SCOURGE begins in the late 19th century as a parasitic monster is terrorizing a small Canadian town. The creature is soon trapped by mysterious religious types in a jug of wine (obviously) in the basement of a CGI church. Over a hundred years later the CGI church is destroyed by CGI fire and, as a result, the parasite is set free into a fireman. The creature has a suspiciously similar effect on its hosts as the alien in SLITHER – it causes a hell of an appetite. However, instead of raw meat, the SCOURGE craves dairy products (is mayonnaise a dairy product?), and instead of it being an ongoing theme, it is (inexplicably) only the first victim that experiences this symptom.
In the hierarchy of evil parasitic worm-like tentacled monsters, the SCOURGE is pretty low on the ladder. Other than killing its former hosts (most of the time) the creature is rather innocuous: it doesn’t pose a threat to multiply, it can’t travel long distances outside of it host, and it’s powerless when placed in an alcoholic beverage. Throw the host in a beer vat and problem solved. I only wish the budget allowed for such extravagant sets.
Somehow, despite rarely making sense and featuring both the use of household cordless phones as cell phones and the trite search-through-the-town-archives-on-microfiche scene, SCOURGE amounts to something greater than a sum of its parts. The two leads (Nic Rhind and Robyn Ledoux) have genuine chemistry that livens up the scenes they share, and as a result, the movie is elevated as a whole. Also, there are two or three genuine laughs, a skateboarding scene, and special effects that are at least par with something like AVATAR.
Allow me to stress this: SCOURGE is not a well-made film. It is written and directed by the guy who made SASQUATCH and the plot mostly consists of blatant rip offs of better films. Regardless, there is a sincerity about it that suggests a nostalgia that camouflages its transgressions in a way a darker or more cynical film couldn’t muster. If you have a few beers hanging around and a couple friends on the way over, you could do much worse. Rhonda Shear most definitely would approve.