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Aspect ratio: 2.39:1 (J-D-C Scope)
Sound format: Mono
Whilst exploring a series of caves beneath the surface of Jupiter's moon Xeno, a scientific research team unleashes a long-buried alien creature which impregnates one of the female members of the crew (Judy Geeson). With the subsequent pregnancy developing at an alarming rate, Geeson is compelled to protect her unborn 'children' from scientific scrutiny and begins to massacre her colleagues, one by one...
Responding to the worldwide appetite for overblown space operas established by STAR WARS in 1977, yet remaining true to his roots as a purveyor of exploitation-horror movies (SATAN'S SLAVE, PREY, etc.), British director Norman J. Warren developed the script for INSEMINOID with writers Nick and Gloria Maley, a team of special effects technicians looking for a vehicle in which to showcase their talents. With funding from British and Hong Kong sources, the film went into production at Chislehurst caves (a grim but picturesque location just outside London) shortly after Ridley Scott's ALIEN (1979) wrapped principal photography, though Warren and producer Richard Gordon insist the movie wasn't influenced by Scott's blockbuster in any way.
Unfortunately, INSEMINOID's lofty ambitions are somewhat undermined by its modest £1 million budget, yielding a range of sets, costumes and visual effects which are more reminiscent of "Blake's 7" and "Doctor Who" than STAR WARS, and the cheapskate production values often provoke unintentional laughter. Faced with some fairly amateurish dialogue, most of the cast can't help but sink to the occasion, though Geeson is remarkably good in the leading role, transforming herself from terrified victim to monstrous avenger with scene-stealing glee (unfortunately, she later bad-mouthed the film in no uncertain terms, despite recently admitting she'd never actually seen it!). Stephanie Beacham (SCHIZO, TV's "The Colby's") plays the material with earnest conviction, while Victoria Tennant (THE WINDS OF WAR) makes no impression at all as one of the early victims of Geeson's rampage.
For all its drawbacks, however, the film is fast-moving and eager to please, and benefits enormously from John Metcalfe's expansive scope photography, which Warren uses to evoke a sense of scale at odds with the movie's financial limitations. There's plenty of gory violence on offer, too, though Warren was forced to make a few cosmetic trims to some of the most explicit sequences for censorship reasons in the UK, and it's that version which has prevailed ever since. Sadly, despite the film's modest success (including America, where a slightly truncated print played theatrically under the title HORROR PLANET), the director was unable to finance another venture for several years afterward, and his final film to date, BLOODY NEW YEAR (1987), went straight to video. His long-cherished ambition to remake FIEND WITHOUT A FACE (1957) has yet to happen, which is particularly regrettable - the genre has always needed talented mavericks like Warren, now more than ever.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Whilst INSEMINOID was never going to win any awards in any film
departments you could care to name, it's far from the disaster some
people have claimed it to be, and if you approach it with an open mind
and take it all in fun, then you'll probably have a good time. I must
admit to a certain amount of nostalgia for this kind of film, which
could usually be found languishing on the bottom of a late-night horror
double bill at a provincial flea-pit cinema here in Blighty, and it's
not too difficult to imagine yourself watching INSEMINOID in between
visits to the hot dog concession and the toilet as you wait impatiently
for something like THE EVIL DEAD or ZOMBIE FLESH EATERS to start.
Norman J.Warren, a maverick director who knew a gap in the market (or
the opportunity for a quick cash-in on an established craze) when he
saw one, is actually a pretty decent director, and he gets ample
opportunity to show his tightly-honed skills here, particularly during
some of the more competent action sequences. The set design may be no
great shakes - the film looks more like a big-screen version of the
cult TV series BLAKE'S SEVEN than anything Ridley Scott put his name to
- but the caverns that double as the subterranean outer-space dungeons
are none too shabby and quite convincingly lit (just forget about the
silly red-filtered shots of the planet's surface, so obviously shot in
a quarry somewhere), and John Metcalfe's widescreen photography makes
the low-budget production look expansive, if not exactly expensive.
In short, INSEMINOID is the simple tale of a bunch of incompetent, to say nothing of downright disagreeable cosmonauts who touch down somewhere in the outer reaches of the galaxy and promptly tamper with the ecosystem, including some malevolent crystals and some sinister-looking pods. Before you can say "quatermass!", the crew members start getting bumped off, going crazy, cracking up, sawing their own feet off (a strong contender for the most cringe-inducing scene in the movie) and, in Judy Geeson's case, being forcefully artificially inseminated by a huge, glowering, crustacean life-form whose alien seed resembles lumpy green porridge. If you remember Geeson as the lovable dolly from TO SIR, WITH LOVE, then it will undoubtedly come as a shattering revelation to you that she forgoes the usual pregnancy pangs and cravings for unusual foodstuffs in favour of a bloodthirsty spree of murder and cannibalism, eventually giving birth to a couple of naked Muppets who just can't get enough of that chewy human stuff. To a large extent, it's Geeson's hyper-tense performance, all quivering facial tics, throat-rending screams and popping, twitching eyeballs that holds the film together in its later stages, as the plot contrivances and dumb-as-mud antics of her shipmates get a little too tedious and often to be believable. Still, if you're stupid enough to want to tackle a super-strong loony blonde single-handedly with no blunt instruments to help you, you really deserve a swift, messy death, right? INSEMINOID is truly a mad, crazy, paranoid, shambling mess of a film, but it still exerts a strong kinetic energy that fights off boredom and keeps you watching. There's also a surprisingly atmospheric electronic score, Stephanie Beacham in her underwear (one for the boys!) and quite a lot of the sticky red stuff to keep the gore-hounds salivating. Warren was never going to be another Pete Walker, but he wasn't another Andy Milligan either. If you're still not convinced, check out TERROR or SATAN'S SLAVE. If they whet your appetite, roll out INSEMINOID and enjoy.
The title caught our attention in the same way as Revenge of The
Space-Hitlers, it's a title that says "this could be so bad that it
would be entertaining". This is what we found. Low production values,
low production costs, bad acting, bad dialogue, bad special effects -
we found it hilarious (unlike Boggy Creek II, which was just plain
After the prologue, the opening line is "Hey wait a minute!" as in "what's this strange thing I've found on this strange alien world" - get the idea? It's a classic demonic possession plot, where a nice girl is turned nasty by an alien intelligence, and then people get 'hurt'. This means that there is plenty of blood and pain, and some cracking screaming from Geeson. If Oscars were awarded for screaming, we're of the opinion she should have got a nomination at the very least.
To exemplify the bad dialogue: Woman in peril: "I can't do it!". Man trying to save woman with motivational words: "Can't is a word I don't understand! Come on, you can't give up!"
Also "Unknown energy fields are beyond the reach of this team."
Overall I'd describe this as a poor vehicle for nasty, bloody violence and a bit of sex, which made little sense. However, there is much entertainment in it's dire naffness.
Like a previous contributor, I saw Inseminoid on BBC 1 last Saturday too -
but to my eternal shame, I must admit that I actually went out of my way
Y'see, when I was a spotty teenager way back in the early 80s, I was always intrigued by this movie's premise - aliens! horror! sex! YES!! YES!! YES!! - but was too young to rent it from my local video shop. So when I saw that it was on telly I was ecstatic - twenty years of waiting, over at last!
Well, you know what they say about being careful what you wish for... As everyone's already pointed out, it's sh*te of the highest ordure - 'nuff said.
In answer to the fellow country-man who also endured it on Saturday: as a first (and last) time viewer, obviously I've no idea if it got cut. I imagine the scene that the Beeb would (naturally) be most sensitive about is the 'xeno-rape' scene.
What was shown was a slightly confusing collage of bug-eyed alien leering down at parted thighs (as if seen from the viewpoint of the inseminee), intercut with shots of a crooked leg, behind which you could see a clear plastic tube - the alien's penis? - filled with what looked like meatballs floating in green pea soup. Presumably the tube was being used to penetrate and impregnate the alien's prey.
Does that sound much like the uncut version you saw way back when? As I say, it was pretty confusing and felt like it might have been cut, but given the generally shoddy state of the direction and editing it's hard to tell what's the director's original 'vision' and what's been snipped by the censor's scissors.
Pip-pip, The Hutt
Don't expect a high quality sci-fi horror film. With all that was
available to them, the cast and crew dished out an average effort.
There is a decent amount of gore in this film. The killings are well orchestrated, however in the special effects department this film is really lacking.
The film is dull in the beginning. The impregnation sequence leaves a lot to be desired. Just compare how in Alien directed by Ridley Scott, the "face-hugger" sequence is well shot and we see the creature clearly attached to the face of its victim and also as the creature bursts out of the chest.
Here the alien creature transfers its genetic material through a clear plastic or glass tube inserted into the vagina of the victim. A sort of artificial insemination. And this is the topic film pokes fun of.
Full Plot: On a desolate planet, a team of 12 Xeno project scientists are conducting an archaeological excavation to locate remnants of an ancient civilisation. Soon after an underground tomb network is found to contain crystals and wall inscriptions, photographer Dean White (Dominic Jephcott) is engulfed in a sudden rock blast and left incapacitated. Deciphering the alien language in the caves, xenolinguist Mitch (Trevor Thomas) suggests that the civilisation based itself on dualism: the planet orbits a binary star, and a pair of twins appears to have ruled the race that once inhabited it. Medical assistant Sharon (Heather Wright) announces that an energy field surrounds the crystals and proposes that a "chemical intelligence" ordered life on the planet.
A crazed Ricky Williams (David Baxt) is compelled to re-enter the caves when a sample of crystals starts to pulsate and the chemical intelligence exerts its influence through a mark on his arm. Thrown into a grille in a compromised environmental suit, a panicked Gail (Rosalind Lloyd) commits suicide, removing her helmet and freezing to death in the inhospitable atmosphere while attempting to amputate her trapped foot with a chainsaw. Documentation officer Kate Frost (Stephanie Beacham) shoots Ricky with a harpoon gun just as he is about to open both the inner and outer airlock doors and render the air inside the base unbreathable.
After the burial of Ricky and Gail, Mitch and Sandy (Judy Geeson) return to the caves to gather more crystals. A monstrous creature appears and dismembers Mitch before proceeding to rape Sandy. Found distraught, she receives treatment from Sharon and the chief medical officer, Karl (Barry Houghton), who determines that the assault has initiated an accelerated pregnancy in defiance of the regular intravenous injections of contraceptives provided to the women in the team. When further explosions in the tomb network scupper chances of deeper investigation, the surviving members of the team await the arrival of a Xeno rescue shuttle.
The intelligence assumes control of Sandy through a similar mark on the arm. Unhinged, she demonstrates superhuman strength while murdering Barbra (Victoria Tennant). She then proceeds to mutilate Dean and the remains of Mitch, drinking their blood. The rest of the team seek refuge in the Operations Room as Sandy obliterates important hardwareincluding the base transmitterwith explosive charges. When the imbalance in her mind appears to correct itself, Karl, Sharon and Commander Holly McKay (Jennifer Ashley) attempt sedation to spare her unborn offspring. However, Sandy returns to an aggressive state. Holly and Karl are killed in an accident with heat-sealing apparatus, whereupon Sandy disembowels the corpses.
Senior officer Mark (Robin Clarke) contacts Sandy, who is his romantic interest, from the Operations Room to stall for time as Kate and operations chief Gary (Stephen Grives) leave to commandeer chainsaws. The ruse uncovered, Sandy harpoons Gary outside the airlock, breathing the toxic atmosphere to no ill effect as she mauls his flesh. Preparing for a final confrontation, Mark stumbles across Sandy's newborn mutant twins. He entrusts them to Sharon as their mother blasts through the Operations Room door and smashes all the equipment inside, although she has lost her unnatural strength. Crippled from the blast of an explosive charge, Kate is gored to death. In a last stand, Mark strangles and kills his former lover with a ripped-out cable. He returns to Sharon to find one of the twins biting at her gashed neck, before its sibling launches itself at him.
One month later, Xeno Auxiliary Module 047 lands on the planet to investigate the loss of contact with the team. With the base in ruins, the mission records lost and the complement of scientists either murdered or missing, combat marksmen Corin (Kevin O'Shea) and Roy (Robert Pugh) abandon the search for survivors and pilot Jeff (John Segal) radios Xeno control for clearance to return. The final shots reveal that Sandy's children have concealed themselves in a storage compartment onboard the shuttle.
Conclusion: rent it(and watch once) and DON'T BUY it. Bottom line: I've seen better films than this (The Thing 1982 and The Fly 1986 for example).
Yes, indeed, the bloody British have done it again, and I literally mean "bloody". It's a low-budget ripoff of "Alien", one containing plenty of gory holes, limbs and entrails. Although the sets and visual effects are cheap-looking, the screenplay causes its characters to behave foolishly most of the time, and the electronic score may drive you mad, director Warren keeps up a brisk pace to prevent you from becoming bored, while Geeson delivers a pretty chilling performance.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Man, this deliciously vicious early 80's British low-budget "ALIEN" rip-off can't seem to buy a positive comment. Well, luckily I'm here to post the token "where's this fool's head at?" odd man out favorable review for this enjoyably rough'n'nasty sci-fi/horror nugget. This extremely crude (and hence pretty smoking in my severely misguided book) dreck epic par excellence arguably boasts the single most brazen and absurd premise imaginable: Judy Geeson (yes, the same exact Judy Geeson of "To Sir With Love" fame) delivers a bang-up performance in the very thankless part of a luckless arid desert planet explorer who gets raped and impregnated by a foul extraterrestrial monster, which in turn causes her to go utterly bonkers and savagely butcher her fellow researchers. Geeson blows one guy's stomach open with a bulky laser gun, slices up future Steve Martin better half Victoria Tennant with a pair of scissors and snacks on a shrieking Jennifer Ashley, taking time out in between committing these ghastly murders to give painful birth to two slimy and ugly lethal humanoid alien babies in a sickening sequence that's absolutely appalling to behold (naturally, it's one of my favorite moments in the film). Directed with a laudable lack of taste and restraint by Norman J. Warren, with a quick, steady pace, a suitably bleak tone, some pleasingly barbed dialogue ("That would look great on the report," one beleaguered astronaut caustically remarks, "the team terrorized by an expectant mother"), an unusually strong cast, plenty of unflinching in-your-face graphic splatter, and a way funky score by John Scott, "Inseminoid" rates highly as first-rate unapologetic down'n'dirty trash that's not to be missed by hardcore connoisseurs of low-grade sleazy cinema.
On a remote planet,a group of archaeologists have established a base deep inside a network of caves.While out exploring one day,one of the team,Sandy,is abducted by a monstrous alien that forcibly impregnates her.As the alien fetuses grow inside her,Sandy is driven insane by the need for blood to feed her offspring and starts slaughtering her fellow scientists."Inseminoid" is a cheaply made "Alien" clone,but I don't care.It's a pretty good horror film on its own that kept me on the edge of my seat.There is plenty of gore and a little bit of sleaze,so I wasn't disappointed.The script is weak and the acting is average,but "Inseminoid" is fast-paced,twisted and immensely enjoyable.So if you liked "Galaxy of Terror" or "Forbidden World" give this one a look.Just ignore the negative reviews and check it out.7 out of 10.
Inseminoid (AKA: Horror Planet) is directed by Norman J. Warren and
written by Nick and Gloria Maley. It stars Judy Geeson, Robin Clarke,
Jennifer Ashley and Stephanie Beacham. Music is by John Scott and
cinematography by John Metcalfe.
A crew of space scientists come under attack after an alien creature impregnates one of the team, causing her maternal instincts to turn her into a homicidal maniac.
The makers denied it is a cheap knock-off of Ridley Scott's Alien, and in their defence, 20th Century Fox supremo's viewed Inseminoid and had absolutely no problem with it. So? Is it a tacky cash in? Well judge for yourself, but ultimately it's films like this that make you treasure Alien even more; regardless of budget differences.
Inseminoid, great title at least, is hysterically bad. It doesn't make any sense (seriously, the screenplay must have been written in 5 minutes), its cheapness is "not" endearing and the acting is appalling. Add in some awful effects work, costuming care of the decade that time forgot, and the over powering sense of sleaze for gore's sake, and you got one bad movie on your hands.
Is it mindless fun? Well it is funny! When actors like Brit babes Geeson and Beacham take it seriously, the former really throwing herself into the crazed mommy role, then it's hard not to laugh, even more so when the alien glove puppets show up. To be fair to Beacham, she came out and said she did it purely for the money, but the honourable thing to do would have been to wave her fee and distribute it back to the paying punters at the box offices who had to suffer this tripe.
Alien rape, murder bedlam and cannibalism, it shouldn't be funny, but it is. 2/10
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
On a far off planet a team of space explorers open an underground
carven. First off two explores who enter the cave first, were effected
by some unknown origin. One dies and the other goes crazy, and then is
killed by one of his fellow workers. As they struggle to work out
what's going on, a female team member is kidnapped and raped by an
alien, who impregnates her with its alien spawn. When she comes around
and finds she is back in the base, she suddenly turns on her team, by
transforming into a unnaturally strong psychopathic being that lusts
for their blood.
What an inspiring viewing! Ah, actually I'm thinking of something else. "Inseminoid" is my first taste of a Norman. J Warren exploitation film, and I thought it was modest attempt. I heard and read some decent things on this British director's other films such as "Satan's Salve" and "Prey", but honestly this one didn't really blow me away. The version I got is the uncut, uncensored take and these gory moments is what made the film for me. Gee, I can just imagine how tame and weak the cut version must feel, because it relies on its unpleasant and shocking effects to entertained, because the story is well been done before, but better and the acting is reasonably lifeless in giving dud performances. Most of them came across as dead as wood. Though, except for Judy Geeson memorable performance as Sandy, the real victim of all of this. And that weak script is filled leaden dialogue to match that of the dire acting. It's not that I hate it, but from a couple of scenes I saw on the making-of featurette, Norman. J Warren sounds like a pretty interesting fella and who has a good sense of humour, but that didn't entirely eventuate into this film for me. It just felt rather stale, with its stodgy pace and I was waiting for some humour to break up some dry moments, but it just didn't come.
But hey, what am I to expect when really this is low-budget rip-off of Alien, which its main focus is to show us pretty woman and many graphic, violent scenes, that make you feel uncomfortable because they're plain unpleasant. It just makes you shudder, because there's a over abundance of it and sometimes it's not executed in a inventively swift manner, but actually come across as dumb. But there are some well staged moments with a certain profound vibe, the main points have to go to the brutal attack in the caves, the eerie as hell alien rape and going into labour scenes. They were just damn right unnerving, and that was helped a lot by the chilling synthesisers that overwhelmed those moments. They really did kick in! But everything else is rather tensionless and lacked intensity, with most of the action organised is an unbelievable manner. Merely it's the gore in those scenes that provide the thrills. Don't go in hoping for a whole lot of bloody terror from our alien guest, because there isn't much. You don't really get to see the big fella clearly, but though the offspring get a bit of screen time towards the end. It's Sandy and her growing hunger who causes the real devastation! Speaking of the alien/s, there designs look no less but peculiar. What stood was their ugly big heads and the massive eyes. The father alien somewhat reminded me of a caterpillar! I guess that's the budget for you. Another key factor was that I didn't get any real sense of atmosphere, sure there's a couple of scenes that are risible, but for me it wasn't sustained and there was no real feel of dread, or panic.
The plot, screenplay had plenty moments that reminded me of ala "Alien", but that's far from my concerned because is basically filled obvious clichés and a convoluted narrative. Not much is explained on, and if so it's confusing tell what's happening and the characters seem to come and go with little purpose. Sometimes it's just cringe worthy with some stupid actions and dialogue occurring in some ridiculous scenarios. At times it ain't easy to watch! That really goes to that laughably goofy ending. These foolish characters are plain boring, with nothing to like about them. It just got a lot better when they started to dwindle, as I didn't have to listen to these obnoxious people. Look at the names of the cast, who mostly are British and you'll be expecting more than what you got here. Robin Clarke, Jennifer Ashley, Stephanie Beacham, Steven Grives, Victoria Tennant, Barry Houghton and Judy Geeson. Out of those only one stood out, that was Geeson, who gave it her all. Screaming those lungs out and getting up to grisly mischief. While the rest were less animated and paper thin. But what wasn't paper thin was the robust soundtrack, which was filled with 80-style synthesisers that really overpowered some sequences and weren't bad to listen either. Camera-work was steadily achieved with some nice tight nit angles and shots, but too it would be all over the place. Overall stolidly done, especially the lighting composition amongst the caves with it generating a neat hyper colour scheme. The production design was ho hum, bits of it worked but most of it came across as cheap and rather dated. But that's its charm, you could say?
Reading what people have commented on it, I can see why they frown upon it, but I don't share that same thought. Okay yeah, I'll admit it's bad. I found it dull and repetitive number of times, but really something about it stops me from trashing it. Maybe I'm not right in the head? But I did see it no more as a gory, cheesy throwback, with a couple decent stuff in the mix. This experience won't stop from trying to check out more of Warren's work, it actually has enhanced it!
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