TerrorVision (1986)

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TerrorVision is about an alien garbage heap/pet/ball of slime, that in the process of being destroyed gets dematerialized and accidentally gets broadcast into some poor yuppie’s satellite dish. Chaos and slimy deaths ensue.

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Actually the characters were already pretty slimy to begin with. The monster just helped them along into their more natural state of being.

This is probably one of the strangest horror comedies I have ever witnessed, and that’s saying a lot. Just about everything here is completely over-the-top and exaggerated: The characters, the acting, the monster, the 80’s – my God, the 80’s – even the props. It feels like the goal here was to take everything and crank it up to 11. If that’s true, than I give them an ‘A’ for effort.

Except for the plot. The sort of fumbled the ball there.

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Not being able to decide on which spectrum of light to use, the filmmakers just chose “All of them.”

The characters here aren’t so much characters as they are punch-lines. Not only are their personalities exaggerated to the nth degree, but to top it off every single one of them is also horribly, annoyingly shallow. You’re almost ecstatic when the creature finally shows up and starts turning each one into a pile of sticky goop, if for no other reason than you won’t have to listen to them any longer.

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Which slime ball am I’m supposed to be rooting for again? I’ve forgot.

As for the monster itself, I’m not sure how I feel about it. On the one hand it’s clear that they went to great lengths to make sure it was… unique. I do enjoy the fact that the creature is asymmetrical and that such attention to detail was taken to make sure the beast looked as sticky and grotesque as possible on what was clearly a very modest budget. On the other hand, the little bugger just looks a bit too goofy for my tastes (at least when it’s not turning someone into gelatinous goo.)…

Actually, no. Scratch that. It still looks goofy, even then.

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A face not even a mother could love.

The content of this movie is kind of all over the place. It’s an odd mix of grotesque horror, slapstick comedy, youthful fart jokes, and adult humor. It kind of makes me wonder how many re-writes this thing went through and what the hell they were shooting for. There’s a very clear kid-focus, with the younger brother Sherman being the main protagonist, yet at the same time the house is decked out in erotic pop art and the parents openly admit to being swingers, going so far as to bring another couple home so they can have some fun times in the hot tub.

So, I’m confused movie. Who the hell was your target audience for this exactly? Did you even know? Could you not decide?

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An accurate depiction of my thought process as I tried to answer those questions.

The plot for TerrorVision makes little sense and the acting is so over the top that you’ll cringe as soon as someone utters their first syllable. There’s a bit of a clichéd plot twist at the end and the juxtaposition of child hero and adult humor makes you wonder what the filmmakers were aiming for. But it does have an interesting monster and an excessive level of weirdness and can end up being fun… as long as you don’t go in expecting too much fun.

TerrorVision comes up sporadically on streaming services.

TerrorVision is available on DVD and Bluray as part of double feature a Combo-pack with The Video Dead.

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Michi

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