Doctor Wilbur Frank is so passionate about his job that he keeps on doing it even when he gets fired for performing experiments against nature. You have to respect that drive, I mean, other than the fact that he’s started kidnapping women to be the experimental subjects for a human growth serum that as far as I can tell only makes human beings pop out fully grown Xtro style. Well, again, human beings is kind of questionable, as whatever crawls out isn’t human and soon flips out and kills the unkind doctor before heading off into the institute where a cop and two of Wilbur’s assistants have to track it down and destroy it. Or, you know, they could just let it go but then we wouldn’t have a movie.
Director and writer Ron Switzer was a one and done contributor to the world of shot on video — well, 16mm in parts and as you know, if it came out on video and looked cheap, often people just lump it all in — and what an entry he gave us.
Between the droning bleats of the synth soundtrack that are punctuated by breathing, endless breathing there is also editing that at best can be described as inadequate; an eight-minute plus aerobics sequence; a setting that can include not just a mad scientist lab but also a parking garage, a gym, a theater and a chemical weapons company; the creature being named The Fiend; endless repetition of said Fiend wandering down the same hallway again and again; more of that deep breathing (the most Canadian deep breathing since Black Christmas); incredible lighting and shot composition that is soon followed by amateur errors like The Fiend literally walking into the camera and nobody cutting that from the film; The Fiend slow-motion drowning a woman and nobody stopping it because, well, who knows; and again, more wandering down that same hallway.
Either you’re going to love this as it gives you the same feeling of taking narcotics and not having to work for several days and just staring at the same scenes so much that you don’t know where the movie begins or ends or you’re going to hate it and feel like it’s not even a movie.
Isn’t that how it should be?