Schlocktoberfest 2K16 Day 15: The Millennium Bug (2011)

When the Millennium Bug hits the last thing you'll be worried about is technology.
When the Millennium Bug hits the last thing you’ll be worried about is technology.

Synopsis: The Haskin family seeks refuge from Y2K hysteria in the isolated forests of the Sierra Diablos Mountains. Abducted by a vicious hillbilly clan, the family battles for their lives…but neither they nor their captors could imagine the monstrous nightmare about to erupt from the bowels of the earth.

Every so often a person will witness something and immediately afterwards their initial shellshock will limit how they perceived said event until they sit down and really take it all in. More often than not a lot of indie film makers are the ones who come with the most creative/outside the box/utterly insane ideas that either work on every level or ultimately come crashing down in flames. For a little film called The Millennium Bug it ends up throwing everything at viewers (except the kitchen sink unfortunately). Right from the opening moments it’s not a film that follows the by the numbers formula a majority of today’s standard horror flicks go by. The comedic properties are so perversely dark and will either go over the heads of any good natured movie viewer or will end up rekindling horrific memories of classic thrillers the likes of Deliverance or Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Then, if that wasn’t enough, all of a sudden in perhaps the biggest WTF moment a giant monster explodes from the earth ready to wreak havoc and destruction on any poor soul who happens to cross its path. So one can see where I’m coming from here after my first viewing of this glorious piece of sleazy grindhouse trash that figures the only limits to adhere to are no limits at all.

Besides having a multitude of unique concepts being mashed together the other element that gives The Millennium Bug such a distinctive identity is having no use of CGI at all. In the state of the modern film industry this ends up being a breath of fresh air as going to the theater and predicting when a plethora of mind numbing explosions are going to envelop the entire screen while the audience ooohs and ahhhs sadly have become way too tedious and boring. For those of us who grew up in the 1980s we end up leaving after the final credits with a pit in the bottom of stomach. I mean come on now, what happened to the 4th of July only coming once a year? When I sit and watch movies from the last two to three decades I still sit back in a state of awe taking in the art form of how special effects were done and when computers were still a novelty technically being in their infant forms. It’s the legendary special effect wizards the likes of Rick Baker, Rob Bottin, and the late great Stan Winston who were the bar in terms of making a practical effect look and feel real. How many digital artists/programmers can one name that have revolutionized the special effect industry the way Baker, Bottin, and Winston did? Not many, right? With the practical effects in The Millennium Bug they are not quite as good as the three big FX names above however one can’t deny the creativity that went into the final product so if No CGI Films (clever title for the company who made the film) continues to lovingly pay homage to the way effects were done in the past they’ll have no problems honing their craft and who knows maybe eventually somewhere down the road they’ll help redefine the industry.

Final Grade: B+

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2 thoughts on “Schlocktoberfest 2K16 Day 15: The Millennium Bug (2011)”

  1. Wow, this sounds and looks pretty good! I always think back to an interview Sean Cunningham did where he likens horror movies to magic shows. He says filmmakers used to have to come up with practical effects that would trick their audience. They only had so many resources, so they had to be really creative. With CGI, anything’s possible and that magic is thrown out the window. It’s good to know there are still students of the classics making movies like this.

  2. Its sad to think that practical effects are now considered to be a lost art form. Another film worth looking into that is nearly all practical (apart from CG to remove wires etc) is Harbinger Down from Amalgamated Dynamics (studioadi.com) that was founded by two students of Stan Winston. The list of films they’ve worked on are too numerous to name. They made Harbinger Down completely by themselves as a response to their effects being passed over for CGI in the 2011 prequel of The Thing. Harbinger was apart of last year’s Schlocktoberfest and is comes highly recommended…. 10 times out 10 you’ll get better reactions out of something that is right there in front of you opposed to looking at a green screen. https://direct2videodungeon.wordpress.com/2015/10/24/schlocktoberfest-2k15-day-24-harbinger-down-2015/

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