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John’s Old School Horror Corner: The Deadly Spawn (1983)

February 6, 2013

MY CALL:  If you like cheap gore effects that make an effort and monster movies, I say see it!  This is a fun flick and all of the filmmakers’ mistakes come off as funny.  IF YOU LIKE THIS WATCH:  Some other good, gory monster movies include The Abomination (1988), Leviathan (1989), The Kindred (1987), Night of the Creeps (1986), The Thing (1982; not The Thing 2011), and Slither (2006).

Wait a minute!  I think I remember this from health class.

This is what happens when you don’t practice safe sex.

Much as in The Blob (1988) or Alien Predators (1985), a meteor (or…something…whatever) lands on Earth and brings with it horrible amorphous agents of gory death.  Before we have any notion of a story we see a little of our anthropophagous extraterrestrials.  They look like giant multi-headed worm Muppets loaded with teeth and two googly stalked claws.  This abomination’s numerous larvae, which have infested the basement of a New Jersey home, are like little tadpole Alien chestbursters.  Really kind of cute.


This is what happens when your dad finds out that you didn’t practice safe sex.

Our protagonists include a preteen monster movie enthusiast, a “science major” college kid and his college friends.  These college kids get a hold of a dead larva and try to use their science knowledge to classify its placement in the animal kingdom, dissect it and look up what it is.  One of them demands a college biology textbook so that he can solve this biological mystery–with a dead serious face!  [My kids aren’t going to THAT kid’s college!]  Meanwhile the preteen learns that the monster is blind but quite responsive to sound.  While this may seem critical, the filmmakers somehow never made a big deal of this.  While these kids try to academically sleuth the identity of these little abominations, the larvae spread from the basement “nest” and into neighbors’ homes and plumbing.


The gore is wonderful.  Some serious effort was made for scenes involving tearing off and eating a woman’s face, and terrorizing a vegetarian group’s weekly pot luck.

So here’s the kid’s mom.

And here’s less of her.

I think this should happen to all vegetarians…

…and practitioners of Eastern medicine, herbalism and alternative remedies.

In the end the preteen single-handedly defeats the monster with a screwdriver, a sky pole, a Halloween mask and an extension cord in one of the most painfully drawn out monster kills in monster movie history.  It’s like MacGuyver but without the awesome.  The final scene is laughable, but it works given the budget and humor of the movie.


Monster angry at kid.

Monster even more angry with kid!


Monster angry at that house.

If you like gore and monster movies, I say see it!  This is a fun flick and all of the filmmakers’ mistakes come off as funny.



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