Monday, March 25, 2013

Forbidden World (1982)

In space no one can hear you crap out an Alien rip off one year after crapping out your first one. It makes a pretty good tagline for this Roger Corman production if I may say so. This follow up to Corman’s successful 1981 film Galaxy of Terror is actually a decent watch but you can tell it’s a little more on the cheap side…..and that says a lot considering the low budgetness of Galaxy of Terror.

The horror of being the first to gooooooooo!
Forbidden World opens with Mike Colby (Jesse Vint) being awakened from cryogenic sleep by his robot companion while their space craft is being attacked by……I guess bad people? Hell I couldn’t make heads or tails of what was happening in the first 10 minutes of this film it was edited so haphazardly. After successfully blowing up the attackers Colby is called to help out a genetic research facility located on a distant planet. The research team has created a lifeform which was originally to be used in solving galaxy wide food shortage but has turned out to be an extremely fast mutating creature that has wiped out the lab animals and cocooned itself inside an examination booth. Colby decides the best thing to do is to terminate the lifeform but he meets resistance from the head of the research station Gordon Hauser (Linden Chiles). 
The sauna.....the place where you discuss monster problems.
The creature continues to grow and attack members of the station. The creature injects it prey with a flesh dissolving liquid which slowly turns its victims into big piles of protein in which it then eats. The creature finally makes itself a nest in a remote section of the facility. Lab assistants Barbara (June Chadwick) and Tracy (Dawn Dunlap) attempt to communicate with the creature before Colby can destroy it. The creature is able to communicate with them via the facility’s computer system which proves it is an advanced organism. Its appetite trumps its brain however and Barbara falls prey to the creature. 

"Get in mah bellah!"
The creature is finally destroyed by what is probably one of the most ludicrous plot devices I have seen in quite some time. Dr. Timbergen (Fox Harris) is the facility’s chief of bacteriology and is dying of cancer. He tries to sacrifice his body to the creature with notion that his cancer will actually bring a quick death to the monster. Colby saves him unaware of Timbergen’s reasoning. Timbergen then instructs Colby on how to remove his cancerous liver while still alive. Colby performs the gruesome operation and then feeds the tumor to the creature causing it to vomit up some pretty nasty looking ooze and die. Colby and Tracy survive and the galaxy is a better place.
Barbara's nice asset.

Forbidden World is pretty slapdash but in a charming way. The editing, especially at the beginning and the end, is pretty fast and furious. There is also a lot of “flashback” clips thrown in machine gun style which really makes no sense to me whatsoever. In the beginning of the film when Colby is being awakened we are assaulted with visuals of things yet to come and at the end assaulted with visuals of things we have already seen… really makes no sense but there is nudity involved in both so I will let that slide. Speaking of nudity, this feature has plenty of it! I was honestly surprised there was so much of it actually. Normally these low budget affairs have a few boob shots but Corman went whole hog with a good dose of full frontal. Kudos to you Mr. Corman!
Tracy's nice there a theme going here?

In space no one can hear you.....sauna?
The sets are pretty impressive, especially the control room of Colby’s spacecraft. It was actually used in Galaxy of Terror and before it got scrapped, Corman wanted to use it to film the opening sequence. He had the opening written and that was pretty much it. He filmed that sequenced and then wrote the rest of the film! And that, my friends, is why Corman is who he is; the thriftiest director in Hollywood.  The FX is excellently handled by John Carl Buechler. Although the monster itself might look a bit low budget (because it is), the gore is top notch. There is plenty of bloody piles of putrid goo and broken bodies to be had. I have to admit that I really like the monster in this one. It is very “Alienesque” which is to be expected but it is pulled off very well despite the budget. According to the extras on the DVD, the slug creature from Galaxy of Terror was stripped down to its frame and this new insect like creature built over it. Again, the thriftiness of Roger Corman strikes! I’m beginning to think he should run for president so he can balance the Federal budget and create a surplus!

 The Shout Factory DVD, in which I viewed, presents Forbidden World in widescreen with a very nice minty fresh print. The release also includes a second disc with director Allan Holzman’s longer running directors cut, under the title Mutant, which contains footage that made the film more satirical. Corman frowned upon this cut and made some changes for the theatrical release. There is also a 30 minute documentary on the making of plus commentary. It’s a great disc to have and set it right beside your Galaxy of Terror DVD….also available from the fine folks at Shout! Factory


  1. Shout!Factory! is a nifty name for a vid company...and hey, they got Webster on DVD, which has apparently been miscategorized and not included in the horror section...

  2. Oh the horror of 80's family sitcoms! I think a double feature of Webster and Full House is in order.