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Jeremy Lunt <email@example.com>
Re-released in Great Britain under the title of "E.T.N.: The Extraterrestrial Nasty" during the Video Nasty era. The VHS cover itself was actually a doctored E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982) poster made to look like a gory rip-off. See more »
When Clint, Ben, and Wes are discussing the attack on Buddy and Mary, the bodies are described as being grotesquely chewed up; however, the white interior of the car in which they were attacked appears to be spotless, with no blood anywhere. See more »
But... but seriously, have you... have you ever thought about... oh, sometimes when I'm alone I think about things that we don't know about... about the sky and the earth and the air and the wind... or even this leaf.
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NIGHT FRIGHT shares an eerie half-world with a handful of similarly modest but entertaining teen horror/sci-fi entries like GIANT GILA MONSTER, HORROR OF PARTY BEACH and DEATH CURSE OF TARTU. These are an uneasy mix of happily gyrating teens and skulking horror that are a guilty weakness of mine.
The storyline is standard stuff: a spaceship sent into the icy depths of Out There by dedicated scientists runs into unchecked radiation, and the test animals aboard are mutated. The largest and nastiest promptly goes on an eating binge. The film appears for be a rehash of themes already used in the obscure DEMON FROM DEVIL'S LAKE.
Granted, Texas isn't known for astounding advances in cinema. Larry Buchannan, the fevered brow at the helm of THE EYE CREATURES, IT'S ALIVE! and ZONTAR, THE THING FROM VENUS, hailed from Texas. THE GIANT GILA MONSTER was filmed in and around Cielo. Still...
John Agar, in one of his last "earnest man with a job to do" roles is a somewhat peeved lawman charged with finding out what exactly is killing the locals. He does well in the limited role, providing the film's one strong performance. The other characters are broadly written and almost painfully bland. The bizarrely named Roger Ready woodenly plays a scientist who knows more than he admits (and who is largely qualified as being a researcher by way of smoking a pipe). There's also a nerdy newshound, police resenting kids, and an extremely lackluster love interest.
That said, the overall film is actually fairly enjoyable. The monster, a hulking gorilla with facial spines and a Klingon head ridge, is reasonably impressive for a regional production. The isolated locales and dim photography add a certain appeal, though the latter occasionally flashes almost starkly bright (particularly during the climax where half the hunters seem to be waiting in the dead of night and the rest in some distant land where it's high noon). The government cover-up angle is expected, and should neatly justify the suspicions of any borderline paranoids in the audience.
Not a great film but, taken as a simple "googly fiend run amok" picture, it's more than passable.
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