SCARED TO DEATH (1980)
Articles 5089 by Dave Sindelar
Directed by William Malone
Featuring John Stinson, Diana Davidson, Jonathan David Moses
What it is: Monster movie
Something is killing people in the Los Angeles area. Will an ex-detective help the police in locating whatever it is that’s doing the killing?
I’m going to start out by giving some credit to actor John Stinson; he takes a potentially annoying character with bad dialogue and manages to craft a likable character out of it. However, it doesn’t quite cover up the fact that his scenes during the first half of the movie are so divorced from the main story of the movie that you’re tempted to fast-forward through them. That’s more the fault of the script, though, and that’s the biggest weak point in this very low-budget movie. It’s partially modeled off of ALIEN, though it’s hardly a slavish imitation. Given the fact that the budget was only $74, 000 for this movie, I’m actually a bit impressed with what director Malone pulls off here; it looks more expensive than it is, and the acting is mostly competent enough to compensate for script and pacing deficiencies. Still, there are lots of dead spots, and the pacing drags until the last twenty minutes. It’s certainly no classic, but I’ve seen a lot worse movies with much bigger budgets.