The Darker Side of Terror (1979)

Article 3476 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 1-14-2011
Posting Date: 2-20-2011
Directed by Gus Trikonis
Featuring Robert Forster, Adrienne Barbeau, Ray Milland
Country: USA
What it is: Cloning movie

Frustrated by his stagnating career and having his work stolen by an associate, a professor decides to hook up with a former teacher who is engaged in illegal cloning experiments … and whose test cloning subject is the professor himself.

It has an interesting title; maybe it was trying to distinguish itself from THE LIGHTER SIDE OF TERROR. On the other hand, maybe it had a reason for that; much of the dialogue is so melodramatic, forced and/or artificial that the movie occasionally comes across as an inadvertent comedy. As a commentary on the dangers of cloning, I can’t take the movie seriously, but as kind of a cross between the Frankenstein story and the doppelganger concept, it does have a moment or two. Good copies of this one are apparently hard to find; mine was an nth generation dupe that is so dark that I sometimes wonder if I’m missing important details. This is especially true towards the end of the movie, which, if I understand it correctly, ends ambiguously; after all, there’s a reason that in the confrontation between the professor and his clone, they’re both wearing the same outfits. It’s not one of the better TV-movies out there, but it’s not worthless.

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