I’ve always been a fan of creature features, which is why I was pretty gutted to miss Stung when it was unleashed as a late-night offering at Frightfest back in August.

But here it is, swiftly packaged for me to mull over on DVD.

Was it worth the wait? Well, yes and no.

Yes in that it is an at-times fun, retro romp with some neat effects.

No in that it is very poorly scripted at times, with some plot turns and character shifts that will have you groaning.

The set-up is pretty simple – a couple of caterers (Julia and Paul) head to a garden party to provide refreshment for some wealthy hosts.

Julia is clearly the boss here, while Paul appears to be some dimwitted pleb merely eager to get into Julia’s pants.

All seems fairly routine, but some dodgy fertilizer later and we have giant wasps on the loose (and I mean giant), swarming around and gorging themselves on the party guests.

What follows is a chaotic battle for survival as Julia, Paul and the likes of Lance Henriksen (as ‘Carruthers’) desperately fight off the stinging horde.

That’s it for plot, but with a film like Stung we’re not expecting some sort of labyrinthine exercise are we?

The effects are fine, the pacing is OK and it’s hard not to raise a smile when the insect carnage begins.

But it’s the characters that grate – mainly the relationship between Julia and Paul.

Paul (Matt O’Leary) is a creation of almost breathtaking annoyance – a clowning, full-of-himself prick, one of those idiots that finds pranks the height of hilarity.

Julia (Jessica Cook) on the other hand is sensible, in control – and also pretty hot.

Naturally then director Benni Diez keeps finding ways that require her to shed some of her clothes, while adding further insult to injury by having her getting it on with Paul in the back of an ambulance at the film’s close – despite expressing her disgust at the lech in the film’s opening scenes.

I know it’s a cliché, but is one of those ultra-tired ‘that would only happen in a movie’ moments that soured the whole thing for me.

At the end of the day though, Stung is not a film that people will sit down and watch for the romance dynamic between the two leads – it’s a film about giant wasps killing people, and in that case it succeeds.

DVD Review: Stung
3.0Overall Score
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About The Author

Simon Fitzjohn

Simon is a journalism tutor in London, who also just happens to be a movie fanatic, with a craving for the darker side of cinema. He has written two books, one on the horror films of director Bob Clark (2014) and the other on the history of the character Norman Bates (2015). His third book, on the work of British exploitation director Pete Walker, is due in 2017.