Starring Jesse Vint, June Chadwick and Fox Harris

Directed by Allan Holzman

Written by Tim Curnen

Shout! Factory

Alien inspired a lot of filmmakers. Specifically, it inspired a lot of filmmakers to rip it off.

Legendary B-movie maker Roger Corman saw the success of Ridley Scott’s now-classic 1979 effort and decided to ride the public’s appetite for predatory xenomorphs. The first (rotten) fruit of that “inspiration” was 1981’s Galaxy of Terror, an exploitation neutron bomb that included rape by intergalactic space worm. Not done with the concept, Corman gave editor Allan Holzman a day to come up with footage that might become another Alien rip-off. Unused space battle footage from Corman’s Star Wars rip-off Battle Beyond the Stars, still-standing Galaxy sets and some quick scripting provided the basis for seven minutes of footage which would become the confused opening of Forbidden World. But once it gets going, FW proves itself to be an entertaining B-movie with enough boobs, blood and balls to make it worth killing 77 minutes of your life.

Jesse Vint (Macon County Line) plays Mike Colby, an intergalactic mercenary working for The Man whose rest and recreation is cut short when he’s directed towards Xarbia, a desert planet where a group of scientists working on a solution to galactic hunger have created a monster (Subject 20) that has escaped their control. The creature, inspired as much by The Thing as Alien, proceeds to decimate the crew, providing a number of gooey moments. Sex, death, goo and ridiculousness ensue.

Forbidden World works because it embraces its B-movie roots and limited budget to create an entertainment only tangentially related to logic, sense or good taste. For example, exactly why Dr. Barbara Glaser (June Chadwick) and lab assistant Tracy (Dawn Dunlap) decide to discuss the creature’s fate while soaping each other up in the shower will forever remain a mystery, but I am forever grateful to them for doing so.

The acting is generally strong, as is, surprisingly, the dialogue, which acknowledges the absurdity of the situation without diminishing its relative seriousness. Repo Man’s Fox Harris providing a particularly unhinged performance as unhinged scientist Dr. Cal Timbergen. Gore hounds will appreciate the grotesque and gooey effects, and there’s more than enough nudity to overlook the obviously low budget.

Shout! Factory’s two-disc presentation, part of its ongoing Roger Corman’s Cult Classics collection, is simply great. Extras look at the special effects (done with no time and no money, of course), production and score, although the greatest extra by far is the original director’s cut (released under the title Mutant) which restores five minutes of cut footage which in turn restores much of the film’s humour.

Movie rating: 3.5/5

Package rating: 4.5/5

One Response to “DEVIANT DVD: FORBIDDEN WORLD (1982)”

  1. Forbidden World was released May 1, 1982, nearly 30 years ago.
    Mutant was screened three weeks prior at the Culver Theater. Roger punched the guy who was laughing loudest. When he left, the guy who he punched threw a large coke at Roger hitting him square in the back. Roger turned with his fists raised and declared, “No, no. We’re even.”

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