The date is 31 December 1999 and the Haskin's family are taking a trip to the woods where they'll spend time away from the Y2K hysteria of the city. But the woods they chose to spend New Years Eve at is the home of a sleazy hillbilly family looking for a wife for one of the sons. And the woods also happens to be the exact place where the Millennium Bug will rise - a huge creature that reaches maturity after 1000 years and crawls up to the ground to give birth to another bug.
I'm very fucking young, but I remember what I did on 31 December 1999. I think most people do. Much of that is because of the hysteria that was going around, the Y2K rumors. I didn't quite get it, I didn't know what could be so dangerous. I suppose my young, stupid mind wasn't so stupid at all since nothing happened. That day me, my brother my mom went to my cousins place to celebrate, and I even remember some ironic radio channel playing Europe's "The Final Countdown". Granted, I don't remember many details outside of that but it's more than I remember from 1998 or any other year (I guess I remember recent years, though, which just means I don't drink enough. And I don't!)
Where am I going with this? Oh, right, "The Millennium Bug" is about that hysteria. But switch the technology bullshit with a huge fucking bug coming from the ground. A family - a father and daughter and the father's new wife - take a trip up to the mountains to get away from the obsession with Y2K, and they plan to spend New Years Eve camping. But they're attacked and kidnapped by a family of hillbillies who plan to get their son married with the daughter. Also in the hills is a scientist, or rather a cryptozoologist, obsessed with recording the night because he is waiting for the Millennium Bug. The Millennium Bug is a huge fucking creature that reaches maturity after 1000 years, rises on New Years Eve to lay new eggs, and then dies the day after. And it just so happens that this bug actually exists and is the only thing that will save the family from the hillbillies. Well, not exactly save, the bug wants to eat them too - and not all of them make it out alive. It just seemed like a nice, catchy thing to write in a review. It wasn't, was it?
Anyway, large part of the first hour consists mostly of brief hints towards the Millennium Bug and up till then the main focus is the family. Or the families - the lead characters and the dysfunctional hillbillies. Something I dislike in monster movies is that there are more often then not another "villian" outside of the monster. Usually a hillbilly/redneck, and the person is usually the reason for the creature. But sometimes they too are victims later on, but all the same - monster movies rarely only have one villian. And I want them to have one villian, the monster should be the focus! I recently saw "Shark Night" and the same thing went on there - fucking annoying human villians in a shark movie. I don't like it and I don't want it. That being said, it only took a short while for me to appreciate the hillbillies in "The Millennium Bug". It was hard to swallow at first since I didn't know the movie would be so humorous. But the family brings us a few laughs because of how fucked up they are, and once I realized the movie was intentionally adding the comedic aspect of these sleazy bastards I think they worked well within the movie. But once the hour mark has passed it's all about the Millennium Bug (a bit earlier than that, actually)!
The Millennium Bug is a huge motherfucker. I thought it would be just a bit bigger than humans but this is Kaiju-sized stuff! While the film didn't remind me of films like "Godzilla", mostly because it's such an isolated event and fairly cheesy, the monster itself was like a mix of Japanese monster movies and 80's monster movies, which was just excellent. The movie's main promotional tool is the fact that it's completely CGI-less and that's what originally made me want to watch it, but the movie has so much more to give than "just" being without CGI. Of course, it's still a great advantage and the movie would've been a lot less entertaining had it been in CGI. Mostly because you watch the movie to see the monster. Most effects in the movie are good, too. Even the movements of the monster are above average.
The movie is a lot more comedic and cheesy than I had expected, and even some of the effects are cheesy. But it works within the medium. It's not a movie that tries to be self-aware. It doesn't wink at the audience whenever there's a cheesy effect, and they aren't trying to get laughs out of effects or cheesiness. The laughs come out of the intentional bits - the hillbillies, mostly. Not even when there's obvious greenscreening used, or the Millennium Bug looks hoakey (which is rare, I think it looked really cool!), does the movie try to get a laugh out of it. Thank God for that! The 80's had so many of these movies, and that's what made them so great, and that's what makes "The Millennium Bug" great as well - it's an independent monster movie, it's made with such passion that cheesiness becomes charming, ultimately making it pure entertainment.
"The Millennium Bug" is cut from the same cloth as "El Monstro Del Mar!" (although less tribute/homage-y in its execution). They're newer monster movies that know exactly what made the old monster movies work. They are two of very few modern monster movies that know how to be entertaining through-out. "The Millennium Bug" works with obvious budget restraints but it doesn't give a fuck. It doesn't affect what Kenneth Cran wanted out of the movie. If we ever notice something being bad due to the budget it's easily forgotten about. If you want to have fun and enjoy a very rare breed of horror (a good modern monster movie) then this is a must watch!