Title: The Terror Within (1989)
Directed by: Thierry Notz
Written by: Thomas McKelvey Cleaver
Starring: Andrew Stevens as David
George Kennedy as Hal
Starr Andreeff as Sue
Terri Treas as Linda
Tagline: “It wants to get out!”
By Jason Plissken
Pre-screening memories: I am a creature of habit. It was evidenced the the sheer volume of films I would watch throughout my childhood. You see, in high school I would work at Ruby Tuesday’s and arrive back home rather late. After still being hopped up on fried cheese and chili, I would unwind by sitting on the sofa and watch something lurid or scary, or, on those perfect ‘kismet’ evenings, something with a little of both.
Skinemax was always a good pudescent primer, where I witnessed Valley of the Dolls for my first time, and then went on to watch it’s Roger Ebert-penned sequel. On other evenings, monsters were on the bill. For if there was anything guaranteed to populate wee-hour movie channels of the 80s, it was breasts and beasts.
I would eagerly sit through the Godzilla canon of films, or watch lesser-known titles such as “Planet of Dinosaurs” (Editor’s note: Stay tuned, as we have the writer and special effects artist of this little gem joining us for a future podcast!) and, of course, The Terror Within.
Truth be told, I never watched the entire film as a teen. I couldn’t. For it only took a few minutes to send me darting upstairs to bed and seeking shelter of my covers, never to return to the nightmarish visions I saw on the screen that night.
You see, one particular evening, I saw this advertised in the TV Guide and new it was right up my alley. After a holocaust, a group of survivors in a underground bunker battle mutated creatures threatening to take over. It also featured inter-species lovin’ which would result in the birth of a horrible mutant alien baby.
Unfortunately, I was lulled into a slumber after a particularly grueling evening at the restaurant before the film even began. I awoke during a pivotal scene in which the titular “terror” descended from the rafters to lay waste to one of the main characters. That scene, combined with my groggy awakening from my onion-ring-induced nap, led me to retreat from the film, never to visit it again.
The podcast: We are excited to have another special guest for this special episode, Mr. Bruce Barlow, one of the special effects artists for legendary producer Roger Corman’s ‘The Terror Within.’ In this episode, Bruce recounts the conditions under which the film’s most memorable scene — an alien baby birth — was constructed and shot. Bruce also recounts moments throughout his career in the special effects industry, which includes Ghoulies II, Critters 2: The Main Course, Munchies, Dr. Moreau’s House of Pain and Dinocroc. You can see a sample of Bruce’s work right here, shot during the film’s aforementioned slimy baby alien birth.
A big ‘thank you’ to Bruce for his time, wit and wisdom for walking with us through this memorable little creature feature and be sure to check out Bruce’s website MonsterFX5 to keep updated on all of Bruce’s latest endeavors.
In true Corman fashion, our audio was not up to snuff on the recording of the film, so the clips from it may sound a bit ‘tinny.’ For that, we apologize, but luckily Bruce was here to liven up the proceedings. As always, you can click here for the podcast, or listen below: