Slasher Month: Biotherapy (1986)

Oh, the memories of hearing about this from my fellow comic book, heavy-metal lovin’ horror nerds, “Dude, you’ve got to check out Biotherapy! The comic store just got a new shipment of tapes!”

Fifteen miles (one way) and a $5.99 rental fee, later — I’m in a VHS, analog-drunken stupor. I have no fucking idea what’s going on (no subtitles), but I just watched a woman scientist turned into a fountain by way of broken test tubes jammed into her body. Hey, look! There’s even an eye ball ripping! Yes! A disemboweling! This Japan-curio is out Karo-reddin’ a Sam Raimi cabin-in-the-woods romp!

So, is this a slasher film? Yes.

Is this a rip on John Carpenter’s, not Halloween, but The Thing, but, uh, our resident alien is Jasonesque? Yes.

Never has a movie packed so much in so little time, in this case: 36 minutes. There’s no plot. There’s no characters. It’s just a relentless barrage of in-camera practical effects. In other words: it’s the prefect film that brings on the gore.

Nasty to the extreme, Biothearpy is a story about a group of Japanese scientists working on a food growth hormone (today, courtesy of subtitles: we now know it as “GT Medicine,” not that it matters). Cue the errant meteor shower that brings forth a blue-glowing man adorned in a fedora and trench coat, à la Ben Grimm, aka the other “Thing,” who begins stalking and butchering the scientists for the formula. And check out those Giger-choppers on our time-traveling alien! Nice.

Yeah, nothing beats the good ol’ brick and mortar days of those Japanese grey imports at your local comic emporium. Consider yourselves spoiled, B&S movie youngins, as you can stream this online for free these days; take note that back in those “grey days,” we watched this without subtitles, unlike today’s digital days. Not that you need the subtitles, as this is well-made, effectively-paced and easy to follow.

Why Biotherapy wasn’t expanded into a feature-length film — as was the totally awesome Korean horror romp, Dumplings — is anyone’s guess. What’s really great about Biotherapy is its worldwide distribution. Who hasn’t seen this movie the world over? You can watch Biotherapy on You Tube with optional English subtitles or on You Tube with embedded English subtitles.

For another take, check out guest writer Herbert P. Caine’s review.

About the Author: You can learn more about the writings of R.D Francis on Facebook. He also writes for B&S About Movies.

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