HOME |  JOIN |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Last Warrior, The
Artemis 81
Rampage
Quiet Place, A
Braven
Changeover, The
Isle of Dogs
Funny Cow
Maze Runner: The Death Cure
Mad to Be Normal
Beast of Burden
Dead Men Walk
Game Night
Under the Tree
L'Amant Double
Gonin
Coco
Producers, The
Molly's Game
Forest of the Lost Souls, The
Hatchet III
Birdman of Alcatraz
Pacific Rim: Uprising
Wonderstruck
If It Ain't Stiff, It Ain't Worth a Fuck
Nun, The
Red Sparrow
My Friend Dahmer
Journeyman
Heat, The
   
 
Newest Articles
The Ultimate Trip: The Original Psychedelic Movies
Players of Games: Willy Wonka, Tron and Ready Player One
What Am I Doing Hangin' 'Round? The Ends of The Monkees
Flings and Arrows: Conquest vs Flesh + Blood
Orson Around: F for Fake and The Late Great Planet Earth
ITC What You Did There: Retro-Action on Blu-ray
And It Was the Dirtiest Harry We Have Seen in a Very Long Time: The Dirty Harry Series
Manor On Movies: The Astounding She Monster
Manor On Movies: Don't be a dolt. That's not a cult (movie)
Wes Anderson's Big Daddies: Steve Zissou and Others
Bad Taste from Outer Space: Galaxy of Terror and Xtro
A Yen for the 1990s: Iron Monkey and Satan Returns
Hey, Punk: Jubilee and Rock 'n' Roll High School
Help! with The Knack: Richard Lester in 1965
Roll Up, Get Yer Free Cinema: The Shorts on the BFI Woodfall Blu-rays
   
 
  Deadly Spawn, The The Hunger MaimsBuy this film here.
Year: 1983
Director: Douglas McKeown
Stars: Charles George Hildebrandt, Tom DeFranco, Richard Lee Porter, Jean Tafler, Karen Tighe, James L. Brewster, Elissa Neil, Ethel Michelson, John Schmerling, Judith Mayes, Andrew Michaels, John Arndt, Diane Stevens, Darlene Kenley, Madeline Charanis
Genre: Horror, Science Fiction
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: One night, out in the woods, a couple of campers are settling down for the evening when they hear a loud noise then catch sight of what looks like a large meteor roaring out of the sky and into the ground a short distance away. Their curiosity duly piqued, they investigate, discovering a flaming crater but no obvious signs of anything else; nevertheless, one of the campers wants a photograph so heads back to the tent to fetch the camera with the flash. However, while he's away, his friend is set upon by something that looms from the shadows, and when the other man calls for him, he is attacked too, leaving both of them dismembered and devoured - what can this unspeakable entity from outer space be?

Why, it's Mr Deadly Spawn, pleased to meet you in a low budget effort that was a one hit wonder for most of those involved since it was an amateur production whose special effects were special enough for the whole kit and caboodle to be picked up for theatrical distribution before it found perhaps its more appropriate home on eighties video cassette. Director Douglas McKeown never helmed another movie, teaching being his day job, and almost all of the cast never appeared before the camera again, at least in an acting capacity, though the less forgiving would count that as a blessing seeing as how this was not the sort of film you would watch for the acting, it was more a gorefest.

Therefore it was the ingenuity of the makeup department that counted here, and to their credit the monster itself - as well as its squirmy offspring - were by far the most impressive aspect of the production, all masses of teeth in a gaping maw that happily chomped down on various of the budding thespians who happened to cross its path. For that reason, as if a throwback to the sixties low budget genre efforts that gave us cult classics such as Carnival of Souls or Night of the Living Dead, it generated a loyal following who appreciated the wonders it had managed on a tiny budget, most of the money blatantly going on the rubber creature achievements, and everything else looking like a shot on 16mm work should, that was, cheap and proud of it.

The campers are never mentioned again after their offscreen demises (though we do see a bloodied hand as evidence they have met a sticky end), which leaves us with the characters from a nearby country house to be introduced to. Don't get to like them too much, not with a rampaging beast holed up in the basement, as the married couple we see creep down to the cellar to check on the electricity supply and are promptly chewed up and swallowed by said beastie as the other inhabitants of the building are waking upstairs, oblivious since they believe the couple have left for an early start to the day. Here is also where the effects team came into their own, as we saw the fruits of their labour shown off in the gloom, George A. Romero-esque swinging, bloody lightbulb operating well for atmosphere.

There is another house afflicted and that belongs to the grandmother of the kid who is our hero, young Charles (Charles George Hildebrandt), a Famous Monsters of Filmland-reading creature feature obsessive who works out the alien cannot see and hunts by sound. Granny meanwhile is hosting a vegetarian get-together with her friends and Charles's mother assisting, which is surely a precursor to Troll 2's anti-veggie tirade since these ladies may not wish to eat meat, but the meat wishes to eat them. As that descends into chaos, Charles's older brother Pete (Tom DeFranco) invites his pals over, including the scientifically-minded Ellen, played by Jean Tafler in a performance that is actually the most professional in the whole affair. As with many a movie reliant on its gory bells and whistles, the business in between the setpieces is far less impressive than the bits where the blood is flowing, though after an awkward first half The Deadly Spawn worked up quite a head of steam, even pulling a surprise death out of the bag against the expected clichés. Not bad at all if you were sympathetic.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 850 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which film has the best theme song?
Spectre
The Ups and Downs of a Handyman
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
  Robert Segedy
Darren Jones
  Asma Amal
  Chris Lawrence
Enoch Sneed
George White
Stately Wayne Manor
   

 

Last Updated: