Thursday, April 24, 2014

Aberration, Mutant Lizards invade Minnesota

Like many of you, I have been craving a mutant lizard story.  So today we will look at a film from New Zealand, 1997's "Aberration." This movie stars Pamela Gidley (winner of a "Most Beautiful Girl in the World" contest), Simon Bossell, and scores of hungry, mutated geckos.  Like all great B Movies, this work succeeds as a love story, as well.  When our geeky, biologist hero meets the most beautiful woman he has ever seen, only in B Movies does he have a chance with her.  As we all know, these women come with strings attached, and in this case, the strings are a pursuing Russian mobster and hungry amphibians.  Is she still worth it?  Of course, especially if you are a geeky scientist who doesn't talk to humans much.
The plot: Amy (Gidley) arrives at a remote cabin in the wilds of Minnesota, hoping to start a new life with a new identity.  She is running away from Uri, a Russian mobster.  Her only companions are her cat and goldfish (future lizard cuisine).  Because she is so beautiful and has absconded with the mob's loot, Uri is on her trail.  Marshall (Bossell) meets up with her and can't stop drooling.  At first, she has no interest in him, but his charm and innocence, matched with his carnal attraction to her beauty and mystery, spark increasing sexual tension as the plot progresses.  And progress it does!  Marshall is studying the disappearing species in the region, and while assisting Amy in getting rid of mystery pests in her cabin, the two come face to face with an army of weirdly evolved geckos.  They have big teeth and can grow to three feet in just a few hours.
At first they try to escape but Amy's only neighbor has become a nest for these things.  Then the snow falls and they are trapped in her cabin with these vermin.  As the heating system fails, the lizards realize, to paraphrase the tagline from "The Thing," man is indeed the warmest place to hide.  Amy is a perfect gal for Marshall.  When she teaches him to shoot a rifle, her only instructions are "Pump, point, pull...just like the chick in Terminator."  As Amy and Marshall put up a heroic fight, destroying creatures and their eggs, they realize the entire place is infested with them.  Uh oh.....Uri arrives (see above picture).  Unlike love-starved, flawed B Movie characters, Russian mobsters who care only about the bottom line, are not as well equipped to deal with mutated monsters.  As Uri menaces our heroes, the things move in, and they are hungry and seeking warm places to nest their eggs.
Will the geek, or the geckos, end up with the most beautiful girl in the world?  Will Uri's talent for killing schmucks in the big city translate into the ability to kill hordes of hungry amphibians?  The conclusion is filled with explosions, gore, and a very frightening final scene.  Gidley, as Amy, is terrific and her increasing attraction to Marshall is sweet.  For romance, horror, guns, explosions, gore, and mobsters...."Aberration" should satisfy you.  Unfortunately, Pamela Gidley (who like me, is originally from Massachusetts) seems to be out of acting.  With all the bad actors who have endured, it is too bad Gidley has not.  

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