The Deadly Spawn


Title: The Deadly Spawn
Rating: 4/5
Genre: Sci-Fi, Horror
Starring: Charles George Hildebrandt, Tom DeFranco, Richard Lee Porter
Director: Douglas McKeown

Another cult classic from the glory days of America's indie horror peak; where idea's came from genre fanatics and technology had moved on enough that anyone with the drive could get it onto a film, albeit in a low budget format, and “The Deadly Spawn” is one of those classic cases of a film that ticks all the right boxes: Lousy acting, an unlikely hero, plenty of gore and violence, tongue in cheek humour and a deadly monster with a large amount of teeth. And the premise seems so simple, a meteor lands dragging with it a monster from the very far reaches of space; a creature with no desire but to feed, procreate and increase in size, with no second thoughts about resorting to cannibalism, and bearing the brunt of the attack are a single all-American family doing all they can to repel this alien invasion.

It's what they then go on to do with this simple format that makes all the difference, the little details that many writers forget about that make it so engaging to watch. Everyone in the film is normal, mundane; we see a cat running around getting under peoples feet (as they always seem to do), a mother making breakfast and a young child acting like a young child. The characters are all real; we get the dumb blonde, the just as dumb male blonde, the pompous ass and the intelligent woman who are all studying for their biology exam when this thing falls into their laps, and it creates this sense of believability without long sequences where we get to know them, instead letting it develop as we get right into the action, delivering scene upon scene of aliens smacking their lips and the prospect of another tasty treat.

The level of violence is enough to make many modern films blush; it almost feels like a modern throwback to the era rather than being from the era itself, such is the level of blood on display that you wonder how it got approved when things like “I Spit On Your Grave” was considered a 'nasty.' People will have their heads ripped off and legs gnawed at like a dog with a bone. Even when you consider the technical side of things; the sound, lighting and cinematography, you realise it's beautifully shot in 16mm with the capability of fully immersing you in the tale being told. Yes, it's low budget; no, the acting isn't particularly good and no, the alien doesn't look realistic in the slightest, but none of that matters. Like the best of the era; the “Gremlins,” “Tremors” and “Braindead” horror flicks, “The Deadly Spawn” is a B-Movie romp ranking amongst the best of it's kind.


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