The Deadly Spawn (1983) – By Duane L. Martin

Two campers are startled one night by a meteor that slams into the ground near their camp site. After finding out what had occurred, one of the men goes back to the camp to find the flash for their camera so they can take photos of the large space rock. Unfortunately, while he’s back at camp, his friend gets himself eaten by non other than…BUM BUM BUMMMMMM!!! The Deadly Spawn! It doesn’t really matter though, because he himself is eaten inside their tent not long after. I guess he never did find that flash. Oh well.

From this point, the creature takes up residence in the basement of a near by house, and once inside, starts spewing out little baby critters and eating everyone they come into contact with. Fortunately for humanity, this home contains a boy who’s obsessed with monster movies and effects, and even creates his own poof effects with flash powder and what not. He, along with his brother and his brother’s three friends must try to survive the onslaught of the spawn and to stop them before its too late.

This film has had various releases over the years. This particular release is the new blu-ray Millennium Edition from Elite Entertainment. Now I was checking out some of the reviews of this release on Amazon, and some people love it, while others say the visual quality isn’t as good as it is on the older DVD release from Synapse because of noise reduction and whatever else they did when they mastered it. Without a frame of reference to compare the different versions, I really can’t say if one is better than another. I however did not find any real issues with this release visually. It was shot in 1983. I’m not sure what people were expecting, but really it’s only going to look so good. I found it perfectly watchable and didn’t think anything of the visual quality until I read that some people weren’t all that happy with it, so take it for what it’s worth.

For some reason, I thought I had seen this film before, but I was mistaken. I had never seen it before, and I have to say, I thoroughly enjoyed it!

The most awesome thing about this movie are the spawn monsters. I can’t even imagine how much work went into making them, but they’re absolutely awesome! The big one is especially sweet. It’s like a brutal version of the plant from little shop of horrors with an insane number of teeth, several heads and a ravenous appetite. The small ones are more like the worms from Tremors, but with heads like the big one, full of razor sharp teeth. They’re all blind and home in on their victims through sound, which again, is similar to how the worms in Tremors detected their victims, only they sensed the vibrations. There’s even a scene where the big one gets blown up and throws blood and meat all over everyone, which again, is similar to what happened in Tremors. I’m seriously wondering after seeing this film if it was actually an inspiration for the film Tremors. I can definitely see some similarities between the two. Suffice it to say however that the monsters in this film are a whole lot of fun. The gore effects may be a little hokey, but that just makes it all even more fun.

The acting in the film isn’t anything special. In fact, some of it generally sort of stinks, but with a film like this that’s trying to be somewhat serious, but doesn’t take itself too seriously, that’s not a bad thing. You’re not really watching a film like this for the people anyway. You’re watching it for the monsters. It’s like watching a Godzilla movie. The scenes with people are really just filler for the time between the scenes with the monsters, which is what we all really want to see anyway, and believe me, the monsters in this particular movie are way awesome, and really well done.

This Millennium Edition blu-ray release of the film includes the following special features:

A special introduction by producer Ted A. Bohus.
A new commentary track with Ted A. Bohus and editor Marc Harwood.
A production and promotional still photo gallery.
Color pages from the upcoming comic.
Casting tapes.
Gag reel.
Theatrical trailer and TV spot.
"Effects Enhanced" opening scene.
Footage of local television coverage.
A full color insert featuring liner notes by Ted A. Bohus

I love films like this for the same reason I love Tremors, and other monster movies of this nature. You can really feel the passion that went into making them and the respect that the film makers put into crafting really great monsters that will entertain and delight the viewer. You can tell when you’re watching something great, and that’s how I felt when I was watching this film. It was fun, and it’s one that I’m sure I’ll be watching again many more times in the future. If you haven’t seen this film, do yourself a favor and see it.

If you’d like to pick up a copy of this blu-ray release for yourself, you can get it from Amazon right here.