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3.9 out of 5 stars
The Deadly Spawn [DVD] [1983]
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
This is an early 80's horror film, which had a minuscule budget ($8000), and was released in cinemas on the same day as Sam Raimi's Evil Dead. It came out in the time of banned VHS video nasties, although this one wasn't actually banned.
The film clearly has it's roots in 1950's B-movie horror and sci-fi pics - the basic story is quite similar to Steve McQueen's The Blob. A small alien life-form crash lands on Earth, in a small, quiet American town, and takes up residence in the underground basement of one of the locals. The creature looks like a cross between the flesh-eating plant in Little Shop Of Horrors and Ridley Scott's Alien. Just like in The Blob, the creature preys on humans, and it grows larger and larger. It also has offspring, which look like tadpoles, and which infest the local community.
The special effects (latex and prosthetics, not CGI), are risibly bad, although the monster does have a pretty impressive set of gnashers, which would put Luis Suarez to shame. The sound quality is vaguely muffled, but you can hear what the actors are saying. The film score is deliciously over the top. The film editing is haphazard and the camerawork is awkward. The acting is wooden infested with woodworm. There's certainly a lot of gore - in one scene a woman has her face ripped off by the monster, but the F/X is just so resoundingly bad that, instead of being blood-curdling, it's simply ludicrous. The scene where a group of juvenile deadly spawn attack some middle-aged ladies in a lounge, had me laughing with tears. Completely inadvertently, this film is full of big belly laughs.
So, all in all, this is a truly awful film, a shining beacon of one stardom. And yet, I do have a real soft spot for it. It's production value is so unrelentingly amateurish and inept, that you can't help but be entertained by the sheer awfulness of the movie. It's right up there with the likes of The New Barbarians, The Ice Pirates and Basket Case. Indeed, if you fancy a double-bill of trashy, early 80's schlock horror, The Deadly Spawn combines very well with Basket Case.
The DVD release is by Arrow Video. The packaging has some nice, eye-catching artwork, and the film comes with a 23 page booklet, giving a very detailed and informative history about this "masterpiece" of the macabre. Highly recommended if you want a monumentally dumb film which will put lots of smiles on your face.
Here are the links for the other films I've mentioned - The New Barbarians [DVD] Ice Pirates [1984] Basket Case - The Trilogy (Limited Edition 3-Disc Steelbook) [Blu-ray].
Thank you for taking the time to read this review.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on 26 February 2004
I watched this film last night in Zombie Club (refuge for like-minded movie geeks with an unhealthy obsession for BAD horror films). I, like my ZC contemporaries, were mightily impressed. Vipco's presentation is awful (full screen / video quality - eugh!), but then again what's new?! The special effects, and indeed the whole film looked better than it should on its obvious micro-budget. But the best thing about the movie is the little kid (whose name I forget). Not only is he a wonderfully natural little actor, but his character kicks serious ass - better than anything the adult characters seem to achieve. If you like trashy b-movies from late 70's / early 80's, see it. But please, wait if you can, bacause apparently Blue Underground are gonna release this little baby PROPERLY, as it deserves.
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on 25 March 2015
The deadly spawn is a wonderfully bad, gory 80's monster movie. It's has all the aspects of a low budget gore fest, dodgy dialogue, dodgy story, and plenty of retro gore!!!!! It defiantly has a 70's feel to it. It's a worthy member of my collection. If you don't like 70/80's horror or the like, you won't enjoy or appreciate this movie. I have the Arrow edition, decent extras and a booklet/poster. I got it for £2.50 all in. Awesome for the right price.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
I had to watch Deadly Spawn twice in the last few weeks before being able to make my mind up about it.

Watching it on Arrow's impressive release I thought it would be different on on my initial viewing and it clouded my judgement a little, upon watching it again I really enjoyed it. As usual lots of things didn't make sense, but as a fan of low budget horror you don't ponder on these things and just sit down and watch the film for what it is. A low budget horror film with non CGI monsters (Yay) and plenty of gore added just to make the film appealing to fans of gore.

As always lots of great extras and I think 4 stars is a deserving score.
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on 21 November 2014
Iv'e read a few negative reviews about the blu ray edition, but I thought it was the best i have ever seen this film, and thought it was well worth the money. I'll give it 5 stars no problem, an amazing cult classic, and an all time favourite. Also has some great extras highly recommended.
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on 13 February 2015
awesome remaster stunning picture and sound but i think its missing 2 scenes a creature bursting out of womans head and the brother and his friends finding a spawn bug on the side of the road and the face biting skin stretch seems a tiny bit cut
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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 26 December 2006
Anyway, the movie mostly takes place inside of a house. It has more preliminary victims than most horror movies before they introduce the main cast. The house is invaded by fish/tadpole-like aliens, and a larger alien that has three mouths and two very frail limbs, but somehow manages to break down doors.

Damn, I've been staring at the screen for a few minutes now, and I don't really know what else to say. I guess that's it.

I've just watched this movie and to be honest, I don't know what to make of it. It's very weird, even by the standards of things I usually watch.

Still, I didn't feel like it was a waste of time and I was in a bad mood to begin with since sometimes my DVD player takes many attempts to actually start working, so taking that into consideration, overall I think I should give it a positive score.
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on 6 November 2014
Dumb but enjoyable low budget horror. Good amount of extras.
Currently in the 4 for £10 deal so worth the price too
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on 3 July 2015
Good for a low budget movie, they seemed to have spent most of the budget on the monster rather than the actors though.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
This is one of those rare films from the 1980's, that really freaked me out as a kid and stuck with me for years to come. I recently bought a copy and gave it a re-watch and although it has dated since I last watched it, it's still a classic monster movie by any standards.

The plot is simple, a meteorite crashes to earth carrying some alien organisms, the creatures then descend on a small rural housing estate and begin to eat any living thing they come across. The creatures look like small tadpoles with teeth but grow rapidly into large and extremely vicious monsters, that simply resemble large mouths full of huge teeth. The creatures are completely blind and rely on sound to hunt thier prey. A group of people become trapped in a house and are being stalked by the huge mother creature with an insatiable appetite for human flesh.

To start with, this film was made on a tiny budget of just $6000, all the creature effects were hand made by the director and a few friends in their basement (a bit like how the mighty Peter Jackson started his career)
But don't let this put you off, the creatures, even today, are some of the freakiest things you will ever lay eyes on and the gore in this film is relentless. The creature effects are really good and to say they were knocked up in some guys basement, they're a lot better than in some 1980's video nasties with much bigger budgets.

But the blood and gore are where this movie really excels. There are scenes where we see a womans face being literally torn from her skull while she screams and fights for her life, eyeballs being eaten out, heads bitten off and a scene of complete carnage involving a group of pensioners. It's really twisted and yet one of those films you can't turn away from.

Sure the picture and sound quality have not aged well and the film does have its fair share of rough edges but if you do like 80's monster movies, blood an gore aplenty and scenes of bloody carnage, then you really should give this a try. The acting is passable at best, not dreadful but not Oscar worthy either and the John Carpenter-esque electro theme tune, is creepy and fits the film well.

As I'm sure you've guessed, this film is not for anyone with a weak stomach (My girlfriend told me off for making her sit through it and said she'll never watch another film with me again, as it really freaked her out) not bad for an ultra low budget monster flick that's over 30 years old.

The DVD comes with a whole host of extras, there's an interactive comic strip which shows how the director wanted the movie to start but simply did not have the budget to film it.
An alternate opening sequence to the film. A making of featurette, some out-takes and audition tapes (which are quite cringe worthy) There's 2 audio commentaries to play over the movie if you're into that sort of thing and a stills gallery of the films production and sets, trailers and TV interviews with the films crew and director. The dvd also comes with a collectors booklet but alas, I have lost mine :-(

8/10 Classic 80's gore fest that is freaky and fun to watch.
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