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Rated R
Copyright 1986 Empire Pictures
Reviewed by Andrew Borntreger on 4 February 2001

The Characters:  

  • Sherman - Psychotic little kid and already taking prescription medicine for his moods. It is darn hard to convince people of your sincerity when they know you ingest 600 mg of Lithium daily. Presumed kibble.
  • Grandpa - Survivalist nut who spends his days preaching the benefits of lizard tail jerky, one of which is that the poor lizard grows the tail back, only for you to eat it again. Dissolved and then lapped up by the monster.
  • Suzy and OD - Diane Franklin and Jon Gries! Sherman's sister and her boyfriend. She goes for the Cyndi Lauper look, while he likes metal music (hence, lots of studded leather). He is turned into food, she is probably ingested as well.
  • Stanley and Racquel Putterman - Sherman's swinging parents, they're not very good at picking out compatible couples for their parties. Eaten by the monster.
  • Spiro and Cherry - Swingers that hook up with the Puttermans, also consumed.
  • Medusa - Hostess of a late night horror show and she plays it to the hilt. Straining cleavage, terrible puns, you name the stereotype. All that experience with monsters didn't help her, she gets munched.
  • Norton - Satellite dish repairman, guess what happens to him...
  • Pluthar - Alien garbage disposal expert, he has an unfortunate accident involving his environmental suit. More specifically, a structural integrity fault leaves him looking like goulash inside the contraption.
  • The Hungry Beast - The alien equivalent of a dog, but the species has this bad tendency of mutating out of control and eating everything. Not exactly the perfect pet.

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The Plot: 

Garbage is a problem for every society, but it is even more important when disposing of biological waste. Calling a rapidly mutating family pet by that name might seem callous, though I'd wager none of you have to worry about being dissolved and then lapped up by your pooch. This is the movie's basis. An advanced alien civilization has perfected the technique of converting matter to energy and beaming it randomly across the universe, using it to get rid of garbage. Doing something more interesting, like dropping it into a star or gas giant, seems to be out of the question.

Due to a minor miscalculation one such load of crap is accidentally dumped onto Earth. A transmission containing a domesticated version of Azathoth is picked up by the Puttermans' new satellite dish. While flipping channels they notice a problem in that every now and then the screen displays a slimy monster, I'm being literal and not alluding to an MTV VJ.

Mom and dad head out to meet another couple, announcing to their assembled progeny that they're "swinging tonight." One of the film's endearing qualities (let's see Ebert use that phrase in reference to a Charles Band movie) is the matter of fact ways in which the family's quirks are played out. Poor Stanley, he is all worked up for a night of wife swapping when the news breaks that Spiro likes other guys. He doesn't take the news very well.

Sherman's grandfather is another nut, with that nasty jerky and small cache of weapons. In addition, his room has a reinforced steel door (looks like a cross between a ship's watertight hatch and a bank vault) and inside he has water distillation and hydroponics at work. The only person to survive World War III is going to be a complete kook, great.

Fortunately he doesn't survive this movie, being among the first to be eaten by the Hungry Beast. By the middle of the film the monster has chewed its way through most of our cast. Nothing worse than watching someone binge eating, especially when they first liquefy their prey, then suck up the puddle of nutrients via a tongue that would make Gene Simmons proud.

By a complete fluke (read: the script) OD, Suzy, and Sherman all befriend the creature. They spend some time trying to communicate, along with teaching it table manners. Hmmm, ravenous tentacled monster that eats everything in sight, including family members. The truce is short lived.

As all this unfolds the young lad is driving the police and Medusa up the wall with phone calls. Both parties finally give up and arrive at the home, the police intent on arresting the little brat while Medusa is looking for excitement. Law enforcement proves ineffective against the creature, except for slowing it down through added mass. About now Pluthar arrives, bringing some advanced weaponry and an assurance he can capture or kill the hungry beast. Too bad that Medusa freaks out and whacks the savior with her purse, he undergoes an impressive decompression sequence just before the monster makes a final appearance.

The film has a classic b-movie plot, along with funny characterizations and a monster that can dopplegang anyone it has eaten. The mimicry was a great idea, it allows for the twisted scene in which it appears all the previously munched adults are doing something perverted.

Things I Learned From This Movie: 

  • Beating on something with a hammer does not void the warranty.
  • Satellite dishes use poor quality ball bearings in their mountings.
  • Hostesses for late night horror shows are not exactly chosen for their brains, though the criteria does begin with a "B."
  • Television sets are capable of materializing solid matter.
  • Swingers love Roman architecture, anything Roman when you get down to it.
  • Jacuzzis simulate the feel of a mother's womb.
  • Greek men are all homosexuals.
  • Some women have an easy time getting men hard, like ones out of Greek mythology with snakes in their hair.

Stuff To Watch For: 

  • 6 mins - I want a female statue with water fountain breasts...
  • 9 mins - Oh good, we get the Nazi channel. All Mein Kampf, all the time.
  • 16 mins - Huge satellite dish, itty bitty television set.
  • 32 mins - Her voice annoys me, hopefully their swinging involves bondage and a gag will soon be gracing her soup cooler.
  • 43 mins - Do you have any idea what you are committing your husband too? Bad wife!
  • 46 mins - A pool full of KY Jelly, the mind whirls...
  • 69 mins - Don't try disciplining that thing, it has more mouths than you can shake a stick at. Oops, I warned you.
  • 72 mins - OD's slime puddle is shaped like a guitar!
  • 78 mins - No, no, no. They would be clones.

 Audio clips in wav formatSOUNDSStarving actors speak out 

Green Music Note terrorvision1.wav Grandpa: "I've said it before and I'll say it again. War stories and monster movies are educational, they're survival oriented!"
Green Music Note terrorvision2.wav Suzy: "Mom, can we use the jacuzzi tonight?"
Racquel: "Uh, not tonight baby, your father and I might be swinging."
Green Music Note terrorvision3.wav Pluthar trying to warn of the danger, I love it when he apologizes for possibly exterminating mankind.
Green Music Note terrorvision4.wav Policeman: "Police department, Officer Nupky speaking."
Sherman: "Hello? This is Sherman again, there's really a monster, it's eating mom and dad. Please help me!"
Green Music NoteTheme Song Listen to a clip from the soundtrack.

 Click for a larger imageIMAGESScenes from the movie 


 Watch a sceneVIDEOMPEG video files 

Video Clipterrorvision1.mpg - 3.3m
Grandpa is about to experience the joys of a liquid state first hand, right after two claws are driven into his forehead. Nothing being filmed in reverse here, no sir.

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Lesson Learned:
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