Horror Review: Ticks (1993)

A group of troubled teenagers are led by social workers on a California wilderness retreat, not knowing that the woods they are camping in have become infested by mutated, blood-sucking ticks.

There are some films that when talked about can bring a big grin on your face, this film is one of them for me.
I remember a friend of mine having this film on a videotape and he excitedly told me that we were going to watch it at his house when we were having a sleepover, I knew nothing about the feature and I could see that he was very enthusiastic about it. This has become a situation I have since become very familiar with on both sides.
When we finally watched it I remember feeling a bit ambivalent because whilst I was laughing and enjoying myself I was also grossed out as we sat eating sweet whilst the tick monsters made an absolute mess of their victims. My mind couldn’t decide if I should keep eating my sweets or not, I mean of course I did, I was a kid.
The film itself reminded me of a more extreme version of the “Goosebumps” films that I used to love watching when I was younger, looking back on it it was a gateway film for a few kids despite its R rating. I had to hand it to my friend, it was a ton of fun and I could understand why he was so excited for me to watch it.
I recently re-watched the feature for this post and whilst I must admit that it really hasn’t aged well with it’s bad acting and cliched characters, it does have some great nostalgic value to it and it is still a really entertaining watch. Plus it has some great practical effects that will satisfy any Horror fan.
“Ticks” is one of those films that ‘s good to watch with a few beers and like minded friends and enjoy the feature for what it is, an early 90’s creature b-movie.
If you want to see the “Ticks” trailer then just click on the video below:

Miscellaneous facts about the film:

Despite the movie’s subtitle, ticks aren’t insects. They’re arachnids, more closely related to spiders and scorpions.

David Gale had originally been cast as the heavy, but died a year before production started.

Four minutes of footage were shot and completed, but were removed from the film before final release. This footage has never been seen in any release.

Seth Green poked fun at the film during an appearance on the Late Show with David Letterman in 1999.

Shot in five weeks.

Special FX creator Doug Beswick wrote the original screenplay two decades earlier under the title “Cycle of Blood.”

The film was made and released internationally under the title “Ticks,” and the film was briefly test-marketed to U.S. theaters in 1993 under the title “Infested.” It was changed back to “Ticks” for video and TV and became a minor cult classic under that name.
After filming wrapped in Big Bear, California, Seth Green and Ami Dolenz bonded by driving home together.

During a Q&A at Dragon*Con in 2008, Ami Dolenz said that one of her main memories of making the film is the fake blood, which would stick to her skin and hair.

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