Friday, February 12, 2010

Inseminoid (1981)

I'm getting more and more fond of Norman J. Warren's Inseminoid for each time I see it. The first time I remember that I was disappointed. The lack of gore (I've probably just seen some Fulci-movie before this one, so that makes even a gory movie lame), the stiff direction, the cheap production values. But now, when I'm older and wiser, this could be one of my favorite Alien-movies ever. What Norman J. Warren did her, with a small budget - but still, it's a very impressive looking movie, is to make a gritty, brutal British horror movie on another planet. Just switch the location to an old mansion and the alien to some kind of spirit or demon, and it's more or less the same thing.

It's also not fair to compare it to Ridley Scott's Alien (a movie that's less original than people make of it), because they're very different in style and atmosphere and Warren don't seem to copy Alien at all, in any way. Inseminoid is it's own entity, and a very good one too. The characters are the usual bunch of scientists that occupies these kinda movies, and the main victim/bad guy is the marvelous Judy Geeson as Sandy - the woman getting impregnated by the alien and starts making havoc in the underground facility. She's everywhere on the mood-scale, but it feels real - sometimes to real, and quite uncomfortable to watch - when she's in one second is screaming and is scared, and in the next second turns to a ruthless killer.

The violence is down and dirty, not extremely graphic, but very violent and with a lot of sadistic touches. The characters are made to suffer in different ways, one guy for example, first gets shot, then suffocated and then get his belly ripped open by our blonde femme fatale. This is where Inseminoid is totally unique. You suffer with the characters, and their demises is not quick and nasty - they're drawn out and very nasty! Another thing that helps this movie is the awesome location. Shot in a real mine somewhere, it feels claustrophobic and dusty, and even the cheap sets work in this place. When stuff explodes you see it's made out of styrofoam and masonite, but who cares? Because the budget was low and the money ran out during production, you can also notice that one mayor set-piece don't have any walls! It's just black around them. But it looks cool, and until Norman J. Warren mentioned it himself in the documentary I never noticed it before that.

And what is it with exploitation-movies from the eighties and monster-rapes and giving birth to monsters? The last official entry in this sub-category must be 1993's Carnosaur. Well, I have nothing against it - but it's an odd detail that I've seen in quite a number of monster films from this era.

But yeah, Inseminoid is a very fine little movie, I dare to say it's even underrated. Norman J. Warren did his best with what he had, and gave us a semi-classic that deserves to have a better reputation.

1 comment:

dfordoom said...

I love this movie. And I agree about Alien being very unoriginal. I think Ridley Scott is outrageously overrated. If you haven't seen it, check out Mario Bava's Planet of the Vampires - it's an earlier and better version of Alien!