There’s Nothing Out There 20th Anniversary Special Edition (1992/2011) – By Duane L. Martin

I’ve been a huge fan of There’s Nothing Out There since I first saw it several years ago. So when I recently received a copy of the two-disc 20th anniversary release of the film from Troma, I was like, "Score!". For those who haven’t seen the film, here’s the rundown.

The movie starts out with a girl named Sally (Lisa Grant) working in a video store. She’s being chased by some crazy killer and ends up all wrapped up in video tape. Turns out it was just a nightmare. Unfortunately, she was having it while she was driving and ended up running off the road. After the crash, a green light comes down from the sky and turns into this spud of a monster with big teeth and two long tentacles, which then proceeds to start attacking her car. Later on, a group of friends heads out to a cabin by lake that’s owned by Nick’s (John Carhart III) family. Along with nick, there’s his best friend Mike (Craig Peck), his girlfriend Stacy (Bonnie Bowers) and their other friends, Jim, Janet, David and Doreen. they pass the crash scene and discover that there’s no sign of the girl, and Mike, who’s seen every horror film there is, suddenly realizes that they’re walking right into a classic horror movie scenerio. Mountain cabin, lake, missing girl, etc…. He tries to warn them repeatedly but only manages to get on everyone’s nerves. That is, until the monster starts picking off their friends one by one. After that it’s a struggle for survival as the remaining friends try to come up with a plan to kill the monster and make it out of their alive.

This film was made by Rolfe Kanefsky and in my opinion, is one of the great gems of the genre. It’s funny, the cast is great, the monster is way creative and fun, the dialogue is awesome, and all in all this is a film that you NEED to have in your collection.

I’m not going to get too into detail here review-wise. Most of our readers have either seen the film or own a copy. Those that haven’t seen it, just see it. Trust me. What I’d like to focus on here instead is the release itself.

Now that I’ve received this Troma release of the film, I have two copies of it. One from Troma, and an earlier, single disc release from Image Entertainment, and I’d like to talk about some of the differences between the two releases.

Both releases have commentary by the director, though the Troma release apparently has a new commentary, so it’s different from the one on the Image release. Both have cast auditions, pre-production footage and storyboards, a behind the scenes featurette, animation test footage and deleted scenes, production stills and a trailer. The Image release also has filmographies. The Troma release includes some new items such as a new film deconstruction and secrets of success with the director and another short from Rolfe called Mood Boobs starring Tiffany Shepis.

So which copy should be in your collection? Well…

The Image release has most of the same extras, but it also boasts a superior image and color quality over the Troma release. The Troma release seems to be not quite as vibrant color-wise and there’s even a small glitch in the encoding of the film at one point. I even rewound it and watched it again to make sure it wasn’t a random occurance, and sure enough, it did it again. It’s actually in the encoding. Now I’m not saying the quality of the Troma release is bad. It’s just not quite as good as the Image release. Because the one from Troma is the current release of the film however (release date, January 11, 2011), it will be more widely available than the Image release. You can still get the Image one through marketplace sellers on Amazon though, and I’m sure through other outlets that still have copies to sell.

If I had to make a recommendation, I’d say that if you care more about the film and the quality of the visuals, go for the Image release. If you want the extra special features, go for the Troma release. If you want everything, grab a copy of both. You’re not going to go wrong no matter what you get, because the movie itself is a gem, and anyone not capable of enjoying this movie would probably be better off popping in a copy of Beaches or something instead. I can’t say enough great things about this movie. It’s one of my favorites and I know I’m not alone in that sentiment.

If you’d like to find out more about this film, you can check out the film’s website at http://www.theresnothingoutthere.com.