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The Deadly Spawn

The Deadly Spawn

By Patrick Samuel • May 2nd, 2012
Static Mass Rating: 3/5
THE DEADLY SPAWN (DVD)
Arrow Video

Release date: March 19th, 2012
Year of production: 1983

Certificate (UK): 15
Running time: 81 minutes

Writer and director: Douglas McKeown

Cast: Tom DeFranco, Charles George Hildebrandt, James Brewster

It’s an idea many of us have toyed with at some point. What would we do if one day we found out our town was infested with monsters from outer space?

Things just wouldn’t be the same, would it? Everything you knew would come to an end. Your next door neighbours would be mince, the grocer down the road would be lying in a pile of his own produce and with no one else stepping up to the job to defend mankind, suddenly you might find yourself calling on everything you learned from films like these to save everyone. That will teach them to make fun of your “special interests” next time.

The Deadly Spawn

The Deadly Spawn is a film that takes that exact predicament and makes it real for its characters. It begins with a meteor crashing to Earth one night and pair of campers in New Jersey woods foolishly go to have a look. Alien parasites crawl out of the crater and the campers become its first victims in a bloody attack.

The next morning it’s raining heavily and the creatures have made their way into the town where they take refuge in the flooded basement of a family’s home. They spawn and grow, picking off the inhabitants one by one as they come downstairs to investigate the strange noises.

Pete (Tom DeFranco) is supposed to be spending the day studying with his friends at home, but when they discover one of the creatures, they decide to perform an impromptu autopsy on it in the bathroom. Then more of them start to appear and they realise the entire house is infested with them.

The Deadly Spawn

Meanwhile, Pete’s monster obsessed little brother, Charles (Charles George Hildebrandt) finds the chewed up remains of their parents in the basement and comes to face to face with the enormous creature that ate them.

The creatures leave the basement and spread across the town, terrorising an elderly woman’s lunch party and sending her guess running for their lives. There’s no escape; these creatures’ only aims are to multiply and eat human flesh – and they’re relentless. There’s a chest-buster scene that’s reminiscent to what we saw in Alien (1979) – but minus the level of horror and suspense we experienced with that film.

Charles manages to discover something that might help in the fight against the creatures, but will anyone take notice of him? With all he’s learnt from movies and comics, he might end up saving everyone.

The Deadly Spawn

The Deadly Spawn does well for a low budget horror movie and there are some fun moments in there, such as when the creatures get into a salad and when we see the remains of Charles and Pete’s parents.

However, there are long stretches in the story. We could’ve done without Uncle Herb’s (John Schmerling) attempt to psycho-analyse Charles for his research and the romantic drama between the friends. The film’s strength is really in the gore and special effects rather than in character development or acting.

It’s cheesy, B-movie stuff and I enjoyed it. Coming home after a long day and just wanting to be entertained with something I didn’t have to think too much about, The Deadly Spawn was just what the doctor ordered, although I wished I wasn’t eating a salad at the time.

The Deadly Spawn

Patrick Samuel

Patrick Samuel

The founder of Static Mass Emporium and one of its Editors in Chief is an emerging artist with a philosophy degree, working primarily with pastels and graphite pencils, but he also enjoys experimenting with water colours, acrylics, glass and oil paints.

Being on the autistic spectrum with Asperger’s Syndrome, he is stimulated by bold, contrasting colours, intricate details, multiple textures, and varying shades of light and dark. Patrick's work extends to sound and video, and when not drawing or painting, he can be found working on projects he shares online with his followers.

Patrick returned to drawing and painting after a prolonged break in December 2016 as part of his daily art therapy, and is now making the transition to being a full-time artist. As a spokesperson for autism awareness, he also gives talks and presentations on the benefits of creative therapy.

Static Mass is where he lives his passion for film and writing about it. A fan of film classics, documentaries and science fiction, Patrick prefers films with an impeccable way of storytelling that reflect on the human condition.

Patrick Samuel ¦ Asperger Artist

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