STUNG smallSTUNG (2019)
First released on "The last horrorcast"


Julia (Jessica Cook) inherited a catering service from her recently deceased father, and together with her employee, Sidney (Clifton Collins Jr.), she’s on her way to her first big job: a party at a chateau that is out in the middle of nowhere. This location solves the typical “no cell phone reception” problem of modern movies. The hosts—an old lady and her strange-looking hunchbacked son—and their guests are introduced. Among them we find Lance Henriksen as the mayor, who gives another one of his “grumpy old man with a heart of gold” performances. After a short time, some uninvited guests—wasps—also appear. This seems to be no big deal in the beginning, because even if they are slightly oversized, they are easily squishable (the only problem seems to be that they are filled with lots of green slimy goo)—that is, until the flying pests start stinging the guests and transforming them into man-sized monsters. Now the fun really starts.

Stung is a B-movie that totally loves being a B-movie. As soon as the viewer gets to see the fantastic poster-motive recreated in real life, the film enters full monster-movie mode and assaults the viewer with everything he expects, and a lot more. Most of the countless monster attacks are created old style, with lots of foam latex, gallons of stage blood, and mechanical effects; CGI is only used when there’s absolutely no other way, such as when the big wasps begin to fly. Also, we get some almost The Thing-like transformation scenes, because parts of the human hosts are still clinging to the creatures afterward. In contrast to Carpenter’s classic, Stungdoesn’t take itself too seriously; it’s more of a fun-filled rollercoaster ride than a thriller, and that’s absolutely okay.

There are also no big surprises in the acting and story line. Anyone who ever has seen a monster movie will know who makes it to the end after just a few minutes, and the reason for the wasp attacks (someone mixed fertilizer with growth hormones) is also not world-shattering.

More interesting is that this movie is a German/American co-production, and this is something you won’t find very often, especially concerning genre stuff. To understand the reasons for this, I have to give you a little lesson about genre filmmaking in Germany:

There is none!

Of course some of you have probably seen movies like Nekromantik or the stupidViolent Shit-movies, but these are amateur productions, and—I’ll keep it real here—from a technical and commercial viewpoint, they’re not really great. Breaking taboos and throwing around buckets of blood and gore have nothing to do with creating a good movie. The big problem here is that movies are subsidized by the state, and in order to get some money out of these pockets, your production has to have some sort of deeper meaning. Add some alcoholic on his way to redemption, some political statement, or some social commentary into your script and your chances are good; make a movie just for entertainment and fun and, well, good luck.

Also, genre stuff in general has a bad image over here. While the British in the last three decades have figured out that all the video-nasties campaigns were really stupid and achieved nothing, over here we still have almost 100 movies that are banned; when it comes to DVD releases of horror or splatter stuff, the censors’ scissors are still as sharp as they were in 1984.

So the only way to get a genre outing made is hoping to get a TV station interested, but then you are limited in what and how much you can show violence-wise (but tits are okay, by the way), and of course the budgets are very limited, too.

All this is very sad, because it makes it almost impossible to see what talent is hidden around here. Don’t forget that Germany has a big tradition in horror and sci-fi. With movies like Nosferatu, Faust, Metropolis, and Caligari, German directors in a way plowed the ground on which the modern classics from Frankenstein toInterstellar have grown.

Judging from all this, Stung is a little surprise, but sadly it has no voice of its own. The directional debut of Benni Diez surely is a great and fun-filled ride, but it looks and feels just like any American monster B-movie, even if everything (except for the actors), including the wonderful effects work, is “made in Germany.” It’s a little shimmer of hope for German fans and a perfect entertainment machine for any other audience around.

Watch it now—it’s worth it.



IMDB Rating 5.0/10
My Rating 8.0/10