff decide to lure the parasites into the sewer and then blow it up. You get a lot of great shots of terrible CGI combined with explosion footage. And then comes the weird part: of the four people in the sewer, you never see the farmer or sheriff again. Hell, they aren’t even mentioned. I don’t know if they survive or not. Also, the lawyer gets hospitalized, but the vet who has just been in the same sewer explosion? Totally fine. Also, the lawyer is a meat eater, so the film ends zooming in on her stomach, implying that she might still be a host. Nice.

Look, it’s absurdly low budget, the acting isn’t great, and most of its 90 minutes won’t stick with you. There are some great moments, but they are fleeting. There are better things to watch, but there are worse things too. Larva is something to appreciate at moments and then throw away.

Enjoy the trailer in Spanish! It was that or German.

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