I'm uncertain why it has taken me so long to do a write-up on this classic film; especially as it holds very fond memories for me. This picture was one of countless gems I found during the heyday of the "Mom and Pop" video store. While others were looking for the newest Sean Penn film, I and other like minded wannabe auteurs were lurking in the area of the less traveled shelves mining for brilliance.
Of course, I was always on the hunt for any picture that starred Linnea Quigley (or Brinke Stevens, Michelle Bauer (McClellen). Thanks to the brilliance of David DeCoteau and Fred Olen Ray, I was generally able to spend my Friday nights with at least ONE of those fine actresses.
If you do any reading about this particular film, you will often find it is called an Alien knock-off. I would never go that far; it may be a bit derivative of Alien, but, I'd suggest The Abyss is too. Nevertheless, whether one sees it in that light or not, I don't think anyone can argue this film isn't in fact more claustrophobic and grittier than Ridley Scott's earlier fare.
Written and produced by the brilliant David DeCoteau early on in his career, the story follows a group of Army deserters in 1998 looking for shelter six years after a massive nuclear war has turned the Earth into a "burnt out husk". When the group realizes rain is moving in they have to get indoors quickly; not only to stay dry but the rain, in fact, is acid. The endless nuclear bombardment has turn the rain into something that will melt the skin and muscle right off your bones.
To what they believe is their good fortune, the group is able to break into a complex of some kind. They are uncertain of its previous use, but, feel lucky to have found a place to hide out, especially as it has running water and plenty of food.
And then...things go wrong. Very wrong.
David DeCoteau produced this picture on 150K - not a great deal of money when shooting on 35mm film stock. However, it is clear every dollar is on the screen. Part of this was, no doubt, one reason for such a small cast. The film was shot in a warehouse in the greatest city on Earth - Los Angeles. And good use is made of the location.
As the tension increases, the audience is supposed to feel trapped and claustrophobic and the set design certainly does that. The effects are amazing and even more so as this film was made in the "Good Old Days" of in camera practical effects. The creature designs are not only very good, but, incredibly convincing. And, let's face it - Alien did not have as kick-ass an ending as Creepozoids.
True to form, the cast for this DeCoteau picture is another reason for the tension throughout the entire film. Linnea Quigley is always solid - in fact, I can't think of a single film she has been in which she didn't nail the part. Among the other actors are Ken Abraham (Butch) who has maintained a very successful career not only as an actor, but also editor, producer and writer); and I have to absolutely praise the performance of Kim McKamy, who is best known by the name she used in the adult film world - Ashlyn Gere.
In all candor, all the cast was great. But Ms. McKamy/Gere was exceptionally good. She portrayed a sense of concern and vulnerability that makes her character very relateable. Ms. Gere is one of very few adult film stars who also managed to work quite a bit in the "mainstream" entertainment industry with parts in films and television shows such as Silk Stalkings, Millennium, Willard and The One.
I can't encourage you enough to check out this film. I watched it on Full Moon Stream - Great Films on your PC (simply the best way to check out this film and countless others.
Agree? Disagree? Please leave a comment or message me - I'd love your input.
The Rotten Tomatoes page - clearly people don't understand how brilliant this film is
The IMDB Page - I don't understand the low rating