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Inseminoid
cast: Judy Geeson, Stephanie Beacham, Robin Clarke, Jennifer Ashley, and Barrie Houghton

director: Norman J. Warren

89 minutes (18) 1981
widescreen ratio 2.35:1
Stonevision DVD Region 2 retail

RATING: 3/10
reviewed by Andrew Darlington

Inseminoid poster

Like a lost episode of Space 1999, only with lower production values, less sophisticated bargain-basement effects... nipples and women in tight white briefs, Inseminoid is a cash-in attempt at early bio-horror. It's the kind of thing done infinitely better by Alien, the kind of thing aspiring towards, but abysmally failing to achieve the effect David Cronenberg excels at. Kate Carson (Stephanie Beacham) voice-overs 'Report 1-zero-5' from Team Seven, an archaeological expedition on remote planet Zeno-2, where they have discovered a vast tomb-like complex left by an extinct civilisation. Not that you get to see much of it, beyond subterranean corridors. Instead the Chislehurst Caves in Kent are red-filtered into a barren Mars-scape where the surface temperature is supposedly 89 degrees below, despite binary suns. "Safety factor 60 percent, conditions tolerable," she concedes.

Venturing deep into the inner chambers Rick encounters a glowing crystalline presence that promptly detonates, and later, recovering back in the base he predictably runs amok. Attacked in the caverns, Sandy (Judy Geeson) has a Rosemary's Baby IVH dream about a bug-eyed foreskin-wrinkled nasty inserting a plastic tube of yellow liquid between her legs with queasy gynaecological intent. Soon, she's impregnated and murderous, hungry for flesh, and sets about dismembering the crew in an orgy of bloodletting. Judy does her best to approximate 'scary', although it's very difficult to find serial-bimbo Geeson at all menacing. She seems better suited to her bright miniskirt dolly-bird parts in To Sir With Love, or Here We Go Round The Mulberry Bush, although she managed genre TV roles in Doomwatch, Star Maidens, Star Trek: Voyager and... yes, Space 1999.

Now, she has alien twins that unfortunately resemble gremlins from the muppet-lab. It's been earlier pointed out from wall-inscriptions that the dead planetary culture had a thing about duality, perhaps derived from its two suns. So, although Sandy is hunted down and chain-strangled to death, just when they think it's over, her brood begin to get hungry. This sad movie closes with the relief ship arriving to discover the devastation and semi-devoured bodies, and they inadvertently carry the 'twins' back with them into space, in preparation for the sequel - which, thankfully, never happened. Even the atmospheric electronic music resembles synth-noodling out-takes from a forgotten 1970s' prog-rock concept album. This Run Run Shaw presentation lacks even the innocent fun of a 1950s' creature-feature. The Shanghai-based martial arts tycoon had already done better with Hammer's Legend Of The Seven Golden Vampires - and even that was the franchise's last gasp. It's likely he didn't achieve his knighthood in recognition of the artistic merits of this farrago.
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