Tuesday, December 21, 2010
Film Review: TerrorVision (1986)
TerrorVision is an absolutely hilarious and schlocky Charles Band Production from 1986 that features parents who are swingers, a teenage girl who looks like Cyndi Lauper’s poodle, a grandpa who is a military-survival nut, a dim-witted metalhead and a monster-obsessed kid way ahead of ADD generation.
The Putterman’s are not exactly your everyday American family from the ‘80s. Mom (Mary Woronov!) likes her spandex workout gear, the teenage daughter (Diane Franklin) is obsessed with MTV, Grandpa (Bert Remsen) is a paranoid, weapons-hoarding freak, Dad (Gerrit Graham) is obsessed with his latest gadget, a state-of-the-art satellite dish, and both parents are obsessed with their swingin’ “pleasure palace”. Young Sherman (Chad Allen) is lost in the shuffle of his zany family, but when a monster from outer space is beamed into his world via the family’s snazzy new satellite dish, he must take matters into his own hands to save mankind from destruction.
If you haven’t seen the so-bad-it’s-good TerrorVision, go watch it now (it’s available on Netflix streaming) because I don’t think any review can give it proper justice. This film is so over-the-top that it will certainly leave you speechless. Now, most sane people would call this film utter trash, but luckily I am not one of those people. This film is just too much wacky fun to pass up!
I find myself considering this to be one of Charles Band’s most enjoyable works. First are the outrageous characters, which are definitely too “out there” to be taken seriously. There are Mr. and Mrs. Putterman, who first appear to be the same ol’ square parents you see in most flicks…until they get all dressed up in disco duds and declare their going “swinging” – in front of their kids no less. Then there is their punky daughter, who has a clueless metalhead (played by Jon Gries!) for a boyfriend (who I seriously think Keanu Reeves totally copied for Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure). And good old crazy Grandpa, who has a built in bunker in the house. No wonder Sherman has such a wild imagination…living with these many kooks would drive anyone nutty!
Then there is the sleazy décor – fountains featuring naked women with water coming out of their breasts, lascivious artwork, and even a pool/hot tub in their “pleasure palace” living room! Everything is so over the top you just can’t help but ogle. And I haven’t gotten to the monster yet...
The monster itself looks like a big pile of poo, complete with a one-eyed appendage coming out of it. Apparently it makes a great pet on its home planet, but here on Earth it just wants to chow down on people…which it does, with gusto. However, it also has the ability to mimic people it has eaten, so no one believes little Sherman when he says it ate Grandpa, especially when it appears dear ol’ Grandpa is alive and weirder than ever in his bunker…although covering in some curious goo.
Pretty soon the monster has eaten almost everyone in Sherman’s family with the exception of Mr. Metalhead, Sherman’s sister and himself. The trio actually befriends the monster and tries to teach it the customs and culture of America – fast food, metal and how eating people is considered uncouth. This peace doesn’t last long, and little Shermy soon calls on the help of a local horror host, Medusa (Jennifer Richards), who has a rather large set of…talent.
You might be thinking to yourself, “Self, this movie seems to have it all! Crazy characters! An outrageous premise! Sleaziness! Metal! Monsters from outer space! A busty horror host! A kid who takes matters into his own hands to save the world!” And you and yourself would pretty much be correct.
If you love outrageous horror spoofs that push the limits of good taste and rationale, TerrorVision is definitely for you! Go check it out!