A fancy garden party goes terribly wrong after a local species of wasps mutate into giant predators. It's up to Paul (Matt O’Leary, Mother's Day, The Lone Ranger) and Julia (Jessica Cook, Awkward), two catering staffers at the high-society event, to stop the killer creatures – an effort that kickstarts a budding romance between the two. This buzzingly fun thriller also stars Lance Henriksen (Aliens, Pumpkinhead) and Clifton Collins Jr. (Pacific Rim, Transcendence).
In the film, STUNG all hell breaks loose when caterer Julia, and her assistant, Paul agree to cater a posh garden party. In the film, after the death of her father recently, Julia have now taken over her dad's party catering business. On this day, Julia and Paul return to a residence that Julia is familiar with, as her father had worked there before - the Perch residence. The home is owned by a widowed patriarch, whose husband was in the pharmaceutical business. When they arrive, and then setup, the party, which includes some prominent figures, such as the town's Mayor, kicks off, but is not very festive. However, soon things take an unexpected turn, when a horde of mutated wasps swarm the party, and put everyone in a panic. However, more worry comes about for the party guests, when it is realized that these are no ordinary wasps. They are in fact a mutated species due to Mrs. Perch's, strange son, Sydney mixing human growth hormone into his mother's gardening soil. The end result is a species of wasp more agitated and angry. Not to mention that they have the ability to lay their eggs inside anyone stung - thus using the body to harvest a wasp much more bigger and deadly. In the chaos of the scene, Julia, Paul, along with those who remain, take to the Perch house for shelter. However, soon, when the insects make their way inside, it's up to everyone to band together as they attempt to take them out.
When it comes to STUNG, a German/American co-production, I'm assuming that the initial reaction from most out there will be that it appears to be just another, sort of "throwaway" creature, much like the ones that SYFY CHANNEL churns out on an almost weekly basis. Well, this was of course my reaction. Judging by it's cover art(not the art shown on the film's original poster), I just assumed that it would be just another silly "nature gone wild" film, with no plot. Well, to my surprise, I must admit that the Benni Diez directed film isn't all that bad. In fact, it has more plot and character buildup than one might expect from a film of this type. The problem that I have with most SYFY CHANNEL films is that about 90% of them rely too much on badly rendered CGI creatures to tell the story. In STUNG, there is a budding romance between our two leads. The two caterers at first couldn't be more different. Initially, it's clear that Julia is the more serious one, as she is serious about taking over her father's business, and has the fear of messing up. While Paul, the co-worker on the otherhand, is more jokey, and laid back. But as the film moves along, we learn that they are more alike than once believed. Also STUNG's story also gets a boost with it's support. Of course i'm talking about the veterans, Lance Henriksen and Clifton Collins Jr. Both of whom are great additions here. Henriksen is the town Mayor named "Caruthers". Caruthers is a rather outspoken man, with a liking for pig in a blanket, while Collins Jr., portrays the rather strange, geeky son of the host family, "Sydney Perch" Henriksen and Collins Jr. are really funny, especially Collins Jr. who has the ability to put on many faces. I mean Clifton Collins Jr. has been in nearly everything you can imagine, and many times, you don't even know it's him. He is a character actor that has the ability to change his appearance in a variety of ways. I love the guy, and while he isn't literally in "everything", I for one wouldn't mind if he was! The film avoids being "just another" in the long line, by injecting all of the wasp chaos with some story, as well as heart, and it all revolves around the film's two lead characters Julia" and "Paul" as they become close during the ordeal. The actors in the roles; Jessica Cook and Matt O'Learly respectively come off as likable and are easy for us to root for during their plight, which in the end leads to a happy ending. Or does it? ....
Overall, I pretty much enjoyed STUNG for what it is, and was most happy that the plot didn't involve some scientific group mess up - which always seems to be the cause for what happens in these films. It's a light dark comedy with some unexpected weirdness towards the end. It's a generally fun film i'd say.
The film both looks and sounds great from the Blu-Ray from SCREAM! FACTORY and IFC MIDNIGHT. As for special feature, the disc feature 2 featurettes: a "Making of", as well as a video production diary.
Details on these features are as follows:
Making of STUNG (21m 25s)
This is your typical on set "Making Of" featuring scenes, as well as interview with the cast and crew while filming.
Production Blog (21m 30s)
Similar to the making off, except these were periodical video blogs made by the filmmakers during filming.
6/10 Multiple bodies ripped apart from both the inside(when the wasps "hatch" within their human host's body, only to finally rip through their body), and the outside, as the wasps eat away at their victims. This and some other graphic imagery. Very nice effects.
IMPRESSION OF THE FILM
Honestly, going into STUNG, I expected to see the same low brow stuff that we almost always see. fortunately, STUNG is a little more than that, as it mixes elements of suspense, drama, and comedy, to create something that is for the most part, fairly entertaining. It isn't the perfect creature feature of course, but at least it's kind of fun. Give it a chance. You might be surprised.
Special Features include :
- Audio Commentary With Director Benni Diez, Producer Benjamin Munz, And Writer Adam Aresty
- The Making Of Stung
- Production Blog Videos
- Theatrical Trailer