TerrorVision

Production Year: 1986
Release Date: 02/19/2013
Studio: Scream/Shout Factory
Collection Number: 1264

So to continue with Scream Factory's double feature review, I recently sat down to watch TerrorVision.

While I love and am very familiar with The Video Dead, I'm a little embarrassed to admit that before today I'd never seen TerrorVision.  It's not to say that I've never heard of the film before, the cover art is certainly a familiarity to me...I guess it's just one of those that I'd never gotten around to seeing, which after today's viewing I do seriously regret.  How did I miss out on this one!?

I guess as the saying goes, it's better late than never right?  What better way to experience this film for the fist time than in high definition right, well?  Okay, I'm just making excuses, I've got no one to blame but myself.  This is one of those movies that really makes you appreciate what the genre offered up during that decade.  As much as current films try and duplicate the look and feel of that generation it really can't be done.




The tongue-n-cheek film centers around a really oddball family "The Puttermans" made up of overtly sexualized parents, an eccentric war vet Grandfather, and two bickering siblings.  The father is played by Gerrit Graham, an actor who's got "one of those faces" as chances are you will recognize him from something.  His facial expressions alone could carry the movie.  In fact a handful of actors in this film I'd consider genre vets as far as 80's cinema is concerned.  Actors aside, the family is one (like many) that seems a little too obsessed with television, so obsessed in fact they don't find it odd that the recently installed satellite dish seems to be beaming in broadcasts from different planets.  The parents leave the youngest sibling (Sherman Putterman) alone with the Grandfather to, as they put it, "go swinging."

The two characters settle in and begin to watch a very Elivra-esque horror hostess intent on showing b-movies and insulting her fans...Eventually the duo fall asleep in front of the set.  Big mistake as a very odd looking space creature has found a way into their living room via the television set.  The creature in question has an unending apetite and has no problem with dining on an unsuspecting family.  While the monster decides to have a snack Sherman manages to narrowly escape.  Eventually the parents make their way home, this time bringing a few house guests (aka monster-snacks) and show us exactly what they mean when they said "swinging."  As the film progresses we learn this isn't just a monster, but a mutated space pet that was accidentally beamed to us by a very kind alien named Pluthar.

Now while I am leaving out a bit of the story as not to spoil any of the kills I really want to talk about one character we're introduced to early on.  His name is O.D. and he loves metal.  He's currently trying to get into Suzy Putterman's pants. He also deliveries one of the best lines in the entire film after he narrowly escapes being eaten, and yes, I will spoil it for you.  "You see that, he looked right at my studs and cooled out.  This dude's into metal!"

The film knows it's pure camp and plays it off in a wonderfully authentic fashion.  Considering they're making fun of the style and culture of that era along with the actual notion of the "monster movie" the film comes off as being very self-aware but also manages to be a complete cheese-fest.  The monster is extremely over the top, as it has no real features it's almost hard to describe.  I guess if I had to take a stab at it I'd say it's something like a mix of Krang and The Deadly Spawn.  As mentioned, pure camp at it's best.  The film is produced by Charles Band so it manages to fit in with a lot of the films he funded during that decade.  With that said, while it might not be as good as Re-Animator or Tourist Trap, it still manages to hold it's own as a cheesy slab of 80's nostalgia.

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