Ticks is the story of mutated killer ticks which attack and kill people and animals for their blood. Charles Danson, a teen-age counselor, takes a group of troubled youths for a trip in the wilderness as therapy. As the motley crew, Tylor, Malissa, Daryl, Roman, Kelly and Dee Dee, arrive at their camp site, they are less than thrilled. Upon their first day they meet up with a couple of local hillbillies, who grow marijuana, who warn the group not to wander too far away from their campsite as they may be killed "accidently" if they disturb any of the crops. In the meantime, another local marijuana grower, who has been using herbal steroids on his plants, has a leak in his machinery and the steroids drip down into a tick nest. The steroids cause the ticks to mutate into giant killer ticks. The ticks begin to hatch and now all must try to escape a certain death from these ferocious blood-sucking beasts.
- Starring: Rosalind Allen, Ami Dolenz, Seth Green and Ray Oriel
- Director(s): Tony Randel
- Producer(s): Jack Murphy
- Screenwriter(s): Brent V. Friedman
- Distributor: Overseas Filmgroup, Inc.
- Animal Coordinator: Unknown
- Release Date: Tuesday, March 09, 1993
- Rating: Acceptable
Featured Animal Action
No live ticks were used while making this film. The mutant ticks were all done with special effects. In one scene Daryl's dog has wandered out of the campsite. Daryl goes in search of his dog and hears a whine. When he investigates he finds his dog, who growls, whines, lays down on the ground, and begins going into convulsions. To accomplish this scene the dog followed verbal commands from his trainer to "smile" when he bears his teeth. A pit was dug large enough for the dog's trainer to fit in. The pit was covered with boards and a patch of grass for the dog to lay on. While the dog was lying, his trainer was holding onto the dog from inside the pit, shaking and rocking the dog from underneath to make it appear as though the dog was convulsing. The dog's whines were added in post production. The dog continues to shake until he supposedly dies. Daryl picks up the dead dog and carries him to the van so they can take the dog into town to find out what caused the his demise. For this the dog followed verbal commands from his trainer to "play dead" while the actor carried him to the truck. When they arrive at the vets, the doctor examines the dog and performs an autopsy on him. A fake dog was used for this scene. The dog is also seen in previous scenes riding in the van, barking and playing Frisbe. In another scene at the marijuana grower's hot house, we see a hamster running on a wheel in his cage, supposedly making the machinery that produces the steroids run. While the hamster is running, one of the mutant ticks hatches. The creature runs right for the hamster. We hear the horrible screams of the dying hamster and then the farmer goes to the cage and removes the mutilated lifeless body. This scene was shot in cuts. The real hamster was a personal pet of one of the actors and merely ran on his wheel, which was not actually connected to any machinery, and a fake hamster was used for the dead animal. The screams of the hamster were added in post production. Other animal action consisted of birds flying off a lamp post.