Parasite (1982)

R | 85 mins | Science fiction, Horror | 12 March 1982

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HISTORY

       According to a 28 May 1982 LAT article, writing partners Frank Levering and Michael Shoob met fellow writer Alan J. Adler at a 1980 Hollywood, CA, party, where they devised the film’s title. When Adler convinced Charles Band to join the project as both producer and director, Band then recruited executive producer Irwin Yablans, who decided to film Parasite in 3-D. The 30 Oct 1981 DV noted the filmmakers’ prospective use of the Future Dimensions 3-D camera system. The device’s creator, Chris J. Condon, is credited onscreen as the Stereovision 3-D camera and optics designer.
       A 14 Oct 1981 Var item reported that Yablans’ company, Compass International Pictures, arranged to distribute the film for release in Jan 1982. However, the 22 Jan 1982 DV announced that the release date had been changed to 5 Mar 1982. At that time, Band had been approved for a $6 million budget and was awaiting clearance from financiers to begin principal photography. LAT stated that production was completed in less than six months. Filmmakers were surprised by feedback from test screenings indicating that the picture was “campier” than originally intended.
       A 15 Mar 1982 HR story noted that Parasite grossed $600,000 during its opening weekend in sixty-two New York City theaters, nearly recouping its final $800,000 production cost.
       One week after the 21 May 1982 Los Angeles, CA, opening, the 28 May 1982 LAT calculated a total of $5.5 million in domestic box office returns. Although plans were underway to develop Parasite II, production on the sequel did not materialize.
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       According to a 28 May 1982 LAT article, writing partners Frank Levering and Michael Shoob met fellow writer Alan J. Adler at a 1980 Hollywood, CA, party, where they devised the film’s title. When Adler convinced Charles Band to join the project as both producer and director, Band then recruited executive producer Irwin Yablans, who decided to film Parasite in 3-D. The 30 Oct 1981 DV noted the filmmakers’ prospective use of the Future Dimensions 3-D camera system. The device’s creator, Chris J. Condon, is credited onscreen as the Stereovision 3-D camera and optics designer.
       A 14 Oct 1981 Var item reported that Yablans’ company, Compass International Pictures, arranged to distribute the film for release in Jan 1982. However, the 22 Jan 1982 DV announced that the release date had been changed to 5 Mar 1982. At that time, Band had been approved for a $6 million budget and was awaiting clearance from financiers to begin principal photography. LAT stated that production was completed in less than six months. Filmmakers were surprised by feedback from test screenings indicating that the picture was “campier” than originally intended.
       A 15 Mar 1982 HR story noted that Parasite grossed $600,000 during its opening weekend in sixty-two New York City theaters, nearly recouping its final $800,000 production cost.
       One week after the 21 May 1982 Los Angeles, CA, opening, the 28 May 1982 LAT calculated a total of $5.5 million in domestic box office returns. Although plans were underway to develop Parasite II, production on the sequel did not materialize.
      Publicity company Dick Brooks Unlimited is misspelled in end credits as “Dicks Brooks Unlimited.” Actress Vivian Blaine is credited as "Miss Vivian Blaine."
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SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
30 Oct 1981
p. 1, 31.
Daily Variety
22 Jan 1982
p. 49.
Hollywood Reporter
15 Mar 1982.
---
Hollywood Reporter
18 Mar 1982
p. 25.
Los Angeles Times
28 May 1982
Section VI, p. 1, 8.
Los Angeles Times
28 May 1982
Section VI, p. 8.
New York Times
13 Mar 1982
p. 19.
Variety
14 Oct 1981.
---
Variety
24 Mar 1982
p. 41, 96.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
Embassy Pictures
An Irwin Yablans and Charles Band Production
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Unit prod mgr
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
PRODUCERS
Assoc prod
Assoc prod
Exec prod
PHOTOGRAPHY
Stereovision 3-D cam & optics des by
1st asst cam
2d asst cam
Still photog
Best boy grip
Best boy elec
Elec
Elec
Cinemobile tech
3-D system
ART DIRECTORS
Asst art dir
FILM EDITORS
Asst film ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec/Prop master
Asst set dec
Asst set dec
COSTUMES
MUSIC
Mus comp and cond
Mus ed
SOUND
Supv sd ed
Sd ed
Asst sd ed
Asst sd ed
Looping ed
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Sd mixer
Boom op
VISUAL EFFECTS
Parasite eff des and created by
Parasite eff des and created by
Parasite eff des and created by
3-D consultant
Spec eff
Pyrotechnics
Parasite eff asst
Parasite eff asst
Spec eff tech
Parasite eff asst
Addl 3-D consultation
Spec eff prop des
MAKEUP
Makeup
Hairstylist
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod supv
Prod assoc
Exec in charge of prod
Casting
Prod exec
Prod coord
Post prod coord
Prod secy
Asst to the prod
Loc mgr
Scr supv
Craft service
Craft service
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Animals provided by
Lamborghini Countach
Torrance, California
Loc equipped by
STAND INS
Stunt coord
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
COLOR PERSONNEL
Col by
DETAILS
Release Date:
12 March 1982
Premiere Information:
New York opening: 12 March 1982
Los Angeles opening: 21 May 1982
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
Prints
Prints by C.F.I.
Duration(in mins):
85
MPAA Rating:
R
Country:
United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

Following an atomic devastation in 1992, a man in a suit spills a parasitic specimen on Dr. Paul Dean. As the scientist is strapped to a gurney, an organism grows inside him and rips his body apart. Realizing the vision is a nightmare, Paul awakens in the front seat of his van and drives to a desolate, mountain-top village. When he encounters two men raping a woman, he shoots at the rapists with a laser gun and sets the woman free. She yells unintelligibly and escapes with one of her attackers. An old man thanks Paul for chasing the rapists away and introduces himself as Buddy. As Buddy prepares coffee, Paul develops a fever and excuses himself from the premises. Outside, he fights with the captive girl’s attacker, piercing his stomach with a pipe. Paul drives to the small town of Joshua and stops at a gas station marked with an “X” logo that matches the one on his van. He gives the station attendant a handful of silver in exchange for directions to a decrepit boarding house owned by Miss Elizabeth Daley. Paul attempts to give her cash for a room, but she refuses, asking instead for his gold ring. Upstairs, he sets up his scientific equipment and falls asleep until Miss Daley knocks on his door. Once awake, Paul opens his shirt to inspect a wound festering above his navel. Meanwhile, Wolf, a clean-cut member of the “Merchant” organization, arrives at the Joshua gas station to fill the tank of his sports car. When the attendant questions his method of payment, the man presents a silver card bearing the X logo. Paul visits the bar next door ... +


Following an atomic devastation in 1992, a man in a suit spills a parasitic specimen on Dr. Paul Dean. As the scientist is strapped to a gurney, an organism grows inside him and rips his body apart. Realizing the vision is a nightmare, Paul awakens in the front seat of his van and drives to a desolate, mountain-top village. When he encounters two men raping a woman, he shoots at the rapists with a laser gun and sets the woman free. She yells unintelligibly and escapes with one of her attackers. An old man thanks Paul for chasing the rapists away and introduces himself as Buddy. As Buddy prepares coffee, Paul develops a fever and excuses himself from the premises. Outside, he fights with the captive girl’s attacker, piercing his stomach with a pipe. Paul drives to the small town of Joshua and stops at a gas station marked with an “X” logo that matches the one on his van. He gives the station attendant a handful of silver in exchange for directions to a decrepit boarding house owned by Miss Elizabeth Daley. Paul attempts to give her cash for a room, but she refuses, asking instead for his gold ring. Upstairs, he sets up his scientific equipment and falls asleep until Miss Daley knocks on his door. Once awake, Paul opens his shirt to inspect a wound festering above his navel. Meanwhile, Wolf, a clean-cut member of the “Merchant” organization, arrives at the Joshua gas station to fill the tank of his sports car. When the attendant questions his method of payment, the man presents a silver card bearing the X logo. Paul visits the bar next door to the boarding house and exchanges his digital watch for a cup of canned soup. A gang of young rebellious outcasts and their leader, Ricus, enter and bully Paul until a young woman named Patricia “Pat” Welles delivers a bag of lemons for the bar owner, Collins. Ricus tells Collins about the “X” tattoo on his arm which he obtained while working for a corporation in the suburbs. In the boarding house, Miss Daley inspects Paul’s equipment and scientific books about parasites. Feeling sickly, Paul returns to his room and injects a fluid into his throbbing wound. Back at the bar, Ricus advances on Pat, but Collins comes to her defense wielding a gun. The gang discovers supplies in Paul’s van, raid his room, and take him captive to a warehouse. One of the gang, Zeke, opens a canister and unknowingly releases the parasite that has been ailing Paul. The scientist awakens hours later to find himself in Pat’s care. Meanwhile, Wolf questions Buddy and severs his hand with a laser beam for lying about Paul’s whereabouts. He then travels to Collins’ bar and drinks a glass of lemonade made from Pat’s lemons. Paul awakens again and insists on returning to town for his equipment. Pat tells Paul that she could have moved to the city following her father’s death, but she was afraid of being enslaved in a Merchant work camp. Wolf returns to the gas station to ask about Paul before barging into Miss Daley’s boarding house and demanding a room for the night. In the warehouse, the gang members surround Zeke, who lies with a large, leech-like creature attached to his chest. The parasite gnaws on Zeke’s collarbone, but Ricus is unable to cut it loose. Outside, Wolf watches as Paul picks up his supplies and drives away with Pat. As he follows them into the desert, the gang stops him and attempts a robbery. Wolf uses his laser to intimidate them, and escapes. As Paul and Pat carry his equipment to her house, he explains that he sustained his infection after creating a new strain of parasite for the government, which was working with the Merchants. He expects the dormant parasite to grow, and needs the specimen from Zeke’s body for research. If the organism reproduces, the specimen will release thousands of parasitic spores into the air. The next morning, Ricus finds that the parasite has disappeared after killing Zeke. When Dana awakens to find the wormy creature in her sleeping bag, she attempts to sneak away, but it latches onto her leg with its teeth. The gang bring her to Miss Daley’s boarding house, where she and Collins suggest finding Paul. As Paul leaves Pat’s house to look for the mutating parasite, Wolf attacks Pat in her garden for refusing to reveal Paul’s location. Just then, Ricus arrives and knocks Wolf unconscious, but discovers the house is empty and leaves. When Paul returns, Pat describes her attacker, and Paul identifies him as Wolf, a government liaison. Paul now realizes that he can kill the parasite with high-frequency sound waves, but he must first extract a sample from the growing specimen now attached to Dana. In the boarding house, Dana dies, and the creature attacks Miss Daley. She convulses until her body decomposes and the parasite bursts through her skull. Pat and Paul enter the room and wrangle the parasite to inject it with a fluid. Collins descends to the basement, where he is attacked by Wolf. Although Ricus attempts to stop Wolf, the Merchant kills him. As a radio transmitter produces high-pitched sonic waves, the parasite in Paul’s abdomen breaks free from his flesh. It jumps on Pat’s arm, but dies before it can puncture her skin. Wolf tackles Paul as he runs upstairs to kill the larger parasite; the creature sinks its teeth into Wolf’s face, and he tumbles over the balcony onto a gasoline tank outside. Pat shoots at the tank, causing it to explode. Pat, Collins, and Paul watch as the flames consume Wolf’s corpse and destroy the parasite. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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