When I was a kid of about 12 we finally got the Sci-Fi channel. Before then my watching habits were filled with crap that didn’t interest me, though I watched anyway. After Sci-Fi, i started watching crap that appealed to me but was still crap. Back in those days the channel had nothing more than re-runs of the 80′s beauty and the beast show, the Friday the 13th show, and tons of direct to video movies and box office blunders. It was during this time that while watching Sci-Fi, i stumbled upon a movie where everything in the background was blurred. I knew it must be something dirty but i couldn’t make out what. I never knew what the film was called and only caught a little bit of it (i couldn’t let my folks catch me watching something naughty) but it stuck with me. Thanks to Netflix watch it now saving films from obscurity that would otherwise be lost, I now know that film was TerrorVision and it was worth the wait.
First of all, say it out loud. TerrorVision. Get it? Sounds like Charlie Chan trying to say television. Anyway, the film is about a modern American family of 4 plus one Grandpa that buys a brand new 1000 channel television satellite that then serves as a portal for an escaped monster from another world. It crawls out of the tv and proceeds to eat each member of the family one by one in gruesome 80′s green gore. It can then assimilate the heads of it’s victims and use them as a decoy to lure further victims. The real question is, what the hell was on the walls that Sci-Fi had to blur? Well the answer isn’t as titillating as i had hoped. The walls are covered in horribly 80′s “art” that depicts men and women in varying states of undress in provocative poses. See the house serves as a pleasure dome for the parents of the family as they’re sex crazed swingers which adds commentary to the American family and it’s relationship with sex and the hypocrisy of the 80′s socially conservative values. That and a bunch of dirty jokes.
Is TerrorVision any good? Yes. It never takes itself seriously and know’s we’re in on the gag. It’s cheesy, gory, silly, and in many ways smart. It also has a killer nihilistic sense of humor found in few films, but can be compared to the vibe in Return of the Living Dead, one of my favorite horror flicks.The source has been restored on Netflix and the presentation is great. I find it strange that studios will remaster a film but then never release it. Good thing Netflix has scooped up dozens of these films for us film fans of the esoteric. Filled with funny dialogue, great kills, and a wonderful b-movie flavor TerrorVision is a lost gem that deserves a proper dvd release. Recommended.
Nudity: none, except the aforementioned terrible art