Monday, May 15, 2017

Movie review - "The Terror Within" (1989) **1/2

Entirely decent little action thriller from Concorde Pictures. Its the sort of story that never goes wrong - an outpost movie, where a couple of people visit another outpost and discover it's all been wiped out. It worked in Alien, it worked in all the films Alien ripped off, it worked in the rip offs of Alien, of which this is one. (It also borrows from The Thing with its rapidly growing antagonist.)

The setting is a post-apocalyptic world, I guess you'd call it... chemical warfare have wiped out most humans, giving this a bleaker quality. I hadn't heard of director Thierry Notz before but feel he does a good job. I liked Thomas Cleaver's script too - it had an admittedly obvious set up but was well developed.

I normally don't like rape scenes in movies and feel Roger Corman was way too keen to put them in his films during the 1980s (Humanoids from the Deep, Galaxy of Terror). The one here is not great fun, but at least is well incorporated into the story - the creature rapes a girl, who turns out to be pregnant... she demands an abortion, but there's a chance it may be a human baby... so they refuse... so the girl kills herself trying to self abort. It's powerful stuff.

The acting, in general, is of high quality. Andrew Stevens is a good action hero, Starr Andreeff is strong as the girl who gets pregnant, Yvonne Sarr also good as a gargoyle victim. George Kennedy adds some gravitas to the cast but to be honest he looks bored.  Terri Treas has presence, although her character did seem a bit too keen to hump Stevens when his girlfriend has just died.

The biggest debit is probably the monster which isn't very scary - he/it looks like the Creature from the Black Lagoon. There were too many scenes where we got a good look at it.

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