Monday, November 12, 2012

Destination: Infestation


It was 2007. Samuel L. Jackson's revered Snakes on a Plane had just taken America by storm, and it was ripe for rip-off. But the Syfy Channel (then still called "Sci-Fi") had already blown its film budget for the year on movies like F. Murray Abraham's BloodMonkey and the mutant-insect-related Black Swarm. Some cable channel had to step up with a low-budget, Canadian-made movie where something took over a plane, and I'm so happy that it was LMN and ants. Yes, ANTS ON A PLANE!

The movie begins in all of the ways you'd hope it would, with a Hawaiian shirt–clad dude with a mysterious illness insisting, against doctor's orders, that he not miss his flight out of Columbia. As the passengers make their way on board, we find out some quick 'n' easy background info: one lady's engaged, one lady has a baby, and one is a widow whose teenager daughter thinks she should start dating again.

The Spring Break Partier meets an untimely ant-related
death in the lavatory
Then there are the guys--who are jerks, obviously. There's the guy who HATES BABIES as well as a spring break partier who's wasted off his ass (and spends the rest of the movie asking for more drinks, oblivious to the dangers of killer super-ants). The good guys include the pilot, who is about to retire, and--you're welcome, ladies--a velvet-tongued Antonio Sabato, Jr., as the heroic air marshall!

The plane is barely off the ground when shit starts to go down--but don't worry, that won't make them turn around immediately. Antonio has to fall in love with the hot widow, and that's gonna take some time! And because watching a video I filmed off my TV from my iPad is worth a thousand words, here's the scene we've all been waiting for:



Luckily, the attractive widow is also an experienced entomologist (and of course, no one is surprised--or even suspicious--that an entomologist and a killer swarm of ants are on the same plane). She informs Antonio and the rest of the flight crew that these are a mutated form of bullet ants, so-named because "their sting is like getting hit with a bullet--it takes 24 hours to recover." Luckily, when the pilot gets swarmed he bounces back in 15 minutes or so.

Even though the pilot is recovering from deadly super-ant stings, Ground Control still won't let the plane land!! At first they mocked the pilot for wanting to make an emergency landing just because there are some ants on board, and suggested he use some peanut butter to diffuse the situation. For some reason he didn't yell, "YOU DON'T UNDERSTAND, SOME DUDE JUST DIED BECAUSE ANTS WERE SWARMING OUT OF HIS CHEST AND MOUTH!" Instead, he got the hot entomologist to explain that they're deadlier, faster, and yes--even smarter than the average ant. (But hopefully not smart enough to fly a plane by themselves.)

Once Ground Control contacts the CDC, however, it's clear to them that it would be dangerous to public health to let the plane land. Some bald guys have conference calls in darkened rooms, saying things like "Get me the Pentagon!" and "This is a disaster the portions of which we've never seen!" They decide that they'll just avoid the situation entirely and not give the plane any guidance. And the dude from the CDC doesn't seem concerned that they'll crash in the Everglades and the mutant super-ants will take over Florida. Instead, when another bald guy tells him not to tell anyone about this massive cover-up, he's all, "Who would I tell?" Uhm, the news? Your family who lives on the East Coast? TMZ?

No one thinks to use a shoe to stamp the ants
to death
, so Antonio and the entomologist make a
homemade bug spray and go nuts in the cargo hold
Meanwhile, after patient zero is dragged into the cargo hold, the passengers start using fire extinguishers to diffuse various ant swarms. After the entomologist has some much-needed bonding with her boring teenage daughter, she and Antonio go into the cargo hold to find some borax in the freight, which they use to make some insecticide. While she's funneling it into hairspray bottles, he tells her that it's his job to observe people, and he can observe what a special lady she is. He's about to kiss her when the sound of an ant swarm fills the air (yes, it sounds like when the ants show up in Honey, I Shrunk the Kids) and they use all of their new bug spray on the approaching hoard. This is really too bad, because the super-intelligent ants have chewed through the fuel pipe, and then done something non-specific that leads to Antonio have to fuse two wires together.

Thanks to Antonio's heroism with another fire extinguisher, and his continuous use of "oh my God, these swarming ants are so gross!" face, the plane is able to land. But unfortunately, the evil bald guy figures out that they're planning on making an unauthorized landing in Mobile, Alabama, and has guys with rifles and shotguns waiting. I guess they are going to shoot everyone as they come off the plane?? Wouldn't it be easier to just spray them down? Luckily, "the media" shows up and the evil guy can't give the order to kill everyone--and he totally would have, because he had confided to his tokenly black secretary that he has two ex-wives and never sees his son, so apparently that's why he can be so heartless as to kill 45 innocent Americans (or in this case, 44 Canadians and Antonio Sabato, Jr.).

Once everyone is safely off the plane, the entomologist sees some ants on the outside of the plane, so she grabs a handy flare gun and fires it at the plane, causing the it to explode. They're going to be quarantined for the next week or so, but at least it will be with Antonio Sabato, Jr.! But as they head off in an orderly fashion, the camera pans to ants--yes, ants! Does this mean that there will be a Destination: Infestation 2??
Antonio Sabato has gotten his woman, his woman's daughter,
the gay flight attendant, and even a dog to safety. But do
any superintelligent mutant bullet ants remain?

Destination: Infestation is currently available on Hulu and may be available free On Demand. I have Time Warner Cable and found it under Free Movies On Demand (channel 1006) --> Lifetime Movie Network --> Lifetime Premieres [Note: Not under "All Movies"!] --> Infestation.

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