Directed by Douglas McKeown, 1983
You know the drill by now. Meteor meets Earth. Slimy slugs with horrible teeth come out to say hello. This time around, though, there’s no bodily possession (read: Night of the Creeps and Slither ), just plain body chomping carnage.
And as meteor smashing, alien creature features go, The Deadly Spawn is tried and true latex horror of the ’80s. Pretty crafty latex horror splattered with some impressive gore, at that.
The flick jumps right into it the cosmic body smash up and the requisite campers who are unfortunate enough to come across the deadly spawn first. The three headed baddy then finds it way to the basement of the house that takes up 90% of the rest of the movie’s screen time. After an early morning snack on a few of the house’s patrons, the spawn keeps growing in size and sends its slugs throughout the house and surrounding land to feed.
It’s actually a very entertaining romp that plays everything dead straight. The script may not be that original, but the execution of everything is. I thought it was going to be a lame fest since the first couple deaths show nothing but people walking into shadows, screaming and falling down covered in blood, but once it shows the spawn itself for the first time, it’s hilarious by today’s standards, but you can only laugh for a second because the gore effects get pretty damned hardcore. It’s nothing revolutionary, but it’s more detailed and more graphic than you’d expect from movies like this.
It’s only 80 minutes, so you’re not going to get bored – unless you’re the kind of person who wouldn’t watch ’80s horror to begin with. The acting is second rate at times, but the dialogue isn’t cheesy and is often times pretty interesting, actually. The ‘heroes’ may be teenagers still, but they’re not dumb co-eds. Not intellectual giants, mind you, but at least they’re no 2001 Maniacs.
And speaking of 2001 Maniacs, Tim Sullivan apparently got his start on The Deadly Spawn. He has a tiny writing credit on the imdb, which I didn’t buy at first, but he is on the DVD’s commentary track. But don’t let that dissuade you, the flick is still a pretty good time. Much better than you’d expect.
And comeon’, don’t you wanna see this bad boy in action?