The Terror Within (1989) Poster

User Reviews

Review this title
25 Reviews
Sort by:
Filter by Rating:
4/10
Fancy a good time?
lost-in-limbo22 November 2009
A Roger Corman quickly produced cheapie that wears its influences proudly, as many elements (character descriptions to lifted sequence ideas) just reek of Ridley Scott's 1979 feature ''Alien''. However this systematic fodder remains enjoyable (for most part, despite its often lumpy pacing) on a very b-grade level, as it doesn't pretend to be anything else than cheap, exploitative fun. Instead of being set in space like that classic, the action takes place in a post-apocalyptic setting due to a chemically induced plague wiping out the majority of the earth's population. Nevertheless a small bunch of scientists are holding up in an underground laboratory in the bone-dry desert, but their existence is soon threatened by genetic mutations known as gargoyles. These beasties are quite randy too, because at nearly every opportunity they go out of their way to impregnate the women. What the story lacks in imagination (as it does draw upon a predictable amalgam) and coherence, it makes up for in durable performances (a likable Andrew Stevens, George Kennedy, John Lafayette, Starr Andreeff and Terri Treas all keeping it straight) and gruesomely tacky splatter (even though it doesn't have much impact in engineering the deaths and tawdry jolts). Being rough and crude, it's kind of similar in style / budget to the likes of ''Creepazoids'' and "Parasite". The creatures are kept off screen during the first half, to only be heard and getting some POV shots. Nonetheless we do get to see them, and it's a fair looking monster design of a man in a rubber suit. Everything looks low-rent, which is cemented by its compact setting and stuffily framed direction but still lingering within is a grim atmosphere. The music score tagged to the project isn't too bad either, being high-strung but ominously pitched. Mechanically uninspired, but gruellingly cheesy entertainment.
7 out of 8 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
6/10
Low budget ALIEN clone
macabro35720 October 2003
But what else would expect from the likes of Roger Corman?

Chemical warfare experiment kills of most of the world's population. There are a few 'normal' people left like our protagonists (Andrew Stevens, George Kennedy, Teri Treas, etc..) and then there are the gargoyle-like creatures who impregnate female humans in order to procreate their own kind.

See, Andrew Stevens & Co. are left inside an underground lab that spared them from the effects of the plague, so in one of their reconnaissance patrols out in the desert, they bring back a wounded human female (Yvonne Saa) to the complex in order to treat her. When they find out is that she is pregnant and that she was impregnated by one of the monsters, they decide to do an abortion. But just as they're about ready to perform the procedure, the little gargoyle pops out of her stomach ALIEN-style and escapes into one of the complex's air vents. It's an ok scene but we've all seen it before.

Stevens & Co. then spend the rest of the movie trying to hunt down the creature as they are slowly being killed off one-by-one. The best scene is towards the end of the film when one of the gargoyles is trapped in the ventilation shaft and is cut up, sliced and diced by the fan blades. Pretty good although I wish it were more graphic.

It looks like Corman & Co. spent a little bit of money on the set design but don't expect any of the fanciest gizmos from STAR WARS or any of the ALIEN sequels. At least the sets don't look too much like cardboard.

Released on DVD the same time as THE NEST (Teri Treas appears in both), you could do a lot worse on a Saturday night. You could also do a lot better, too.

6 out of 10
7 out of 8 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
the story is old, but the effects are shockingly grotesque
silentgpaleo21 June 2000
Every once in a while, Roger Corman produces something that, within its genre, is worth seeing. Enter THE TERROR WITHIN, one of the better ALIEN rip-offs that Corman has made(next ot GALAXY OF TERROR, of course).

The story is old, and to discuss it would just waste space, and not surprise anyone. What is surprising is the excessive amount of gore. There are neat creatures, buckets of blood, and tons of entrails. This is wholesale gore, and there is a little bit(very little) suspense as well.

For a post-apocalyptic slant on ALIEN, this one isn't bad.
9 out of 12 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
Fun Monster Mash with Gore
Michael_Elliott12 October 2012
The Terror Within (1989)

*** (out of 4)

Yet another ALIEN clone from producer Roger Corman. This one here takes place in a post-apocalypse world where a group of survivors live safely in a shelter. Their good lifestyle takes a turn for the worse when a large monsters gets inside and starts a killing rampage. THE TERROR WITHIN is in no way, shape or form an original movie but fans of mindless monster movies should really enjoy it as we get a fun cast, a great monster, several gory death scenes and an all around good time. The film not only has elements of ALIEN but we also gets bits and pieces taken from THE THING and also several very important "moments" from HUMANOIDS FROM THE DEEP. It's clear the goal of this film was to deliver an old-fashioned monster movie that you'd see at the drive-in in the 1950s but they took it a step further by adding in the gore and nudity that you'd expect to see in an exploitation film from this era. I think the most surprising thing is that a monster movie like this could get made and released in 1989 because this type of film pretty much died out at the start of the decade when slashers arrived on the scene. The cast includes a fun lead performance from the one and only Andrew Stevens and we get nice support from Starr Andreeff, John Lafayette and Oscar-winner George Kennedy who was square in the middle of his exploitation days. Another major plus is the wonderful costume design of the monster. The monster is without question one of the most memorable of the decade and the amount of detail in everything from his face to the body is just pretty remarkable and especially when you consider the budget. The film also offers up some pretty violent death scenes with a lot more blood than you were typically seeing in horror films during this period thanks to the MPAA. There's a delivery sequence that certainly goes over the top. THE TERROR WITHIN isn't a classic but I think it's a very good monster movie that has a lot going for it.
3 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
6/10
The Terror Within
Scarecrow-8813 December 2007
Warning: Spoilers
Well if you are going to make a no-budget B-movie it is nice to have a cast committed to their roles, willing to put forth decent performances. It also never hurts to have the caliber of a go-to character actor like George Kennedy in the cast, either.

The integrity of an underground installation is compromised when abnormal humans (nicknamed "gargoyles") who seemed to have developed into monsters due to radioactive fallout thanks to war that wiped out 99% of mankind, find out their entrance (a shack in the middle of the Mojave desert). Oh, but that really isn't the problem for the small Mojave Lab crew holed up in the installation. Two of the members (the handsome Andrew Stevens and cherubic Starr Andreeff) find a female human survivor of the plague, bring her to the lab, and it is soon discovered that she is pregnant. The fetus is actually a monster, a victim of the plague, abnormal because of the radioactive effects of the outside atmosphere (it is also possible she was raped by one of the gargoyles). During a surgical removal operation, the monster escapes into the ventilation shaft, leaving the crew concerned about their safety because its growth rate is also abnormal. Multi-leveled, the installation has several places to hide and it will be up to a coordinated, intricately planned hunt for the creature if the crew is to find and kill it. Sound familiar?

Even after ten years, the inspiration of Alien continues to reverberate into the later 80s (and 90s). The Terror Within has a monster fetus "exit" very similar to the infamous chest bursting scene, this time fleeing from the surgical stomach cut by the installation's chief medical officer. Aimed with a laser (its use is limited to four shots) and a blow torch (yes, quite similar to Alien, also), the weaponry at their disposal requires getting close to the monster. Soon, the movie becomes a "man in rubber suit" affair with Stevens and company in pursuit of the seemingly indestructible monster that walks upright but has a protruding face and hands with claws that rip flesh in one strike. Several are downed in quick order due to neck flesh wounds by the creature's aforementioned claws. The most tragic scene is what happens to Andreeff, who rushes to help her beloved Stevens (they are lovers in the movie), when she is captured and sexually molested by the creature on the rampage. Andreeff, I thought, was really good during her limited contribution to the film, and her plight/fate truly saddened me. She has an almost angelic quality to her. Terri Treas is also quite good as the doctor who must join forces with Stevens after the monster has wiped out most of the crew and figure out some way to kill the damned thing on the loose. Sealing the ventilation ducts is one option, clever use of high frequency sound inspired by Stevens' dog whistle, and survival techniques right out of Rambo 101 are also options tried by Stevens and Treas, hoping that something might stop it from adding them to its death list. While it's an obvious rubber suit, I thought the designers done a good job on making the creature as ugly and ferocious as possible. And those monster fetus designs and neck flesh wounds are properly grotesque. I admit that I enjoy Alien, Robocop, and Terminator rip-offs, and "The Terror Within" was better than I expected. Sure, the sets and props, even the rubber suited monster, are meager, but given the budget Thierry Notz had to work with, I found "The Terror Within" rather surprisingly exciting and fun. Notz hasn't had a lucrative directorial career, but I did enjoy his Watchers II. Stevens, I thought, actually doesn't make too bad a hero and has the looks for the role. Treas gets to be heroine at times and come to Stevens' rescue even, so I imagine she had a blast in her role (she has an inspired line, "I'm a doctor, not an engineer."). An obvious criticism will be that this film doesn't have one original idea, but I never felt it was designed to be anything more than a cash-in sci-fi actioner mimicking other popular flicks from the past.
4 out of 7 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
3/10
Premature monster-ejaculation!
Coventry26 November 2007
Warning: Spoilers
Okay, you've heard about "so-bad-it's-good" movies before, but this demented little thing plays in an entirely different league. "The Terror Within" is so bad it's ….really, truly freaking abysmally bad! It's a cheesy and minimally plotted 80's earthbound "Alien" imitation and it's produced by Roger Corman, so that ought to give you an immediate idea about the overall quality of this production. You may prepare yourself for the worst, and then still "The Terror Within" will surpass your most cautious expectations. This is one of them films that gives you absolutely no feedback or background about anything that happens before, during and after the main events in the plot. The script even fails to inform what year the events take place in, what kind of company the 6 protagonists work for or how the breed of gargoyles developed itself so rapidly. All we know is that some kind of "accident" wiped out 99% of the earth's population and that the few remaining survivors on the surface are continuously threatened by gargoyle-creatures. Six people in a subterranean laboratory, led by the poor & desperate-for-work George Kennedy, attempt to save what's left of humanity, but they clearly don't have a clue what they're up against. Unaware of the fact that the gargoyles mate with regular females, they take a pregnant girl into their lair and numbly observe how she gives birth (in a sequence shamelessly copied from Ridley Scott's milestone) to a ravenous and fast-growing monster. Now they're all trapped underneath the earth, with two remaining female employees as potential monster-mommies. Admittedly, the plot description for "The Terror Within" doesn't sound half as bad as initially feared, but honestly the film is stuffed with plot-holes the size of the Grand Canyon, laughably inane dialogs, poor acting performances and tiny stupid oddities that are almost too amusing for words. Here's a brief listing of all the crazy stuff occurring in this film (extra spoiler warning).

1)The gargoyles may be tall and strong, but apparently they're quite terrible in the sack. The monster only was a few nanoseconds alone with the girl, but it clearly was more than enough to impregnate her. 2)Actually, the monsters look a bit like an over-sized version of Duckman. 3)The hero (Andrew Stevens) is obviously more upset when his dog gets injured than when his black colleague and even his girlfriend get torn to pieces. 4) Presumably the film is set in the future, but technology appears to have taken a huge step backwards. The characters operate the largest walkie-talkies you've ever seen and the only exit out the subterranean lab is through a ramshackle shed. 5) At a certain point, the remaining survivors try to attack the creature by blowing on a dog whistle. I guess their next move would have been to throw a banana peel in front of its feet. 6)The film probably just took a few days to shoot; still I think George Kennedy had other, more urgent places to go to. Halfway the story his character just vanishes after an idiotic kamikaze run into the creature. Still, you don't actually see him die so you expect him to return at some point. Guess again.

Strangely enough, and despite the rather cheesy & tacky monster designs, the killings are pleasingly gruesome and blood-soaked. The aforementioned birth-sequence may be very unoriginal; at least it's suitably repulsive and even mildly shocking. The finale is effective as well, since the gargoyle meets his death in a rather nasty fashion. As if you couldn't guess yourself, "The Terror Within" is an awfully crappy 80's cheeseball, definitely worthy of the Roger Corman label. It could be considered "entertaining", but you'd have to be in the right mood.
5 out of 10 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
3/10
Totally rips off Alien
davis200015 November 2006
Did the makers get sued by Ridley Scott or the production company behind Alien? It's impossible to spoil this movie but I hate to mention the many times it blatantly rips-off Alien, a far superior film. Maybe it was done as a kind of tribute, either that or it was done with contempt. They duplicate dialogue, plot lines and weapons/tactics to the point it's ridiculous. They even have a 'chest-burster', except it's a 'fetus' that bursts from the mother's belly. Even the banter between the crew is directly from Alien, with very minor changes. The acting is vastly inferior, along with effects and sets, I'm sure I've seen the same rubber suited creature in at least one other low-budget film.

Oh, sorry, I did notice one major difference. Instead of a cat that gets in the way of the hunt, it's a dog. This was one of the few times I actively cheered for the 'alien' to devour all the crew members (and hopefully the producer and director).
5 out of 10 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
8/10
enjoyable film
farhan_jia15 March 2002
It is a good and enjoyable film.not the best or great of the lot but still good.the actresses are pretty good but alas none had a long career,which is a curse for actresses working in such B-movies,especially terri treas i just loved her in this movie.but it is good anyway.p.s check out alien screw sue scene.
6 out of 14 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
3/10
It's Not That Great
RottenPop-Sid24 July 2016
The acting is poor and the story is just as inspired. It's crazy to sit back sometimes and just see how much they ripped off other movies. And not just good movies either. B-Movies. Schlock films. It has it's moments, sure. It's definitely a midnight creature feature. However, it sacrifices good old fashioned exploitation for just lazy film-making. Can you blame it? Everyone has to get paid somehow and these movies were being pressed out a lot.

A few moments into this picture and you can start to see the low-budget sleaze oozing through the cracks. The jokes and innuendos are all reminiscent of a Corman Picture. The corner-cutting in editing and sub- par audio are all present too. Not to say that it isn't entertaining. Movies like this usually are. This just isn't a movie that's fit for everyone. You have to be in the mood.
2 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
6/10
Getting Pregnant in the Future is Dangerous
gavin69425 October 2012
It is the post-apocalyptic age, and the world has been changed by "the accident," a chemical warfare experiment gone awry...

Why is George Kennedy in this? As the only "name" actor, did he lend some sort of publicity to this film? Or was he just that washed up that he had to start doing cheesy horror and science fiction flicks? This could hardly be called the highlight of his career.

Lots of horror films exist about a post-apocalyptic future (though today they all seem to have zombies) and lots of horror films exist about a strange pregnancy. Not many combine the two themes. This one does. Now, you could say it is a science fiction film more than a horror film (and you could make a good argument). You may even argue that this is heavily influenced by "Alien". On that, you would have to argue a little more (but maybe not a lot, as they even name-drop the film).

Overall, an okay picture... some really cheesy effects at times (the pregnant belly looks pretty bad), but maybe you like cheese. I like cheese. Heck, I live in Wisconsin -- half my diet is cheese.
2 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
8/10
A cheesy good time
slayrrr66621 July 2007
Warning: Spoilers
"The Terror Within" is an entertainingly cheesy creature feature.

**SPOILERS**

On a research mission, Hal, (George Kennedy) David, (Andrew Stevens) Sue, (Starr Andreeff) Andre, (John Lafayette) Linda, (Terri Treas) and Neil, (Tommy Hinkley) begin worrying that their mission should be concluded. Believing that the gargoyles around pose no real threat to them, they find young Karen, (Yvonne Saa) sole survivor of a massacre, alone in the wilderness and bring her back to them with safety. Trying to determine how she survived the plague-ridden countryside, the eventual discovery of her abnormal pregnancy is made. During the abortion attempt, the fetus produces a monster that wreaks havoc through the military base. Determining the reason behind it's attacks, the team scours the base for the creature and launches a plan to get rid of it before it is able to kill off the entire crew one-by-one.

The Good News: While not a great film, this one here is pretty decent. One of it's inherent pluses is that it manages to evoke a really campy attitude towards itself. There's no sense of it every really being taken seriously, especially not with the creature present or it's blatant use of so many copied scenes in it's plot. The monster itself is the biggest one, as it's got a great design to it that only manages to provoke giggles through the fact that it's made up of a badly-done suit. The reptilian facial features, crocodilian jaws, bony scalp and icy stare give it a great look that may have come off fairly well if done right, and there is moments where it does look intimidating. The film does move at a pretty nice pace, keeping it between one encounter with the creature at a time and one significant discovery until it's done capitalizing on the previous one. This really makes it seem like there's no real down-time at all, and by making the creatures' appearance in the film really early works wonders. This allows for the second half to be a series of showdowns, making their action-packed exploits all the easier to sit through. The initial appearance of the creature is the real highlight, coming through in a really gory, bloody way that looks quite gruesome and shocking. It's hard not to be impressed by that scene, even though it's blatantly taken from another film. There's even some more gore thrown in with it's few kills, with some exceedingly graphic throat slashings, a couple of stomachs ripped open to various degrees in interior-organ-display, scratches along the face and chest and more as well, leaving this one nice and bloody when it wants to be. This also deserves the praise of keeping the creature off camera until well into the film, as the beginning stalking scenes are done through the creature's POV, and this leads into some pretty nice scenes. Overall, this one wasn't all that bad as it could've been.

The Bad News: This one here didn't have a whole lot of failings, but they were visible. The biggest flaw in the film is the fact that the film decides to liberally steal from other sources. The basic premise of the film, several of it's key action and plot-point set-pieces are taken from one singular movie, the creatures' actions are the exact same as another film, and there's a whole series of scenes that come off as being featured in a thousand individual scenes themselves. All of these five the film an unmistakable sense of repeated affairs when nearly every scene is from another film. That makes the film's scenes stand out more, as it's going to be more noticeable that's where they're coming from. It's quite hard to see these scenes as anything but that, leading many to become instantly dismissed due to the outright stealing that they use. The other major flaw is that simply, the creature looks terrible. The basic design is great, but there's the fact that it's just a badly-made suit for it's scenes. This is quite evident, as it looks way to fake to be anything else but a cheaply-done monster. It's way to humanoid, sports not a whole lot of detailing in major areas that need it, and just simply screams fake. These here are the main problems in the film.

The Final Verdict: With a load of cheesy charm, this one here does include some obvious flaws mixed in with it as well. Lovers of cheesy creature features should owe it to themselves to give it a shot, while those with more discriminating tastes will find the negatives more than outweigh the good parts.

Rated R: Graphic Violence, Graphic Language, Brief Nudity and mention of a rape
2 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
4/10
Poor George Kennedy
BandSAboutMovies27 September 2019
Warning: Spoilers
There's a subset of maniacs who want to see movies where women are impregnated by aliens and give messy and brutal birth to them. Trust me, there's no other way Inseminoid and Galaxy of Terror would all come up with the same concept if there wasn't a willing audience for this sort of thing.

Now you can add The Terror Within, a movie that doesn't just have alien assault - well, mutant in this case - but bloody births and abortions, too. It's basically a family night film ready to entertain one and all.

After the end of the world, the human survivors battle what they call gargoyles, which are really mutant humans. The few normal people left alive are looking for a cure and are working at labs, like the ones in Mojave and Rocky Mountain.

An injured girl named Karen is brought back to civilization, but she quickly gives birth to the spawn of one of these creatures. Think Alien - as this movie quickly moves to rip that off, a switcheroo when you were expecting Mad Max.

If I've learned anything from my lifetime of watching 1980's VHS movies, its that George Kennedy was married three times - twice to the same woman - and had six kids. At the age of 71, he also adopted one of his grandchildren as his daughter so that he and his fourth wife could legally raise her. I'm telling you these facts to explain why I think George never turned down a role. Seriously, he suffers through some of the worst films ever - Uninvited, Wacko, Deathship, The Concorde ... Airport '79 and so many more - yet he does it all with a quiet grace. Even when a haunted ghost ship sprays sewage right into his mouth in the aforementioned Deathship, I get the idea he's thinking, "Do it for my grandkids. Do it for my grandkids."

Former Miss Teen Hamilton Starr Andreeff plays the victim of one of these beasts. Terri Treas, who was Newcomer Cathy Frankel on the Alien Nation TV series, also appears. And for the ladies, there's Andrew Stevens, who beyond being the son of Stella Stevens is also the star of all of the many Night Eyes films.

This movie becomes an abortion debate, as one of the characters is pregnant, either by a mutant or her human lover. Either way, she overdoses on drugs to prevent what happens next. Trust me, this is the least nuanced debate on the subject ever, as most abortion-related movies don't star clawed mutants that can't be killed by flamethrowers yet are susceptible to dog whistles.
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
6/10
"Gargoyles Shmargoyles!"...
azathothpwiggins13 August 2019
THE TERROR WITHIN is another in the seemingly endless series of ALIEN knock offs. This time, instead of outer space, the action takes place in a desert facility, deep under ground. It seems that a cataclysmic plague has wiped out 90% of the Earth's population, leaving a small team of survivors to figure things out. Creatures known only as "gargoyles" now roam the wasteland, seeking out warmblooded prey. Not surprisingly, one of these monsters gains access to the facility, in an... unusual, yet familiar way. Sort of "Trojan horse" style. Needless to say, bloody mayhem commences. One of the more serious entries in the "not-quite-ALIEN-but-kind-of" sub-genre, TTW features a similar hunt through the facility, while the mutant moves through the air shafts. Unlike other such movies, the rubber monster is shown quite a bit, and isn't a total embarrassment, though close examination reveals its absurdity. The cast die off in predictable order, leaving the most heroic for the final conflict. The takeaway? Not a bad way to spend an otherwise dull evening...
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
3/10
On Earth, Everyone Can Get You Pregnant.
thesar-222 March 2019
Literally, there is very little to say other than this is a 92% Alien/Aliens rip-off, just here and not in space. Unfortunately, the creature looks bad - though not the worst I've seen. Sad for everyone involved as they must've known that this was blatant theft.
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
7/10
Act scared.
gpeltz3 August 2017
Warning: Spoilers
I am taking about "The Terror Within, 1989, A Roger Corman Production. Spoiler Alert. I will be talking about the plot, This movie has the iconic George Kennedy as the senior lead. A role well suited to the veteran Sci Fi ace. Here he leads a scientific exploration group in a post apocalyptic world. Along for the ride are the usual staff: From the grunt workers to the top. The cast,:Andrew Stevens as David, Starr Andreeff as Sue, Terri Treas as Linda, and a handful of others, go through their actions in earnest, Imagining themselves, I suppose, in a bigger budget production, where they are not terrorized by a guy in a rubber suit. Lord they do try,

The picture looks good, all production values on the mark, the writers have a tendency to repeat sequences, things are done in pairs, search the lower decks, " is the baby human?" let's split up" Don't leave the control room, The flaws are breath taking,

The plot takes a "Ten Little Indian" turn by midpoint, I am sorry, so sue me, but the monster on the soundtrack reminded me of the great Supy Sales's, off stage pet, "Black Tooth" Blarh ! So the crew is wiped out by reason of stupidity, The rubber guy got them and they did not even shoot their weapons or blow their whistles, All very entertaining, Take the kids, they won't get the "pregnant part" anyway. Real popcorn thrower. I give it Three out of Five "short of a hoot." Stars
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
5/10
Cheezy
fgholguiniii9 August 2013
Warning: Spoilers
George Kennedy is a great well known actor with lots of films to his credit he worked along the greats like John Wayne, Henry Fonda, Burt Lancaster, Lee Marvin and Jimmy Stewart. So it was sad to see him running around in a Post Apocalypse Movie with a laser gun that looked like it was made from PVC pipe from Lowes or Home Depot. The Laser gun looked like something my kids put together when their playing army in the back yard. Of course with all the cast George Kennedy was the movie he must have done it because the director or producer was his brother in-law or something. The Gargoyles were not believable at all I tried to get into the movie the explosions were awesome the story was decent the acting was alright the actors props sucked who ever they paid they need to get their money back. I gave it a 5 only out of respect for Mr. Kennedy.
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
6/10
Familiar stuff.
Hey_Sweden24 March 2013
Warning: Spoilers
"The Terror Within" is adequate sci-fi / horror, no more and no less. Still, it's about as good as a low budget Roger Corman knockoff could be; it's reasonably well produced (by Corman himself) and directed if mostly predictable and routine stuff.

It takes place in a future world where most of humanity has been decimated by a chemical experiment that got out of control. But the people of the deep underground scientific base Mojave Station were able to administer themselves an antidote, and now they spend their time foraging for supplies and looking for other survivors. When members of their team encounter a crazed young woman (Yvonne Saa), they find that she's pregnant - but not with any human child. The resulting "gargoyle" that emerges when they try to abort it then proceeds to slaughter the hapless crew one schmuck at a time.

To Cormans' credit, the sets look decent, and also giving the look of the movie some degree of quality is the work of cinematographer Rohn Schmidt, who's gone on to big things such as the feature film "The Mist" and the TV series 'The Walking Dead'. Rick Conrads' music is actually quite good while the creature effects by Dean Jones prove to be adequate. (In an interesting development, the monsters have super sensitive hearing, akin to that of dogs). However, the movie does so much cloning of "Alien" as to be somewhat groan inducing, right down to its creation of two comic relief characters (played by John Lafayette and Tommy Hinkley) clearly patterned after Parker and Brett from the '79 film. It manages to create some suspense, and come up with a somewhat cathartic finale.

A committed B movie cast plays this as well as they can, with Oscar winner George Kennedy lending some credibility to the proceedings. Andrew Stevens (who went on to direct "The Terror Within II") is likable enough, as are lovely ladies Starr Andreeff and Terri Treas. Lafayette and Hinkley are able to generate some laughs, while both Saa and Andreeff supply any eye candy the viewer could want.

If you can't get enough of this kind of thing, "The Terror Within" is certainly watchable if not inspired. As has already been said in other reviews, yes, you can do better, but you can also definitely do worse.

Six out of 10.
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
8/10
So good it's bad - buy it if you like those kinds of movies
wiserender29 May 2012
Warning: Spoilers
The Terror Within has to be the most egregious and campy Alien rip-off of them all. The film takes place on Earth in an underground facility called the "Mojave Lab." The crew's mission is to exit the lab and explore the Earth's surface searching for survivors in a future where 99 percent of the human population died off from a virus that they now now have a cure for.

In the film's opening two crew members are attached by some vicious mutant creatures they call Gargoyles. But in true low budget fashion we do not see the attack we hear it as the crew members do in a control room. The guy being mulled takes the time to cry out "Jesus Gargoyles." And they are referred to as Gargoyles many times as if to make it abundantly clear they are not Aliens, aka we're not going to get sued.

The following are what The Terror Within and Alien have in common:

They bring in someone from outside that is the host for the Alie- um, I mean Gargoyle to eventually run around and reek havoc inside their compound.

The creature busts out of its host the same way. The instant the thing is seen lunging out of its host they resort to a cut away of our hero "David" played by Andrew Stevens looking on from a observation room and exclaims "Oh my God he's in the air vent." They clearly could not show any of that with the special effects set up they had, so they tell us.

It was no surprise the creature retreated to the air vent. A fair share of the action takes place inside the air vents, just like in the Ridley Scott film.

Two moonshine swigging crew members are modeled off a pair of characters who are friends and comic relief from Alien. This was so clear to the crew that the costume designer on Terror dressed the "Neil" character played by Tommy Hinkley with a Hawaiian shirt almost identical to the one Harry Dean Stanton wore as "Brett" in Alien.

The over all look and tone the film is going for is clearly inspired by it's high budget predecessor. Even some of weapons the crew uses are the same.

The unfortunate thing is the first 34 minutes of The Terror Within is uneventful and does not set up anything that you really need to know in order to understand the film.

George Kennedy, who was "Hal" the leader of the crew and the other actors gave it their all. They did not have much to work with, the character work was just not there in the script.

HOW THEY FELL SHORT:

The Gargoyle is an actor in a full body suit and a bulky head piece that only looked good in extreme close ups or in the shadows. (They were aware of this when they made the trailer for the film.)

The dialogue is too on the nose and with little use.

The "David" character spends the second half of the film armed with a bow and arrow gun, which is never used. The prop was just there, I guess they though he looked good holding it.

The best of all is the flame thrower that "Andre" lugs around with him. This is the least practical flame thrower ever conceived. Instead of strapping the fuel tank to the actor, he wheels it around on a hand truck. A HAND TRUCK, you know those carts we use to move furniture.

During the opening scene Hal ask David, the owner of a dog Butch to "keep him under control." Then right on cue in comes Butch, the most docile and well trained dog on the planet. They kept this exchange despite casting a dog that makes it laughable.

Lastly, the most entertaining sequence in The Terror Within also become the most over the top and ridiculous. There intention was clear, create suspense and have a proper reveal for when the Gargoyle is finally seen. When Andre is attacked by the Gargoyle they assemble a fun series of shots but it ends up making him look like he's standing there for a total of eight seconds waiting to be killed.

David realizes the sound of a dog whistle is the Gargoyles only weakness it debilitates him, so they make a tape of it to play back over the speakers so he can hunt it down. The tape breaks just as the Gargoyle starts attacking him. The next seven minutes he is crippled, crawling around and doing everything except simply sounding the dog whistle he has hanging from his neck the whole time.

In Closing

It's goofs like this that lend to the overall charm of the film. In an attempt to duplicate a space epic like Alien on a budget estimated to be the cost of a new sports car, the film makers of The Terror Within have produced a low rent romp that is SO BAD IT'S GOOD.

Beside the slow start, the film is oddly entertaining. They made a sequel in 1991 so the film must have been profitable.

The Shout Factory DVD packages this film along with Dead Space (1990), another Corman produced Alien coin-up.

There is really only one special feature on the DVD, a Feature Commentary by Fred Gallo the Director of Dead Space. If you are an aspiring filmmaker or enjoy informative and entertaining commentaries, this is a must own.
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
6/10
The dog's name is Butch, Butch Stevens!
Aaron137518 November 2010
Warning: Spoilers
Roger Corman oftentimes would use a big budget film as a template for his B movie. Jaws was one of the films he would do, but the film that seemed to bring out some of his more entertaining films during the 70's, 80's and 90's. This one had its moments, but not as good as "Galaxy of Terror" and "Forbidden World". It has some good effects, some good deaths and a decent enough for a plot like this. The main problem is the pacing. One minute everyone is alive, the next we are quickly down to the last two! There are also problems with the plot as there are several things in it that kind of do not work. The cast is okay, a lot better than a film with a similar theme, "Xtro 2". In that one we are stuck with a lead in Jan-Michael Vincent who is seemingly drunk! This one features George Kennedy who appears not to want to be in the film, but at least he does not slur his words like Vincent did!

The story has the world's population mostly wiped out by some sort of plague. In this world, strange monsters the characters refer to as gargoyles...why are said beasts roaming the world now? Don't ask me, I don't have a clue. There really is no explanation as to why these things exist. Well, there are people at an underground facility that is kind of studying the things, or finding a cure or something...not sure on this either, but two of them are topside trying to find food and stuff and are killed by something. A man, along with his dog, Butch...Butch Stevens go to see what happened along with this girl and find them dead and find what appears to be a small human colony that was living in a cave. They locate a survivor and bring her back to the facility, but she turns out to be pregnant and it turns out to be a monster and thus it begins to attack the members of the facility! Thus, Butch Stevens and his buddy try to fight off said beast and try to survive the terrible onslaught!

One of the main problems I found with this film is the pacing. They have like six main cast members, but as soon as the monster takes out one of them, the others are taken out within a span of ten minutes and we are done to the final two people and watching one get thrown around by the monster just like in the worse film, "Creepazoids". George's death is rather funny though as he blasts the monster four times with his 'laser' then rushes the beast most likely to expel himself from the film sooner! Another problem is the plot...there are portions that do not make any sense. Like, why they are so desperate for food? There is not that many of them and the facility they are in is four levels, didn't anyone think of heavily stocking it with food? Also, it is not like there was a nuclear war, there are animals aplenty outside. There is also the strange lack of weapons. The main guy has a crossbow, which considering the effectiveness is more trouble carrying around than it is worth. When the monster attacks they have to rig weapons together, once again, four levels, no one thought to bring anything with a bit of punch to it? I mean, there are evil gargoyles taking over the world and no one brought an assault shotgun or machine gun?

So, the film is not bad and is enjoyable for the most part. They really needed to spread the deaths of the team a bit more as one of the reasons one watches a film like this is to see the deaths, so when you have them so close together it kind of makes the last portion of the film a bit more bland than it would have been. Still, there was a good monster exploding from belly scene and a cool scene with a fan too! Of course, even with all the shortcomings one will enjoy Butch Stevens performance!
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
8/10
Enjoyable sci-fi/horror creature feature
Woodyanders16 November 2010
Warning: Spoilers
A handful of folks hole up in an underground laboratory in a remote desert region after a plague wipes out most of mankind. Trouble ensues when a pregnant survivor gives birth to a vicious predatory mutant (Jack Valan in a gnarly rubber suit) who quickly grows to adult size and goes on a murderous rampage. Director Thierry Notz, working from a familiar, but serviceable script by Robert McKelvey (it's basically your umpteenth "Alien" rehash), does a capable job of creating and sustaining a grimly serious tone throughout, milks a considerable amount of claustrophobic suspense from the subterranean setting, delivers a handy helping of nasty gore, and stages the tense and thrilling climax with real skill and verve. This film starts out a bit too slow, but fortunately kicks into high gear and really starts cracking once the monster gets loose. The sound acting by the sturdy cast helps a lot: Andrew Stevens as the rugged David, George Kennedy as no-nonsense lab head Hal, Starr Andreeff as the sweet, spunky Sue, Terri Treas as tough, feisty doctor Linds, John LaFayette as the easygoing Andre, and Tommy Hinkley as wisecracking goofball Neil. Stevens' dog Butch is likewise impressive as a gutsy and protective expert tracking canine. Moreover, there are also a few effectively harsh touches which include an attempted abortion that goes hideously awry and an extremely brutal monster rape set piece. Ronn Schmidt's competent cinematography makes the most out of the desolate desert and tightly confined lab locations. Rick Conrad's shivery score does the spirited shuddery trick. A fun flick.
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
Humans Underground With a Monster? Very Creative.
tfrizzell12 November 2003
Stupid thing-that-would-not-die mess has George Kennedy (no idea why he is in this) leading a group of humans who live underground in a post-apocalyptic future. Biological warfare has all but destroyed most all the human race and gargoyle-styled monsters roam all over the Earth's surface. Soon Kennedy and his crew have to come up to get food and rescue a frightened young girl who seems to be on the brink of death. Naturally they take her underground, but what they don't know is that she is carrying the child of one of the monsters who raped her. What do you suppose will happen when she gives birth? Another crazed picture from the sci-fi/horror genre of the 1980s never did do much business at the box office and made no real impression with the very few that sat through this yawner. Typical jack-in-the-box scares are not near enough to save so much unwanted dead time. Turkey (0 stars out of 5).
3 out of 13 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
3/10
A really cheap Alien-inspired crapfest.
BA_Harrison4 December 2018
The opening scene of The Terror Within takes place at the Vasquez Rocks in California, perhaps the most overused location in sci-fi cinema and TV, which gives an idea of just how fresh and innovative this Roger Corman produced Alien rip-off is. The familiar plot sees a group of scientists, survivors of a plague that has all but wiped out humanity, finding a woman in the wilderness surrounding their underground lab complex. On examining the new arrival, they discover that she is pregnant, but when the foetus shows extraordinarily rapid development, suggesting a mutation, they decide to terminate the pregnancy. While performing the operation, the 'baby' tears itself free from the womb in a blatant crib of the chestburster scene from Alien, and scuttles off to the air vents where it quickly grows into a full-sized man in a really bad rubber monster costume.

The rest of the movie sees the plucky scientists constructing a flame-thrower and some handy-dandy laser weapons and hunting down the monster, which is keen to get its claws on the female members of the group so that it can impregnate them. The action that ensues is poorly executed, and completely devoid of suspense and tension, largely thanks to the laughable monster, but also due to unconvincing performances from all involved (I can't really blame them; I imagine that it's hard to look scared when faced with such a silly creature). The daft ending sees the two remaining survivors setting fire to the gargoyle (as they call it), electrocuting it, and finally chopping up the creature in the blades of an air vent fan, before destroying their base (and several other gargoyles that come a-visiting) with a self-destruct device (don't all laboratories come with one of those?).
0 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
3/10
Alien was better. (spoilers)
stuff_Drummer16 March 2006
Warning: Spoilers
I've seen much worse- but at least those movies had the guts to try something new (even though they tanked doing it).

The Terror Within is a rip-off of Alien. Similarities include (but are not limited to: a homemade flamethrower, a chest-bursting monster, lots of drool, a pair of engineers- one black, one white, an aging male captain who is somewhat heroic, a tense scene in something resembling air ducts, Creature reproduction includes humans, and a pet that is orphaned when its owner is killed.

The most obvious ripoff is the scene when they are searching a storage room (cargo bay) for the creature. Even the camera angles and shot order are similar to Alien.

I'd like to give this movie a 2 but there are other movies I'd give a two...and this isn't as bad as those.
0 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
2/10
The Originality Lacking Within
hip_school_preppie19 July 2005
This movie is a direct cross of Alien and The Beast Within. Alien, a great Sci-Fi flick, had the birth and rapid growing which was poorly repeated in this flick. The Beast Within (notice the title similarity), which was a decent horror movie for it time, has the same theme of a monster trying to mate with every woman it comes across. They took two good movies and made one pretty bad one. The low budget definitely didn't help. The "Gargoyle" reminded me of Godzilla. A rubbery suit that was too big for the guy wearing it. Water, or some sort of goo/liquid sprayed on the suit would have helped - looked too dry. I will give it 1 star for gore though.
0 out of 5 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
1/10
WORTHLESS GARBAGE...DON'T BOTHER
rabid_dingoes12 February 2003
Man this thing stinks bad! I don't think I've ever seen a worse piece of garbage in my life. I love B grade horror films, but this stinker takes it to a new low. Acting stinks. Script stinks. Effects stink. I don't think this film has one good thing about it. Maybe the relief of seeing the closing credits is about it! And to top it off...they made a part two! Pass this thing up if you see it on the rental shelf. My friend didn't, and we really paid dearly for it! Time wasted that I'll never get back. I do believe tweezing my own nose hairs would be more fun. Well thats it. Be warned! THIS THING SUCKS!!! 1 out of 10 rating.
0 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink

See also

Awards | FAQ | User Ratings | External Reviews | Metacritic Reviews


Recently Viewed