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Film / Ticks

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Ticks (also known as Infested) is a 1993 Sci-Fi Horror film directed by Tony Randel (Hellbound: Hellraiser II), starring Peter Scolari, Seth Green, and Ami Dolenz.

A group of troubled inner-city teens are taken on a wilderness retreat in the woods to learn teamwork and overcome their differences. Unfortunately for them, trouble is on its way in the guise of dangerous pot farmers and mutated overgrown ticks.

This film is infested with:

  • Agony of the Feet: When startled by a giant tick, Jarvis stumbles on the Bear Trap which he was playing with earlier.
  • Attack of the Killer Whatever: Cat-sized forest ticks which jump on people and cause Body Horror.
  • Bad Boss: Sir has no problem forcing Jerry to go out in the middle of the tick-infested woods to get the van. This comes back to bite him in the ass big time.
  • Bear Trap: Jarvis is startled by a giant tick and stumbles onto a bear trap he was playing with earlier.
  • Big Bad Ensemble: The ticks and the human villain Sir, a psychotic marijuana farmer who's willing to kill anyone who stumbled on his operation, which spawned the mutated ticks in the first place.
  • Big Creepy-Crawlies: The ticks are bigger than normal due to pollution. Late in the film, one giant-sized also appears.
  • Black Dude Dies First: Panic is the only one of the protagonists to die.
  • Body Horror: Considering the movie is about mutated killer ticks who burrow into people's bodies, the movie has its share of this.
  • Don't Go in the Woods: The premise is that ticks mutated by herbal steroids are swarming a forest.
  • The End... Or Is It?: One of the cocoons survived back to the city.
  • Flat Character: Holly has no contributions at all to the plot and seems to be in the movie only to give Charles a girlfriend.
  • Hallucinations: Side effect from tick infestation.
  • Hillbilly Horrors: The human antagonists are a pair of psychotic redneck marijuana farmers.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Sir's attempt to get the van to leave everyone else behind backfires when it takes Jerry out entirely, leading to a chain of events that leads directly to his death. Sir does this to himself multiple times over, since what ultimately does him in is a super-mutant tick that was mutated by steroids in his own illegal weed farm and further mutated due to Panic's steroids he took to dull the pain of a gunshot Sir inflicted on him.
  • Ironic Nickname: Panic, "because he never does".
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: For a good chunk of the movie, Charles is an irresponsible jerk who snaps at the kids, leaves them unsupervised and often behaves like he doesn't even want to deal with them despite the fact that he's supposed to be in charge. Ultimately, however, he does fight hard to keep them alive once the danger has been made clear.
  • Kill It with Fire: Ticks blow up when they're touched by fire.
  • Mercy Kill: Javis, infested with ticks, begs Didi to do this to him. The ticks kill him before he can.
  • Moment Killer: Charles interrupts a moment between Melissa and Tyler.
  • Mutants: The killer ticks are mutated by runoff from a marijuana farmer's steroid experiments. The one whose head burrows into Panic's body is further mutated by steroids he takes to try and dull the pain from a gunshot, becoming a gigantic beast.
  • One-Winged Angel: The mutant tick inside Panic's body mutates even further thanks to the steroids he ingests to try and get through a gunshot and grows into gigantic monster.
  • Peek-a-Boo Corpse: Sheriff Parker's corpse in the pond.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome: Sir tries to hold the group hostage. While this was possible when he had Jerry and a high-powered shotgun, when he's battered, having a Villainous Breakdown, and only has a small pistol left, the group takes advantage of the first change the get, pin him down, disarm, and stab him. Taking your eyes off a group that completely outnumber you and fully know you want to kill them anyway is just asking for this to happen.
  • Rape as Backstory: Kelly, the shyest of the campers, is there at the rehab excursion because she was assaulted and has had trouble communicating ever since.
  • Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil: Jerry makes comments on several occasions that imply he and Sir have done this before, and Sir makes some comments suggesting he's interested in doing so with Panic.
  • Serial Rapist: Sir makes some implications he's interested in raping Panic, and later Jerry says Rome is 'just how he likes them,' implying that this is common behavior.
  • The Siege: The forest fire makes all the ticks come after our protagonists.