THE DEADLY SPAWN (1983)
Article 4421 by Dave Sindelar
Directed by Douglas McKeown
Featuring Charles George Hildebrandt, Tom DeFranco, Richard Lee Porter
What it is: Monster movie
A meteorite brings an alien being to Earth. It promptly begins eating everyone in sight and spawning little aliens who are also hungry.
I went into this one expecting a tiresome and cheap imitation of ALIEN. I’m glad to say that it isn’t quite that. Oh, it’s cheap, all right; just take a look at that cheesy matte painting of the house near the beginning. But I found something rather disarming in the simplicity of the concept; it wasn’t trying to make itself more complicated than it was. I found myself also smiling at the character of the young boy who is the hero of the story; he’s obviously a monster kid of the first order, and the movie is filled with references to a whole slew of classic monster movies. But I think the moment that really won me over was when the kid first encounters the monsters; I was wondering why the monsters weren’t attacking him, and then he snaps his finger, and you know. Sure, it’s heavy on the gore and gross-out, but the movie’s affection for being what it is (which is to say, a plain, old-fashioned, somewhat comic monster movie) saw me through. I also suspect that the scene where the little monsters attack a woman’s luncheon will also stick with me. The final twist even makes me forgive the cheesy matte painting. It’s no classic, but it is entertaining. My only question is – who is Gary, and what is it that he’s not supposed to do?