Breeders (1986)


A NYC detective and a doctor get caught up in a surprise alien invasion after investigating a series of bizarre and violent rapes.


There are some movies that are so bad they’re good. There are some movies that are so cheesy they end up being fun. But then there are some movies that are so boring and uninspired that all the potential fun just gets sucked right out of it and it ends up being a chore to watch. Breeders ends up being a bit of a combo of all of the above, but mostly it falls into the later category.

Breeders basically has two things going for it. The first, is that it’s one of the few examples of a horror movie that features an African American Actress as the leading lady (see image above).

The second thing the movie has is a copious amount of naked ladies. If one of your top requirements to see a film is based around how much bare skin the film has, than Breeders is your jam. With only three exceptions, every woman in this film seems bizarrely compelled to remove all their cloths. A nurse disrobes in the kitchen while boiling…something. To be honest, I don’t remember what it was. Another woman strips while on the phone with her mother. All the victims become oddly compelled to strip all their cloths while under some form of alien mind control and wander down the halls of the hospital. And the film neither shows, nor makes any mention of anyone trying to stop them. I guess naked, trance-induced woman walking down the halls is just par for the course at those places. Finally, there’s the model. After everyone else at the studio leaves for lunch she snorts some coke, ditches her clothes and begins doing a series of nude stretching exercises while intermittently caressing her body. I’m sure the whole thing was meant to be titillating, but the entire time I was watching, all I could think about was how many germs must have been on that linoleum floor she was rolling around on.

You’re supposed to put a mat down first, damn it. Ick! Ick!

Breeders features a lot of blood and guts, but for the most part, everything looks pretty goofy. The creature effects start out alright at first, only showing small parts of the monster or it’s silhouette, but when you finally manage to see the whole thing it just looks like a tweaked bug costume from the 1950 version of The Fly with a couple extra bits of slime added for effect. There’s no way anyone who looked at it would think it’s anything other than a guy in a cheap rubber suit.

Dr. Brundle, is that you?… Please remove the mask. This is a place of
business, sir.

The blood and guts effects themselves end up faring a bit better. It’s clear they spent a little bit more effort here. But at the same time, it’s still painfully obvious at several points where the flesh ends and the make-up begins. It also doesn’t help that the blood is so bright red that it doesn’t look real at all.

Of course, the effects might have come across as more believable if any of the actors had been able to react to them properly. And by react to them properly, I mean ‘react to them at all.” Non-reactions seem to be a real problem with this movie, but I suppose that’s to be expected since no one in this movie seems able to act at all. Almost all of the lines in the film are spoken in a monotone or so stiff that it sounds like they’re trying to decipher Shakespeare for the first time. Most of the actors seem incapable of expressing any emotion other than ‘bored.’

Considering all that, I guess it shouldn’t be a surprise that when one of the characters starts bleeding profusely, crying out in agony from changing into a monster-


-the actresses only reaction is to stare at him like this.

I’ve seen people watching paint dry show more expression

Granted, this is also the same woman who just snorted coke and looked like she was going to try to hide behind a pole-

JFK, woman you are not that skinny.

-so you wouldn’t be amiss in thinking that might be a one off due to a drug-induced stupor. But her reaction is pretty much the norm in this film. At one point the detective and the doctor are treated to a scene of the alien parasite emerging from its human host. His transformation becomes increasingly gory as time goes on and the camera keeps cutting away to get the reaction shots of the two main leads. But since no one in this film seems capable of emoting in any conceivable way, the viewer is treated with blank, expressionless looks, which just makes the whole thing unintentionally humorous.

What’s that?
Rawr! *gurbble gerggle*
Something? Anything? Can somebody check their ‘on’ switch, please?

Even when the monster is in the same frame and not in a black, third dimensional limbo world because they ran out of funding and had to shoot in the studio they can’t seem to muster up anything.

I’m starting to think that woman is just a statue they managed to prop up with a stick for most of the shots.

There’s really only one recurring character who manages to portray any emotion other than ‘derp’ and that’s the creepy hospital intern who brings flowers to the rape victims. The movie portrays him as a nice kid, awkward with good intentions. But at the same time the film is doing this, he’s seen touching their comatose faces and opines about going on dates with them when they’re pretty again. Anyone with a modicum of common sense, admittedly something very lacking in this film, would be hearing warning signs going off in their head about this behavior, but the movie seems completely oblivious to this.

Aw, what a cute little stalker/future serial killer/sexual predator in the making.

So, what did I think about Breeders? It’s kinda trashy, it’s a lot sleazy and it’s cheaply made. The acting is horrible, the monster is laughable and the writing and directing is so bad I found myself laughing at the absurdity of it all. At one point, I’m 99.9% sure an actor flubbed his line in the middle of a scene and corrected himself, and instead of yelling “Cut!”, the director just kept right on going. It’s that kind of movie. As a fan of cheesy movies, even I find it hard to give this one a recommendation, unless, of course, you just want to see for yourself how bad most of it is. I’d say to make a drinking game out of it, but I’m afraid you’d all be dead before the half hour mark. I suppose if you and your friends like riffing your own movies, than give this one a shot. Otherwise, hard pass.

Breeders is currently available for streaming on Amazon Prime. It’s also available on DVD and Blu-ray. You have been warned.


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