The Splinter Fungus is the main antagonist of the 2008 American action-horror film Splinter. It is a parasitic alien from unknown origins that jabs itself into any organic, sentient creatures such as animals and humans, proceed to slowly kill them via infection and then reanimates their bodies to control them as hosts. During the infection, the victims are unable to fight back the Splinter Fungus.
The Fungus Hosts are sometimes compared to zombies due to their "brainless behavior" and physical decaying appearances, the only difference is the Fungus hosts aren't targeting into eating human flesh or brains and only seek to assimilate other victims to become future hosts.
Origins & Story
The Splinter Fungus has no known origins, although it can be seen to have been born within the deep forests.
The Splinter Fungus manifests as a series of thin, black quills that varies in length. The Fungus appears to make the hosts' blood much more thicker and darker colored. The dark blood can be seen to be moving as if it was "sentient" in some sort.
Powers and Abilities
The Splinter Fungus possesses the following powers and abilities:
- Infection: When an organic living being comes into contact with the Fungus, a simple touch is enough to infect the victim's flesh and begins it's slow, yet painful infection. The victim will start to see a small black spot where they touched the Fungus, which slowly grows from the inside of the victim's body. The victim will also experience a small amount of pain and will gradually worsen to the point it's unbearable for them to withstand the excruciating suffering. When the infection is complete, the hosts' bodies are completely in a state of decay, with some muscle tissues and bones protruding out of the flesh.
- Possession: Via infecting it's victims, the Fungus slowly possess their bodies and can even manifest into the form as an sentient limb of the victim's body. An example is when Dennis' infection on his left hand worsen to the point his entire forearm became possessed by the Splinter Fungus, starting to violently twist and crack Dennis' left forearm bone structure in order to reach Seth and Polly. Depending on where the infection begin, the head will possessed the host faster than an arm or a leg. Organs are also a fast way to infect a host's body and potentially can cause intense pain while happening.
After fully infecting it's victims, they become it's Fungus Hosts and gains the following powers:
- Abnormal Agility: As seen when Lacey's body was fully infected and possessed by the Fungus, the hosts can be seen doing a fast leap on the gas station's rooftop.
- High Pain Resilience: The hosts are capable to tank great amount of damages, showing no pain when they were shot by a shotgun. However, they cannot resist against intense heat, as seen with fire was able to kill the infected hosts.
- Superhuman Strength: When an infected Lacey latched on Terri, it was capable to rip in half the sheriff's body with little efforts.
- Sentient Limbs: When severed in multiple body parts, the parts became automatically self-aware and chased after the protagonists.
- Heat Sensory: Even without eyes, a possessed host can sense the heat of it's victims. A major example being Lacey's severed hand being self aware and started to chase down it's victims by sensing their body temperatures.
- Intense Heat: High levels of heat can kill the Fungus, such as the flames of fire. Heat is also the downfall of the Splinter Fungus, as the hosts are attracted to heat they will jump into a fire, thus killing themselves.
- Cold Temperature: Their heat sensory ability is dangerous but quite limited if a human's body temperature drops colder, the Fungus hosts will walk away to search other humans nearby. This weakness was exploited by the protagonists, which greatly helped them.
The last of the possessed corpses are burned alive after the gas station the film is set in is ignited. However, the ending reveals that the forest is filled with infected corpses that are soon to reanimate.
- The Splinter Fungus was partially based on the Cordyceps fungus, which infects insects and turns them into zombified puppets. A notable example are ants and cicadas.
- The idea of the Splinter Fungus coming from outer space as an alien parasite is widely accepted by many fans.