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I heard my parents talking about this TV movie that they felt was a little
too violent and scary to have been shown on national TV. According to
it would have been better for cable. That TV movie was 'Something is Out
There'. They had taped it so they could watch some dumb sitcom instead. I
felt a nagging urge to see what it was they were talking
Man were they ever right. Not only was it really gory and freaky to boot, but it was one of the coolest TV films I've ever seen. You've got the mysterious killer mutilating NY residents, the hot chick who claims to be from from outer space, the drunk/loser detective, and one of the nastiest villains to ever grace the small screen.
#1, I was taken for a loop. I thought the killer was jsut an ordinary psycho who loved to eviscerate joggers... but when it turns out to be an psychopathic alien fugitive that can disguise itself as anyone it wants, I was put into a mild state of shock.
#2, For a TV film, the FX are awesome (for the time period). This was before the computer FX revolution, so they look 'real'. The alien villain is actually a very sweet looking puppet that is frighteningly insectiod-like.
#3, The characters are fleshed out completely making the viewer actually care about them. The acting is impressive as well (especially the luscious
#4, Man is this thing sick. I have to give credit to the director, he's got balls. People get ripped apart from the inside out by the alien constantly in this flick. Not only that, but we get some nasty views of the alien's early victims that it was studying, plus some gross after the fact corpses.
In the end, this is probably one of my favorite TV movies... or movies period. Where is this on DVD dammit! It was actually turned into a short lived television series featuring the same characters and actors, but the cool alien killer was nowhere to be found, thus making it pretty worthless.
If it's ever shown on TV again, watch it... you won't regret it!
Its a shame this piece of 80's goodness went virtually unnoticed. You had a very sexy alien, a hard jawed and jaded cop, and a shapeshifting alien all brought together to do battle in Los Angeles. Sure, other movies have had similar plotlines but what set Something is Out There apart from the overall premise, was that the characters had weight to match their looks and agenda. Its not enough that the jaded cop is uninterested of all the grisly murders going on in LA, it turns out that they are caused by one alien trying to assimilate into a lifeform suitable for earth, but he doesn't believe in aliens. Until, he meets Ta'ra who is the sole survivor of her crew, duty bound to stop the alien unwitingly released on Earth. And before that happend she was a simple med tech on board her prison ship, interested in doing her job well, the occasional romantic interlude with a male crew member and catching up on the captured broadcast of "Crime Story". Suddenly their lives intertwine into a life or death battle with the unstoppable. It did well enough to become a series and most of the episodes were really decent, but the demographics just weren't there and most viewers probably were turned off that the hunt to stop the orignal alien never was completed. SciFi channel sometimes airs this series but it deserves better, at least a run on home video if not DVD.
Something is out there (1988) is all about detectives Jack Breslin (Joe
Cortese) and Frank Dileo (George Dzundza) who are investigating a
serial-killer, who slaughters his victims and removes their internal
organs. While in the crime scene, Jack notices the constant presence of
a beautiful young woman, Ta'Ra (Maryam d'Abo). He finds her and is
convinced that she is a doctor from a prison in the outer space. She
explains that the murderer is a powerful alien, who is able to change
his appearance, that escaped from prison, and she is chasing him. They
join forces trying to eliminate the menace to planet Earth.
"Something Is Out There" is a very good sci-fi/horror B-movie, using a similar storyline of "The Hidden" (1987). The story mixes crime, horror, sci-fi and action, and it stars the lovely British Maryam d'Abo.
The movie is fast paced and lots of fun and the effects are very good too.
I give this very entertaining horror 8/10, it's pretty rare movie to find though!
Detectives Jack Breslin (Joe Cortese) and Frank Dileo (George Dzundza)
are investigating a serial-killer, who slaughters his victims and
removes their internal organs. While in the crime scene, Jack notices
the constant presence of a beautiful young woman, Ta'Ra (Maryam d'Abo).
He finds her and is convinced that she is a doctor from a prison in the
outer space. She explains that the murderer is a powerful alien, who is
able to change his appearance, that escaped from prison, and she is
chasing him. They join forces trying to eliminate the menace to planet
Earth. "Something Is Out There" is a good sci-fi B-movie, using a
similar storyline of "The Hidden" (1987). The story mixes crime,
horror, sci-fi and action, and has in the beauty of the British Maryam
d'Abo one of its greatest attraction. There are some good lines, and
the movie is a good entertainment. My vote is six.
Title (Brazil): "Criatura Infernal" ("Infernal Creature")
Recently was on Encore again. Vintage Maryam D'Abo. Why the owners
refuse to release this on DVD given the large cult following I will
never know. Some years ago I suggested another movie on DVD. The studio
didn't think there would ever be a market for it. They have made more
on the DVD than they made in the theaters by several times. (A Kelsey
Something is out there was released in Australia on a rather pathetic VHS tape. This film deserves digital re-mastering and the DVD treatment. This made for NBC mini-series was outstanding. The later series...
The movie could have been better if it had been done as a theatrical release instead of TV. D'Abo is a much better actress than she ever gets credit for.
Whoever needs to get them to release this film for serious collectors.
I remember seeing this mini-series and some of the series episodes that followed. What I remember most about this series overall is that it was the the way most Americans got to see the latest Bond girl (Living Daylights) in a non-Bond role. The downside to that fact was that Maryam was still playing the smart attractive sidekick to a dark-haired rough-edged leading man. Not exactly much of a stretch. I think this is why NBC followed the Nielsen/Arbitron crowd and abandoned its support for the series (not the last time the network would take that course, of course). Considering that both the Sci-Fi Channel and the Movieplex channels have aired this movie/series more than once tells me that there is something that sets this apart from a similar themed show on NBC in the past (...Matthew Starr). Now that even short lived TV shows/TV movies of the recent past are showing up on DVD, maybe this one will show up soon as well.
This 3-hour-long made-for-TV movie is actually a thoroughly entertaining sci-fi/horror hybrid. Two cops are on the trail of a ghastly urban serial killer which turns out to be a villainous alien xenomorph creature. A beautiful human female alien, also stuck on earth, is out to hunt it down. Joseph Cortese is the capable lead and Maryam d'Abo pulls her (sexy) weight alongside him. The pacing of the story is a bit off-balanced at times, but the ride remains consequently entertaining. Along the lines of Jack Sholder's "The Hidden" (1987), though a bit more largely scaled, with some great special effects and vintage creature designs by Rick Baker.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
First the plot: A policeman investigates a mysterious set of serial
killings in which the bodies are attacked, moved a considerable
distance and systematically dissected in less than a minute. His
attention is caught by an attractive blonde (Maryam d'Abo) who turns up
at various murder scenes. Things get weird when he attempts to question
her, for she runs, and when he pursues her, she is remarkably athletic,
and, she shoots at him with a ray gun.
It turns out that the killer is a shape shifting alien criminal with psychic powers, and that she (the blonde) is sole survivor (the medical officer) of the prison ship from which it has escaped, and which is now crippled and in orbit around the Earth. She has come hunting it because it will wipe out the human race.
This has every cliché ever to appear in any science fiction movie: glimpses of a scaly monster lurking in the dark, ray guns, space ships, zombies and gob-smacked humans standing comically in front of alien shuttles going "I don't believe it". Furthermore, it is guilty of that old filmmakers' favourite, the vacuum of space which transmits sound and in which fires burn freely. This is really B grade stuff. But I think it is a good movie. So why do I like it so much?
I like it principally because of Ta'ra (d'Abo's character). This is partly because Maryam d'Abo is absolutely gorgeous, complete with her catsuit and beautiful voice, but more to the point because of the depth of the role she is given and the skill with which she pulls it off. She is alone, until she befriends the policeman, and cut off, and woefully ill-equipped to deal with her foe. Yet she approaches it with good humour, pulling the leg of the incredulous detective (once she has proved her bona-fides) about her alien abilities. Initially, she seems like a normal Earth person, describing the inhabitants of Earth as "a human race". However, gradually, differences emerge. It is these things, and the way they are treated, which give the characters depth.
For example, at one point he discovers she has one particularly extraordinary ability. When she realizes he doesn't share this gift, her response is "And you say I'M not normal!" It hadn't occurred to her that he couldn't do it. These differences cause occasional surprise, humour and, sometimes, exasperation. But she learns to use them to advantage, and when she couples them with her feminine wiles, with a wink and a nod, she can be quite effective.
She doesn't go through the movie as the standard smart-mouthed, sassy, kick-but uber space trooper, blowing everything away and taking no lip, which is what could have ruined this movie. Instead she uses her brains (including her knowledge of bio-science), good humour and charm, and barely resorts to firepower and then only as a last resort. (Her policeman friend does most of the blowing away.) The dialogue works well, and is often original (refer to Ta'ra's opinions on space ship self-destruct systems).
These qualities give the characters depth and, thus, add to the realism and tension.
And the special effects are reasonably good, with the exception of the usual nonsense about what happens in vacuums.
So I give the movie an 8 out of 10.
The subsequent television series wasn't as good. It becomes something of a standard cop programme, with ray guns. And Ta'ra's character hasn't the depth. For example, suddenly she develops an ability to develop super-weapons. Where did that come from in our ship's medical officer? If you were stranded on another planet, how many advanced weapons do you think you could build? I don't think so!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
"Something is Out There" is one of those rare made for commercial TV horror/SciFi movies that works. (Kind-of sort-of a SPOILER up next) It's plot was very similar to "The Hidden" but is different enough to hold its own (Actually, there are dozens of movies with the "aliens walk among us" theme, and I think there could be dozens more.) Unlike most TV movies of the time, this one does have reasonably good special effects. All in all, a good movie, although perhaps a bit lengthy. I rated it a 6 of 10.
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