Story: Johnny (Jeffrey Ryan Kent) was a “local boy made good” story when the talented athlete made it to the big leagues of professional baseball, but that didn’t last. His bad attitude and questionable work ethic were signals that his career might not be a long one, but when he was involved in a scandal, that sealed his fate and now, Johnny struggles just to scrape by in life. He lives off his stripper girlfriend Cindy (Cassandra Hein), but doesn’t respect her or how much she helps him, opting to focus on the booze instead. But his lame existence is given a jolt when he and the other bar flies learn that a threat looms outside. Not bikers or even the police, but giant, murderous cicadas have swarmed the area, thirsting for human blood. Can a collection of random drunks and strippers somehow take down the insect menace, or are the cicadas here to stay this time?
Entertainment Value: Cicada knows what it is and runs with it, giving us a cheap, over the top, and never serious type of insect attack cinema. This means that while there are are some horror elements, Cicada is a brisk, slapstick comedy more than an intense thriller. So if you don’t vibe with lame jokes, ham handed performances, and low rent production values, then this might not be one for your collection. But I know many others find charm in those elements and while Cicada doesn’t lit up the scoreboard in execution, it does have that indie spirit that can make lackluster material have a little more shine. The story is fine and allows for plenty of cicada attacks and battles, while the pace is upbeat and never feels slow. I can see some wishing there was more variety perhaps in the attacks or more narrative in some spots, but I think the plot does what it needs to do. While I liked some parts of Cicada, I also think some things don’t work and hold back the overall entertainment. The performances are over the top, as they should be, but intentional camp is tough to pull off and that doesn’t happen here. There are some fun moments from the cast, but I felt like the camp was too forced in most scenes. Even so, I had some decent fun with Cicada and I always appreciate checking out some homebrew cinema like this.
Cicada isn’t loaded with sleaze, but the movie does offer up a few scenes with bare breasts, not to mention a cicada lap dance, which should be a potent lure for potential viewers. This one is all about fighting swarms of cicadas, so there is some bloodshed that unfolds here. A lot of the crimson is CGI, which is unfortunate, but we also have a wealth of bug battles, some decapitations, a gushy arm wound, some anal trauma, and a fun face smash. So some violence to bask in here, with both sides dealing the damage. The dialogue is where I hoped Cicada would shine, but instead, most of the writing was just lost on me. I didn’t click with the film’s forced sense of humor, while some of the performances were so over the top, but also so forced. A few fun lines still sneak through, but I wish this would have been packed with silly or surreal exchanges. As far as the insanity scale, the general low rent, b movie vibes help the score, as well as the beyond hilarious special effects, seatbelt related anger, a ball icing session, the cicada version of 9/11, a heavenly coach, and a simply hilarious helicopter crash.
Overall Insanity: 3/10