The Terror Within is currently available on instant Netflix
The Terror Within (1989) – Rated R
“The apocalypse has come, and the world has been forever changed by “the accident,” a chemical warfare experiment gone awry. Some have survived by hiding in an underground complex, safe from the harsh landscape above and the mutants that roam there.”
One Line Review: Low budget Alien ripoff is mildly entertaining.
Long before Asylum opened its gaping maw, others were ripping off movies. Admittedly Asylum has perfected the formula, getting their ripoff in stores just before the movie they’re ripping off hits the screens but they were not the first.
In spite of it being made a decade later, The Terror Within is Alien with a much smaller budget. Oh sure there is talk of it being a post-apocalyptic future and it is set in an underground base but this is Alien. We have a ‘gargoyle’ that bursts out of a pregnant woman and rapidly grows to larger than human size.
The crew attempt to hunt down the gargoyle. They move through the spacious air ducts. They split up. They wield flamethrowers and improvised weapons. As they do so, they are picked off one by one. There is even a pet in the base, here a dog instead of Jonesy the cat.
George Kennedy is top-billed here but only collects a paycheck in a role that, with a brief exception, only requires him to sit at a desk and say a few lines. Andrew Stevens (President/CEO of Andrew Stevens Entertainment and Stevens Entertainment Group according to imdb) is the real star here and he relies too much on a pretty face to get things done. The female members of the base contingent are played somewhat woodenly by Starr Andreeff and Terri Treas. On the other hand can you blame them? It’s hard to pretend to high art when you are holding a super soaker and pretending it’s a laser rifle.
People Watch: Jack Valan, who appears here as ‘the gargoyle’, was apparently embarrassed enough by this that he went by Roren Sumner in the credits in spite of using his real name in Witchboard 7 and Witchboard 8.
Sequel-itis: You wouldn’t think it but there is indeed a The Terror Within II (1991) written, directed by, and starring Andrew Stevens. Not only that but he wrangled his mother, Stella Stevens, into appearing as well.