The Terror Within (1989)

There’s a subset of maniacs who want to see movies where women are impregnated by aliens and give messy and brutal birth to them. Trust me, there’s no other way Inseminoid and Galaxy of Terror would all come up with the same concept if there wasn’t a willing audience for this sort of thing.

Now you can add The Terror Within, a movie that doesn’t just have alien assault — well, mutant in this case — but bloody births and abortions, too. It’s basically a family night film ready to entertain one and all.

After the end of the world, the human survivors battle what they call gargoyles, which are really mutant humans. The few normal people left alive are looking for a cure and are working at labs, like the ones in Mojave and Rocky Mountain.

An injured girl named Karen is brought back to civilization, but she quickly gives birth to the spawn of one of these creatures. Think Alien — as this movie quickly moves to rip that off, a switcheroo when you were expecting Mad Max.

If I’ve learned anything from my lifetime of watching 1980’s VHS movies, its that George Kennedy was married three times — twice to the same woman — and had six kids. At the age of 71, he also adopted one of his grandchildren as his daughter so that he and his fourth wife could legally raise her. I’m telling you these facts to explain why I think George never turned down a role. Seriously, he suffers through some of the worst films ever — UninvitedWackoDeathshipThe Concorde … Airport ’79 and so many more — yet he does it all with a quiet grace. Even when a haunted ghost ship sprays sewage right into his mouth in the aforementioned Deathship, I get the idea he’s thinking, “Do it for my grandkids. Do it for my grandkids.”

Former Miss Teen Hamilton Starr Andreeff plays the victim of one of these beasts. Terri Treas, who was Newcomer Cathy Frankel on the Alien Nation TV series, also appears. And for the ladies, there’s Andrew Stevens, who beyond being the son of Stella Stevens is also the star of all of the many Night Eyes films.

This movie becomes an abortion debate, as one of the characters is pregnant, either by a mutant or her human lover. Either way, she overdoses on drugs to prevent what happens next. Trust me, this is the least nuanced debate on the subject ever, as most abortion related movies don’t star clawed mutants that can’t be killed by flamethrowers yet are susceptible to dog whistles.

You can watch this on Tubi. Or you can get it on a double disc with Dead Space from Shout! Factory.

One thought on “The Terror Within (1989)

  1. When I first saw this posted, I thought, “Why is Sam posting . . . this isn’t a post-apoc?” This is about Chad Everett in a present-day Alien rip-off finding dinosaur eggs on an oil rig.

    Doh! That was The Intruder Within, aka, The Lucifer Rig. Damn those similar titles. So this was a curve ball in the post-apoc races! Andrew Stevens went apoc! Cool!

    So, you’re right, it is a post-apoc romp, with an “Alien” premise set on Earth “after” a virus (which is post-apoc). Yes, this was part of that “brutal birth” cycle of films in the Alien stomach buster’s wake, as you pointed out. Totally forgot all about The Terror Within. What? There was a Part II? Never knew that either.

    That’s why this site is cool. I’m loading it on Tubi right now. I am sure I’ll remember once it starts rolling. I’m sure I’ve watched it before.


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