Director/Screenplay – Timothy R. Martin, Photography – William Barratt, Music – Brian Wherry, CGI Effects – Dave Penakis, Creatures Designed and Created by Timothy R. Martin, Mechanical Creature Effects – Peter Clark. Production Company – Halcyon International Pictures/Still-Night Monster Movies.
Bianca Holland (Val), Miguel de la Rosa (Tim), Amanda Beck (Renee), Bjorn Jiskoot Jr. (Jared), Marcus Jordan (Jimmy), Isle Gallagher (Amber), James Dean ‘Jaxx’ Luce (Eddie), Dan Gill (Chris), Stephanie Mir (Amanda), Margarita Neusheva (Steph), James Garcia (Delivery Kid)
Meteor fragments strike a satellite and come down in the Atlantic just off the Florida coast. In Tampa, fish taken from this area of the bay is placed in sushi that is delivered to the nightclub manager Val. Val is just finishing up for the night. Various staff and their hangers-on are waiting around the club after closing until she locks up. After eating the sushi, Val begins to feel ill. In the bathroom, a creature erupts from her body. The creature uses Val’s body as a host as it proceeds to attack the others, turning them into zombies. Those remaining try to survive and find a way to get out through the club’s locked doors.
Parasitic was the sole directorial film (so far) from Timothy R. Martin. Elsewhere, Martin has worked in various special effects and makeup effects departments on some high-profile films including Spider-Man (2002), AVP: Alien vs Predator (2004), Hellboy (2004), Fantastic Four (2005), War of the Worlds (2005), The Thing (2011), It (2017) and Godzilla, King of the Monsters (2019), among others.
Sometimes films – particularly ingénue films – read as unconscious x-rays of the people who made them. Why are there so many first-off films emulating other works? It is about the creators trying all they can to copy the things that enthused them. Parasitic reads an x-ray of its creator. There is someone who is enthused about makeup and creature effects (as evidenced by Timothy R. Martin’s work elsewhere) and has made a vehicle to deliver them.
The other thing Parasitic seems to be wanting very much to do is create a party atmosphere. It is set at a nightclub after closing (the real-life The Castle in Ybor City, Tampa, Florida). All the girls are hot and desirable, wear not a lot of clothing, while lead actress Bianca Holland spends much of the film with her top off. By contrast, all of the guys in the film (with the exception of the two African-American bouncers) seem like nerdy losers or wannabes constantly lusting after the girls and facing a barrage of bitchy putdowns and rebuffs. Timothy R. Martin incidentally casts himself as the dj who has a few scenes near the start, playing some music and disinterestedly standing back from the fray and reading a girly magazine. Oh and the soundtrack has songs with lyrics like the repeated phrase “I know I love you by the way I titty fuck you.” Quite what all of this says about Timothy R. Martin’s own personal fantasies I will leave up to you to decide.
The rest of the film consists of Bianca Holland running around with a snake-like parasite emerged out of her chest, attacking people. Those attacked get resurrected as zombies. Eventually, near the end of the film, people work out what is going on and there is a minor state of siege. Martin delivers some passable cheap creature and gore effects. Beyond that, there is not huge amount to the film.