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Rated R
Copyright 1981 Cannon Film Distributors
Reviewed by Andrew Borntreger on 'a long time ago'

The Characters:  

  • Stella Holmes - Colonel of some super secret government agency. Not only is she a mean bitch, she needs about forty years of beauty rest and less makeup.
  • Hubbard - Astronaut who tried to warn NASA of what happened on Mars, now little more than a drunk.
  • Tony Harris - Police lieutenant. For some reason he is chosen to help the agency in their efforts against the Toxic Spawn. Becomes a bloody snack for the Cyclops.
  • The Toxic Spawn - They would appear to be giant avocados (maybe really infected testicles if you have a fetish), but in reality they are vessels filled with deadly bacteria. Just a small bit touching your skin will make you erupt in a fountain of blood.
  • The Cyclops - Monster that creates the killer avocados, killed when Hubbard fires a flare into it's only eye.
  • Hamilton - Astronaut and thrall to the Cyclops, he explodes when it dies.
  • Perla de la Cruz - Hamilton's lover, until he shoots her three times.
  • Unfortunate Bastards - Pretty much anyone who comes into contact with a Toxic Spawn, they die real good.

Buy It!

The Plot: 

Holy popping people Batman! Alien eggs are running amok and when the deadly juices from one touches skin the unfortunate bastard explodes like a fat tick dropped into the fire! At this point the plot synopsis could cease; I have covered the story in detail with those words.

Far be it from me to deprive you of my cerebral meanderings. Plus, I have to let you know how such a cool plot went terribly wrong. Come on, watching people splattered with deadly guacamole and then screaming their way through slow motion exploding chest scenes should be more amusing. Right?

A cargo ship is towed into New York harbor with the crew missing. When police and health officials investigate they encounter one of the Toxic Spawn. By pure luck, Lieutenant Harris is outside the casualty radius when it sprays the hold with deadly poison. Colonel Holmes adds him to the team before remembering another person who claimed to have seen these eggs before, except on Mars!

Did I fail to mention a mission to Mars had been undertaken? Maybe the film should not have dropped that plot point into our lap after thirty minutes of wondering where these things could have come from. Not that I am bitter mind you.

Accompanied by her crack team of (1) one sexist cop and (1) alcoholic grounded astronaut, the Colonel heads to South America. Following the only clue available, they investigate a remote coffee plantation. Here is the base of operations for Hamilton's evil corporation. Along with cultivating the spawn they are controlled by a creature the astronaut brought back from outer space. Can the monster and its minions be stopped? Will the film ever end? Yes to both. Hooray!

The exploding chest shots are impressive, but the movie is extremely dark. Very annoyingly so when we see the Cyclops. It is almost impossible to make out any detail besides the glowing eye (disappointing, it looked neat). Try ignoring all those problems and pay attention to the Toxic Spawn themselves. They are immobile and only affect someone who has unprotected skin contact with their fluids. Not exactly the thing of nightmares when you consider it. I am all for people rupturing like rotten tomatoes, but killer avocados were not the best choice for agents of death.

Things I Learned From This Movie: 

  • The New York Health Department is used to dealing with people who have exploded.
  • Coffee is creepy.
  • The human body is little more than a sack filled with blood.
  • Fire extinguishers make convincing "deep freeze" guns.
  • At times being a lab rat sucks.
  • Cops have easily identifiable physical traits.
  • South American bathrooms are locked (from the inside) with a key.
  • Being psychically bonded to kamikaze eggs is not good for you.
  • The nickname for Mars is "The Cyclops Star."

Stuff To Watch For: 

  • 3 mins - Must be the wrong ship, they are looking for one dead in the water.
  • 12 mins - Hey moron, ripe vegetables don't pulse and make a weird sound.
  • 19 mins - That looks like a room temperature prop sprinkled with powdered sugar, not a frozen bit of organic matter.
  • 29 mins - Those are cells huh?
  • 38 mins - It was a black and white photograph...
  • 43 mins - Hell yeah! Hit her again! Stella had you sent to the loony bin and now, when she needs your help, she starts questioning your manhood. Once more, this time with feeling!
  • 46 mins - Stock footage from some sort of tobacco or cigar festival?
  • 55 mins - How about tearing off a plumbing fixture and punching a hole in that door? It's a bathroom door for heaven's sake.

 Audio clips in wav formatSOUNDSStarving actors speak out 

Green Music Note toxicspawn1.wav Tony: "What do you think could have done that to them?"
Doctor: "I wish I knew Lieutenant, but look at the way his skin and clothes are torn. It's almost as if, I don't know, it's almost as if he exploded!"
Green Music Note toxicspawn2.wav Stella: "Don't call me babe, young man!"
Tony: "And you don't call me a young man, babe! It might not show right now, but I'm a police lieutenant. Got that?"
Stella: "And I'm a Colonel. Internal Security, responsible directly to the President, Special Division Five."
Green Music Note toxicspawn3.wav Scientist: "The first examinations all show the same results. This is not an egg, but an intensive culture of unknown bacteria."
Green Music Note toxicspawn4.wav Hubbard: "Why don't you just leave me alone? I never saw anything! I don't know what Mars is, and I was never there!"

 Click for a larger imageIMAGESScenes from the movie 



 Watch a sceneVIDEOMPEG video files 

Video Cliptoxicspawn1.mpg - 2.5m
One of the movie's better points here, namely the random and gratuitous explosion of bit part actors when exposed to an avocado of death.

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