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31 Days of Horror, Part Whatever: Red Dracula Capes and Horrifying Carnage

30. The Deadly Spawn (1983)

I love movies like this.

This is steaming hot trash from the early 80s, done on a shoestring budget. It's super-goofy and fun, and it looks like it was just as fun to make it as it is to watch. On top of that, the creature effects are actually really fantastic, and the character development is pretty well done.

The gore is sincerely insane. This is a movie that feels like a goofy teenager chiller-thriller, but then periodically something insanely messed up happens. The plot is fairly straightforward: a meteor crashes, some campers go to investigate, outer-space monsters murder them.

The outer-space monsters wander their way into a basement, where they begin to wreak havoc on the inhabitants of the house in amazingly graphic and shocking ways.

Oh yeah. This thing is going to have nothing but animated gifs. You can blame Ed Ringtone for this. Because I am a man who has learned a new technology, I have determined that I must use this new technology for everything. When you have a hammer, everything looks like a skull, right?


Did I mention that, in addition to all the horrendous gore, this movie has weird, gratuitous boobs?

Here's the woman from the earlier gif, shown here after getting out of bed. She is still alive at this point.

That shot goes on for thirty seconds. She gets out of bed, stretches, looks at her hair in the mirror, adjusts it a little bit, turns, walks to the window, looks at the window, and is mildly disappointed that it is raining-- which is the portion that I have chosen to show you here. Then she puts on her robe.

That is some straight-up dedication to gratuitous boobs covered in sheer material.

Anyway, she goes to look for her husband in the basement and gets murdered, as seen earlier.

Meanwhile, there are about eight other families in the house. This house is huge. One of the families has a little kid who's super into movie monsters and wears a red Dracula cape around. A different family in the house has a psychiatrist father, and there is a long sequence where he tries to psychoanalyze the kid who loves monsters. He asks him if he believes that monsters are real, or that he would ever see a monster, and the kid responds that no, of course not, monsters aren't real. Because duh.

Eventually, he shuts up, and the kid wanders down into the basement, and finds the horrible monster, all of its wee horrible spawn, and the corpses of the people who have already gone to the great watery basement in the sky. Here is that superb, glorious reaction shot.

But what's this? Some of the other, older kids have found one of the weird spawn-babies in the creek. They discuss its phylum and genus, along with a historical tangent about the re-discovery of the coelacanth, a weird ancient fish thought to be extinct until its rediscovery in 1938.

Rather than choosing to believe that it is a coelacanth, one of the fellows posits that it is a baby freshwater eel.

They disagree.

One of them decides to dissect it, and asks the one who lives there if his mother has a cookie sheet or something.

They do.

Then they cut back to the kid in the basement, watching the weird alien babies eat the head of his friend's mother for an absurd amount of time:

So he's been down there just watching ridiculous carnage take place. At this point he's been down there for maybe an hour of movie timeline-time. Just, you know, chillin' out with the corpses of people he knows, plus a huge monster and a whole passel of tiny monsters.

You know, like you or I would do.

Eventually he wanders back upstairs.

Thankfully, we're spared a long sequence where the kid tries to convince people that there are monsters in the basement. We are spared this tired indignity of a trope because the monsters are killing everybody upstairs. A few of the college kids are left, for a little while, at least, until one of them is beheaded by the monster and thrown out a window, in a shot that is basically the entire reason that I love movies like this:

That sequence has three cuts and they exist for no real reason.

I wholeheartedly recommend this totally ridiculous gorefest of a movie.

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  1. “This thing is going to have nothing but animated gifs. […] Because I am a man who has learned a new technology, I have determined that I must use this new technology for everything.”

    _New_? How could you forget there was a time when animated gifs was all the movie picture to be had on the internet?

    “When you have a hammer, everything looks like a skull, right?”

    Why yes, yes it does. :o)

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