|THERE'S NOTHING OUT THERE
|Copyright 1991 Walkhn Films and Prism Entertainment Corp.
| Reviewed by Andrew Borntreger on 10 January 2002
- Mike - All hail, for we are not worthy! I'll explain more in a minute.
- Stacy - Her skill with lopping shears and willingness to apply kung fu grip to her boyfriend's (Nick's) testicles really worries me.
- Nick - Not above having a party at his parents' house in the woods, even if they did pay for his gymnastic lessons.
- Jim - The big, dumb, and horny jock. Of course, he will be paired up with the blonde girl. Melts into goo.
- Doreen - This girl is blonde, painfully blonde. At least in the intellectual sense of the word. Her head is guillotined off by plate glass. I am not going to explain. It's a long story.
- Janet - Foreign exchange student. There are no bras in her country. I want to know where she hails from and I want a ticket on the next available flight there. Brained with a baseball bat.
- David - Nerd (he refers to sex as "intercourse") with an interest in Janet. His spine gets eaten.
- Sally - First she falls asleep at the wheel and hits a tree. Then an alien attacks. Finally, when it looks like she has found help, the nervous teenagers throw her out of a moving van. Sally has probably had better days.
- The Creature - Little more than a mass of tentacles and teeth. Incinerated in an oven.
|My favorite personality in "Scream" was definitely Randy. Indeed, the main reason for me to watch the film was reveling in a character who finally displayed an understanding of the laws governing horror films. Here, however; here is something special. Not only is this a monster movie (my favorite), but Mike proves to be a prior art example of the knowledgeable character. If Mike sees a bunch of shrubs waving around his reaction goes something like this:
(Brows furrowed.) "Probably just the wind. I should go check that out."
(More thrashing in the bushes.)
(Eyebrows shoot up to his hairline.) "FAT CHANCE!"
Following which exclamation, he runs like hell for the relative safety of the house. The other actors are not terrible, but they cannot help but to be overshadowed by Mike. Watching him gives me a case of the chills, because that is who I would be if a monster started munching my friends (well, him or Bert from "Tremors"). The movie unfortunately falls a notch once the other characters are aware of the alien, because it robs the doomsayer of his thunder. Anyway, just remember that Mike rocks. On to the movie.
Waking from a terrifying dream, Sally finds that her troubles have just started. She was asleep at the wheel and on a winding road. What happens next looks like an Evel Knievel stunt gone wrong as the mustang crashes into a clump of trees. Moments later, just to add the perfect end to a wretched evening, a strange glowing object descending from the sky proves to be a monster from outer space. The terrified girl jumps into the back seat as tentacles demolish the front windows. That is the last we see of Sally for a while.
The main group of characters is perfect for the plot. Nick has invited everyone to his parents' summer house over spring break. A bunch of horny teenagers in the middle of nowhere; the alien equivalent of a steak and shrimp dinner. Only, Mike starts getting nervous when they pass the authorities puzzling over Sally's wrecked car. Then, at the house, a group of punk rockers go skinny dipping in the pond. Events like these set off every warning bell in Mike's head. I was momentarily distracted from survival by the one punk female. There's just something about a girl with pale skin and red hair, but I digress.
It does not take long for Mike to become a paranoid maniac and annoy the others. Of course, the situation is exacerbated when the leftover chicken mysteriously disappears from the kitchen. Only a disgusting coating of slime is left behind. Mike is nearly in hysterics by the time David and Janet decide to take a moonlit stroll, followed by Jim convincing Doreen to go skinny dipping. He almost ruined the latter couple's plan by suggesting a bear might be to blame for the purloined chicken. Doreen understands what a bear is; despite the fact that bears rarely leave behind green slime (insert ursine gonorrhea joke here) and if one was in your house you would definitely know, she becomes worried. Did I mention before that Doreen is blonde?
Nick and Stacy retire upstairs for some intimacy, leaving Mike alone. Alone! He dashes to his room and piles furniture in front of the door. Safely barricaded, the distraught moviephile digs through the closets until he has assembled a significant defensive covering. Hockey mitts, boots, a catcher's mask - even a thick jacket. Anything to put padding between his tender flesh and the rows of sharp teeth the monster is sure to have.
And it does! From tip of tentacle to tip of tentacle, the alien only measures about six feet wide. The body is a modest lump, but it's all mouth. This allows for someone to insert their arms into the tentacles, operating the appendages like slimy sock puppets when the script requires. Oddly, the creature can see clearly.
The one chance David had to sleep with a sexy foreign exchange student ends when the alien mulches his back. Janet, without the aid of a flashlight, escapes into the dark woods. She promptly runs into a tree and is knocked unconscious. Meanwhile, Jimmy and Doreen are naked and fooling around in the very cold pond (not exactly the best way to impress a girl). Some frightful screaming in the reeds sends them scurrying back inside.
Also inside are the creature and a very nervous Mike. The latter is creeping around, baseball bat in hand, looking for whatever is eating his friends. Doreen sees both the monster and the hunter at the same time. She reflexively brings her knee up into Jimmy, who, upon finding the will to stand again, is very angry with Mike. Needless to say, seven minutes of pure chaos follow. When it's all over Mike is locked in the basement, with the beastie. He tries to exit through a basement window as slimy tentacled death rushes forward.
The next morning the remaining teenagers cannot find David, Janet, or Mike. This is quickly chalked up to them playing a practical joke, though Nick is seriously unhappy about some pipes in the basement that were broken during Mike's struggle. He drives into town, searching for a plumber, while the others relax. The quiet is short-lived, because the monster pops up in the bedroom with Jim and Doreen. She crumples to the floor after being zapped with green rays, while her beau has his head crushed. Stacy runs outside where she finds Mike, still alive and hiding in the bushes. They go inside and wake up Doreen, then the creature attacks again. Mike fends it off with a can of shaving cream, giving them some breathing room as it sputters out the nasty stuff.
While consolidating, the three hear Janet screaming for help as she limps up to the house. Mike wisely stays upstairs, but the two girls go down to retrieve their friend. Don't get me wrong, chivalry is a great cause. I would probably have been yelling down to Janet, "Does living sound good to you? Okay, then drag your injured ass up the steps!" Once in the living room, Doreen goes bonkers and chases Stacy around with the baseball bat. Mind control rays, remember? During the confusion Janet's skull is fractured, the blonde decapitated, and the last two survivors lock themselves in the basement.
Nick's return to the house signals the film's final stages. The plumber arrives at an inopportune time, wrecking the teens' escape attempt. He also gets et by the alien. Is this thing on a binge or what? With no hope of rescue, Mike comes up with a last ditch plan to rid themselves of the eating disorder from outer space. It is silly, involving light bulbs, mirrors, flashlights, and the oven; leave it at that.
|Things I Learned From This Movie:
- The best way to instill urgency in people is through flatulence.
- Men hate being startled by naked women.
- Rakes are possibly the most dangerous objects on the planet.
- Never punch someone who is wearing a catcher's mask.
- Green eggs might not go with ham, but beer - that's a different story.
- Waterproof sun block is effective against mind control rays.
- When attacked by a monster, try throwing the cat at it.
- Using the boom mike to swing to safety is allowed.
- Mirrored sunglasses are also effective against mind control rays.
- 2 mins - The video store of my dreams! Hold on... ...I think that I am going to weep in delight.
- 5 mins - Time Lord driver, no survivors. No wonder his police box looks so banged up.
- 15 mins - Hahahaha! (Something that Mike said.)
- 16 mins - RANDOM GRATUITOUS BREAST SHOTS!
- 22 mins - Why is there an Indian sweat lodge in your yard?
- 23 mins - RANDOM GRATUITOUS BREAST SHOT!
- 34 mins - Smooth move Ex-Lax.
- 35 mins - RANDOM GRATUITOUS BREAST SHOT!
- 44 mins - Was the cat hanging from the ceiling or something?
- 59 mins - Hehehehe! (You'll have to see the movie.)
- 63 mins - RANDOM ACT OF VIOLENCE AGAINST GUMBALLS!
- 75 mins - Now for a totally different car plunging into the lake...
- 84 mins - Must have been one of those new ovens that cooks food with firecrackers.
|Audio clips in wav format
|Starving actors speak out
|Mike: "Oh good, thank you, I'll remember that when I'm getting my face ripped off. Look, don't you know what just happened? Those kids were born to be murder victims."
|Mike: "Why don't you put a sign on your chest that says 'victim?' Come on, use your brains for a second. David and Janet haven't made it back yet."
Jim: "They've been gone ten minutes and they can take care of themselves."
Mike: "Oh, sure, I'd call a penlight enough protection against anything."
|Mike and Stacy having an animated conversation. (This is one of my favorite parts.)
|Stacy: "We've got to get to her before that thing does."
Mike: "That thing may have already gotten to her."
Stacy: "We don't know that. We've got to help her!"
Mike: "We don't know anything about that creature. Except it, like everyone else, hates a mouthful of shaving cream."
Stacy: "Then grab the bottle and let's go!"
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|The great thing about this clip is that I had just said almost the exact same thing. Where did that cat come from?
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