Review by Lance Dale
TerrorVision is a ridiculously entertaining, 1986, sci-fi/horror/comedy. It was directed by Ted Nicolaou (Subspecies) and produced/written by Mr. Full Moon himself; Charles Band. You might know Charles from his company Full Moon Features and as producer of timeless classics like Puppet Master and (who can forget) Dungeons of Ecstasy. TerrorVision tells the story of a gross but lovable alien who travels to Earth, then proceeds to devour a gross and unlovable family of assholes.
The movie starts with a disgusting alien creature being loaded up into a rocket and shot off into space. You will forget all about the poor quality of this opening scene once the TerrorVision theme song kicks in. This spooky jam paves the way for the 80s time capsule which follows. If aliens were to travel to earth and ask what the 1980s were, I would present them with this movie.
You are introduced to the Putterman family who is installing their state-of-the-art satellite antenna. This is an exciting night for the parents, Stanley (Gerrit Graham) and Raquel (Mary Woronov) as they have also invited a couple to their “pleasure den” for some swinging. Just to make sure you are aware they are into some kinky shit, their home is decorated with S&M paintings and they have a nude lactating lady fountain in their entryway (If you’re into swinging and don’t have a lactating lady fountain, are you even trying?). Their Cindy Lauper clone daughter, Suzy (Diane Franklin), is eagerly awaiting her date with her moronic metal head boyfriend O.D. (Jon Gries, better known as Uncle Rico from Napoleon Dynamite). Meanwhile, their son Sherman (Chad Allen) is enjoying some monster movies with his doomsday prepping Gramps (Bert Remsen). The movies are being presented by a snake-haired, large-breasted Elvira knock-off named Medusa. I’m not sure what Medusa is up to these days, but I’m pretty sure she has lower back problems. While Sherman and Gramps are watching Medusa’s show, the alien creature from the opening sequence appears on the screen, is physically transported into the Putterman’s living room, and proceeds to fuck shit up.
The alien creature is like a Swiss Army Knife of multi-purpose tentacles and has an appetite which cannot be fulfilled. In order to satiate the hunger, its slimy tentacles grab its victims and melts them into a blob of goo, which is then slurped up with a tentacle straw. When it does this, it can create a copy of its victim, which it can use to lure in future victims. It also has the ability to transmit itself anywhere there is a television, kind of like a more a murdery, less annoying version of the Kardashians. It is up to Sherman and his family to stop this creature from destroying our planet.
This movie isn’t winning any Oscars, but it does do a lot of things right. The practical creature effects are great, and the ridiculous cast of characters make for an entertaining feature. Mr. Putterman really puts the “grrrr” in swinger and has several great lines. I love how he shortens the word “jacuzzi” to “jacuz” and compares it to floating in your mother’s womb. He’s also a big fan of “guzzling Heinies” (drinking Heineken). O.D. makes it clear he is into metal by wearing a badass W.A.S.P. t-shirt, studded gauntlets, a Spirit Halloween quality wig, and delivering lines like, “Remember that movie about the little space guy who made you cry like a butthole” (referring to E.T.). So, while TerrorVision is never going to be mistaken for a Steven Spielberg movie, it is a must watch for any fan of cheesy 80s horror. Now excuse me while I hop in the jacuz, guzzle some Heinies, and blast that sweet TerrorVision theme song. – L2