4.5/10
1,624
34 user 21 critic

Spontaneous Combustion (1990)

A young man finds out that his parents had been used in an atomic-weapons experiment shortly before he was born, and that the results have had some unexpected effects on him.

Director:

Writers:

(story), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Reviews

On Disc

at Amazon

1 nomination. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Night Terrors (1993)
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.2/10 X  

A young girl travels to Cairo to visit her father, and becomes unwillingly involved with a bizarre sadomasochistic cult led by the charismatic Paul Chevalier, who is a descendant of the ... See full summary »

Director: Tobe Hooper
Stars: Robert Englund, Zoe Trilling, Alona Kimhi
The Mangler (1995)
Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4/10 X  

A laundry-folding machine has been possessed by a demon from Hell, causing it to develop homicidal tendencies.

Director: Tobe Hooper
Stars: Robert Englund, Ted Levine, Daniel Matmor
Eggshells (1969)
Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

Experimental allegorical story about a group of hippie students in Austin, Texas, who move into an old big house in the woods. However, something else is there and it's influencing them.

Director: Tobe Hooper
Stars: Ron Barnhart, Pamela Craig, Allen Danziger
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  
Director: Tobe Hooper
Stars: Claire Craft, Helen Leary, Theo Morrison
Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

A boy tries to stop aliens who have taken over his town and are attempting to brainwash its inhabitants.

Director: Tobe Hooper
Stars: Karen Black, Hunter Carson, Timothy Bottoms
Mortuary I (2005)
Horror | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4/10 X  

A family moves to a small town in California where they plan on starting a new life while running a long-abandoned funeral home. The locals fear the place, which is suspected to be on haunted ground.

Director: Tobe Hooper
Stars: Dan Byrd, Denise Crosby, Stephanie Patton
Eaten Alive (1976)
Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

A psychotic redneck who owns a dilapidated hotel in rural East Texas kills various people who upset him or his business, and he feeds their bodies to a large crocodile that he keeps as a pet in the swamp beside his hotel.

Director: Tobe Hooper
Stars: Neville Brand, Mel Ferrer, Carolyn Jones
The Funhouse (1981)
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

Four teenage friends spend the night in a carnival funhouse and are stalked by a deformed man in a Frankenstein mask.

Director: Tobe Hooper
Stars: Elizabeth Berridge, Shawn Carson, Jeanne Austin
The Dark (1979)
Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.2/10 X  

An alien mutilator stalks and kills human prey during the night.

Directors: John 'Bud' Cardos, Tobe Hooper
Stars: William Devane, Cathy Lee Crosby, Richard Jaeckel
Djinn (2013)
Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.4/10 X  

An Emirati couple return home from a trip and discover that their new apartment has been built on a site that is home to some malevolent beings.

Director: Tobe Hooper
Stars: Aiysha Hart, Razane Jammal, Ahd
Comedy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

A radio host is victimized by the cannibal family as a former Texas Marshall hunts them.

Director: Tobe Hooper
Stars: Dennis Hopper, Caroline Williams, Jim Siedow
I'm Dangerous Tonight (TV Movie 1990)
Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.7/10 X  

Ancient mummy of an Aztec priest is discovered. Unfortunately, the priest's cloak is cursed and anyone who wears it becomes a psychopathic killer. A student who turned into a dress and her college professor try to find it and destroy it.

Director: Tobe Hooper
Stars: Mädchen Amick, Corey Parker, Daisy Hall
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Sam
Cynthia Bain ...
...
...
...
Nina
...
Rachel
...
Springer
Michael Keys Hall ...
Dr. Cagney
...
General
...
Lt. General
...
Dr. Persons
...
Peggy Bell
Brian Bremer ...
Brian Bell
Frank Whiteman ...
...
Student Director
Edit

Storyline

A young man finds out that his parents had been used in an atomic-weapons experiment shortly before he was born, and that the results have had some unexpected effects on him.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

23 February 1990 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Combustión espontánea  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Budget:

$5,500,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (cut)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Shot in eight weeks. See more »

Goofs

The position of the syringe stuck in Lisa, changes. See more »

Connections

Featured in Cinemassacre's Monster Madness: The Terror (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

HOW COULD I'VE KNOWN
Written and Performed by The Word
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Loses Its Way
12 November 2007 | by (Manitoba, Canada) – See all my reviews

It's not so much that SPONTANEOUS COMBUSTION had little potential. Indeed the under-explored title phenomenon is quite intriguing and, for at least the opening half, this Tobe Hooper effort promises to entertain in a way only cheesy '90s horror can. But somewhere between Brad Dourif's on-again-off-again performance and the overly intricate plot, this would-be thriller loses its way.

Dourif, featured here before his built-in horror fan base had accumulated, is average guy Sam. Of course average guys don't stay average for long in horror movies, so after a well-done origin outline, we see Sam's various body parts start to ignite. Soon he's igniting other people, too, much to the consternation of gal pal Lisa, played unmemorably by Cynthia Bain.

While the title of the film implies a fire-happy monster on the loose, director Hooper opted to make Sam an unwilling killer. This approach gives the film an added human depth it would otherwise lack, but it also prevents us from truly fearing the human flamethrower. We're left wondering whether this would have worked better as a straight-up villain-versus-everyone effort ala NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET.

SPONTANEOUS COMBUSTION is a pretty nominal effort when all is said and done. It will carry added appeal for Dourif's fans and those who can't get enough 1990s horror, be it good, bad or in between, but only on a slow night.


5 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?