The Deadly Spawn (Blu-ray)

February 29, 2012 5 Min Read

Review by: Fusion3600

Plot: What’s it about?

As a group of campers enjoy the great outdoors, a meteorite careens down from space and heads right toward the planet’s surface. The meteorite soon crashes down pretty close to their campsite, which puts an end to the festivities. Two campers move in to take a closer look at the site of impact, which is quite a sight indeed. One of them bolts to grab a camera in order to document the event, while the other sticks around. Soon however, his guts are sticking to some sharp teeth, as an unknown creature has emerged from the impact and devoured him. As the other camper rifles through his tent, the creature hunts him down too and before he can even react, the blood is all over the place. The beasts, with razor sharp teeth by the hundreds, soon move toward a house and soon make short work of the residents. Meanwhile in the same house, a young man named Charlie tries to put a mean scare on Mille and Herb, only to be let down. But later on, Charlie and his friends put on costumes and head down to the cellar, in hopes of scaring an electrician who was supposed to be down there. The scare is on them, as they only discover an open toolbox, a severed hand, and a horrific creature with some wicked teeth. What are those hideous creatures and can they be stopped, or will the entire town be munched?

The horror genre has been all about the indies long before the movement was cool, due in part to the fact that most folks who want to make a horror movie don’t have much cash. Just write your treatment, round up your friends, get some chicks to show their breasts, and rig up some blood drenched special effects, all staples that even poor productions can round up. As expected, a lot of these low rent movies turn out to be pure shit, but sometimes a golden nugget is excreted and without a doubt, The Deadly Spawn is one of the success stories. Shot on 16MM with a budget of just over twenty grand, this movie comes off as a slick, well produced motion picture. Not as polished perhaps, but still slick, thanks to some great production values. The draw here is with the gore and special effects, both of which are frequent and well crafted. The creature effects look incredible for this kind of production, with effective visual presence and movement. The filmmakers don’t get shy about blood either, so the red stuff flows often. The performances come off as bland, but that doesn’t concern me, as we don’t look to horror movies for great performances. The film has blood, great gore sequences, and some wicked creature effects, so it sounds good to me.

Video: How does it look?

The Deadly Spawn is presented in full frame, as intended. I am not sure what the source was for this release, but it is not a good visual effort. Even the DVD release seems to sport better detail, which is not good news. This is perhaps due to the excessive noise reduction applied, which softens the image and harms the inherent grain. I wanted this transfer to be a home run, but sadly it fails to live up to that expectation. I think we all know this movie will never look pristine, but it deserves a sharper, more natural treatment than this.

Audio: How does it sound?

Aside from a couple dropouts that slipped past quality control, this soundtrack is solid. The audio is thin and dated, as you’d expect, but has held up well. The elements aren’t too harsh and balance is good, so while a little lacking in presence, the film sounds passable in this version.

Supplements: What are the extras?

The extras here include audio comments from director Ted Bohus and editor Marc Harwood, an introduction with Bohus, casting tapes, and even a gag reel. But that’s not all, as we also have photo galleries, an enhanced opening sequence, local television coverage of the production, a tv spot, and the film’s theatrical trailer.

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