Friday, May 10, 2013

TerrorVision (1986) Review

TerrorVision poster
Director: Ted Nicolaou
Stars: Diane Franklin, Gerrit Graham
Genre: Horror, Comedy, Science Fiction

TerrorVision pretty much defines what a cheesy 80s horror film is: a ridiculous premise, equally ridiculous fashion, awesome practical effects, MTV, a great soundtrack, and metal heads. (and W.A.S.P.!)

So a family, composed of a military grandfather and a grandson who follows in his war-like footsteps, his sister whom pretty much sums up the 80s in an outfit and her metal head boyfriend, not to mention the oblivious swinging parents and a late night horror hostess in the vein of Elvira. The family gets a new satellite dish installed, except, to their surprise, an alien monster from another planet gets beamed through their satellite and materializes out of their television set!

Like I said, it's an absurd premise (which kind of reminded me of The Video Dead). The story fits perfectly with its era, back when Television sets were the most important piece of technology a family could worry about, rather than the cellphones and computers and tablets of nowadays.

The 80s were a time of great B-movie horror films, a time perhaps only comparable to the B-movies of the 1950s. The slasher genre was in full swing, horror films began to become self-conscious of just how cheesy they were, practical effects had evolved enough to look totally awesome and people did some crazy stuff with effects. Not to mention that the 80s were really the last decade where practical effects were the standard, until the 90s, and even more-so in the 2000s, where CGI is the new standard of special effects.

And the special effects in here are pretty damn awesome. Not only the monster effects and design bring TerrorVision visual pleasantries though. There's also some wonderful use of lighting, and every scene is complemented by some colorful lights. The film always gives off a purplish or bluish or sometimes even greenish glow. It's very reminiscent of the lighting in Creepshow. And lest us not forget the wonderful 1980s vibe the film has.

TerrorVision Diane Franklin

The soundtrack is pretty fantastic also (just listen to the title song), parts of it were composed by Richard Band and a few tracks by LA rock band The Fibonaccis. It's definitely awesome.

All the acting is fairly average, except for maybe the beautiful (and simultaneously ridiculously fashioned) Diane Franklin, whom gives a very memorable performance. 

TerrorVision alien monster

If you like films like Killer Klowns from Outer Space then TerrorVision is your kind of film. It's campy, low-budget, hilarious, and pretty damn awesome when all is said and done. 

3/5 stars

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