Sometimes things that are deliberately ridiculous are big fun because they’re intentionally silly. Case in point, “Insectula!,” a micro-budget fan fiction film for admirers of B movies from 1950 to yesterday.
By far the most ambitious giant monster from space movie ever shot in White Bear Lake, it makes its Midwest debut at 7:30 and 10:30 p.m. tonight at the Theatres at Mall of America. It shows twice nightly Friday through March 19 at 7:30 and 9:55 p.m. with 12:05 a.m. late shows Friday and Saturday.
Viewers who thrill to inside jokes about cult filmmaker Ed Wood’s stinkers, delightfully gross bloodshed, and the sort of moviemaking that puts as many attractive actresses in skimpies as possible will admire this proudly, shamelessly, gloriously brainless production. It boasts the sort of unlikely plot that made “Sharknado” a cult smash – a man-eating mosquito-spider hybrid from another world splashes into White Bear Lake with a powerful appetite. Fear novelist R.L. Stine called the cut he viewed "a hilariously bad horror movie."
Four years in the making, “Insectula!” began in 2010 as a feature involving more family and friends than Hollywood talent. Mike Peterson, an art school graduate turned computer programmer did the script, direction, camerawork and PC-powered visual effects. His wife Danielle Cezanne, education director of the White Bear Center for the Arts, produced. Their daughter Arielle Cezanne plays the female lead, a wise casting choice, because she is charming. Peterson’s friend Pasquale Pilla plays the hero, an ineffective government agent who investigates after a mysterious life form pulls his lady friend to the bottom of White Bear Lake in many small pieces. When the alien mosquito-spider creature goes on a mad blood sucking rampage against the state capitol, the endangered occupants of downtown St. Paul include the couple’s little dog Kip. It’s 101 minutes of hoots.