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Featured DVD Review: Roger Corman Double-Feature: The Terror Within and Dead Space

November 1st, 2010

Roger Corman Double-Feature: The Terror Within & Dead Space - Buy from Amazon

The latest Roger Corman Double-Feature with two low-budget horror films: The Terror Within & Dead Space. Two horror films coming out two days after Halloween. While I question the timing, how do these compared to the other Roger Cormon films releases recently? And are they worth checking out, or even picking up?

The Terror Within

In a post-apocalyptic world, humanity has been nearly wiped out, killed off by Gargoyles. Not the mythical Gargoyles, but mutants created as the result of an accident at a biological weapons plant. Now a small group of scientists are trying to survive, but with only enough supplies to last a couple months, they have to go out and hunt for food. When one such party is attacked, another is sent out to rescue them, they instead find a small human encampment, or the remains of one. The only survivor woman, whose pregnant. This could be good news, as this could mean there are some humans with a natural immunity to the plague and that the species could survive. However, there's also a chance she was impregnated by one of those gargoyles, in which case, by bringing her back, they've led the monsters right to them.

You can probably guess which it is.

The first of the two films is basically an Alien rip-off, which is practically a genre all on its own. A genre Roger Corman went to over and over again. This is not one of the better Alien rip-offs, as it takes way too long to get to the alien, I mean gargoyle, and then it wasn't worth the wait. You've come to expect low production values from Roger Corman movies, but this is especially bad.

The Extras

There are no extras for this movie.

The Verdict

The Terror Within wanders around the typical B-movie territory and depending on who you ask, it is either just really bad, or so bad its good. Personally, I think it takes too long to get started, and once you do you see too much of the monster. Given how cheap the suit looked, it would have been better to hide more of it.

Dead Space

This has nothing to do with the recent video games, but is actually a remake of Forbidden World, which I reviewed previously. The plot's the same, only the names have changed.

Short recap: A space ranger is called in by a distress call to a scientific research lab, he's attacked on the way, because they need to pad out the movie, when he gets there he finds the research has created a monster that is killing everyone. Now he needs to kill it.

That's it. That's it, and even at just 72 minutes long, it still feels hopelessly padded. Perhaps it's because I've seen too many of these movies recently, including the original, that I wasn't able to get into the movie, not even on a B-Movie level. Probably the best part of the movie is Bryan Cranston in one of his earlier roles, while I do admit there's more than a bit of "So bad, it's good" appeal here.

The Extras

While the movie is presented in 4:3 aspect ratio instead of widescreen, like the above movie is, this film actually has an audio commentary track. The director, Fred Gallo, sits down with a moderator, Jeff McKay. Fred Gallo is fast with the information, while he doesn't try and sugarcoat the end result. They actually make the movie much easier to sit through.

The Verdict

Seeing an actor wrestle with a monster than is obviously just a puppet does have its charms, if you are a fan of B-movies, but even so... Dead Space is a remake of a rip-off and it is just too far away from its source material to work.

The Final Verdict

The latest Roger Corman Double-Feature features two movies, The Terror Within & Dead Space, both of which are rip-offs of the same film. As such it does have a good theme, but unless you are a hardcore Roger Corman fan, or a hardcore fan of bad movies is general, it's a little much to take.


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