Directed by Allan (PROGRAMMED TO KILL) Holzman, written by Tim (GHOST WARRIOR) Curnen, from a story by Jim (CHOPPING MALL) Wynorski and R.J. (BEASTMASTER 2) Robertson and starring Jesse (SILENT RUNNING) Vint, Dawn Dunlap, June Chadwick, Linden Chiles, Fox Harris and Michael Bowen.
Also known as MUTANT and SUBJECT 20, this Roger Corman-produced ALIEN rip-off is lurid, colourful, exploitative and splattery. It uses some of the sets that were featured in Corman’s GALAXY OF TERROR (1981), a film on which James Cameron was the production designer.
This story concerns space ranger Mike Colby (Vint), who arrives at a research station that is under threat from a mutant organism that has evolved from an experimental life form, known as ‘Subject 20’, that has been created by the group of scientists on planet Xarbia.
With some oddly edited moments and an okay electronic score, this film presents us with a mutated creature that turns its human victims into lumps of self-replicating meaty protein.
Obviously aiming at the young male market, the movie has the two female characters, Tracy Baxter (Dunlap) and Dr. Barbara Glaser (Chadwick), taking saunas & showers… even though there’s a monster on the loose!
Tracy and Barbara even try to communicate with the creature whilst wearing very short bathrobes. This doesn’t end well when one of the women gets transfixed by a spiked tentacle. Ouch!
So is this a classic creature feature? Well, it certainly doesn’t reach the heights of science fiction greatness, that’s for sure, but it manages to be a pretension-free sci-fi-horror flick that is a perfect example of the kind of exploitative, pulpy, gaudy production that got made in the 80s.
And the film definitely scores points for giving us a finale with a difference: we get to see the hero performing DIY surgery on a scientist suffering from cancer, so that he can remove the large tumour… and then feed it to the creature, which then proceeds to vomit itself to death!
Some other cool stuff…
And here’s a behind the scenes shot…