I really enjoyed this one. So how do I rate it? Do I rate it on how much enjoyed it, or should I give it a low score because it's quite bad, and so that it doesn't drown in the endless sea of forgettable movies boasting a score of 4 to 5? I'll just give it an 810, better to keep it simple.
When I watched this movie, it was called "Creatures from the Abyss" or something like that. Me and my friend were in the mood for a creature movie, preferably as horrible (and entertaining) as humanly possible, and we didn't have high hopes for this one. Usually B-movies like this are boring, and the rare gems are far too...rare. But this movie! Even when it's boring - which it sometimes is - it's so entertaining with all the weird editing choices, hilarious acting, writing and random sound effects and dubs. And naturally one actress had the nudity clause in her contract (assuming there ever was a written contract), so there's that too.
But what really made this movie are the practical special effects. I assume that's where most of the budget went, if we don't count cameras and equipment. Usually a movie like this only shows glimpses of their creatures and effects, because they don't have a lot to show in the first place. But once this film gets going, it's amazing. It's clear that the director or someone else with a say had seen John Carpenter's "The Thing" at least 200 times, and ultimately that's what this movie is - it's a crappy version of The Thing. It's almost unbelievable how good some of the creature effects actually are. They're often funny, but there is real craftsmanship here. We even get some stop-motion!
Let's talk about the characters. The most lovable horror character cliches are overdone to the point where it just warms your heart. You know how there's usually a jock, a slut, a good girl and a good boy? The good girls and boys in this movie are really, REALLY good. They're like a caricature of 80's American virtues. The good girl keeps her clothes on, doesn't giggle a lot, cares for people in need and longs for marriage, and even knows how to cook. The good guy wears glasses, knows a lot of science, doesn't like to party and of course, loves the good girl, and they share a kiss on the cheek - because they're not married yet. It's amazing. I called them "the glasses guy" and "the clothed woman", and I was really rooting for them. One more thing about the characters: it's a man's world, baby! All the women are just there to giggle, scream or ask questions from the men. I'm not even a feminist, and I'm certainly not pretending to be offended, but it's something that I noticed and it became more and more funny as it went on.
Earlier I told you how this movie resembles The Thing. But the director (or whoever with any influence on the production) had also seen Evil Dead, Alien 3, and many movies where there's an AI-controlled environment. It's all kinds of crap thrown into the mix. We get those Evil DeadAlien3-shots where we see with the eyes of the "evil" as the camera sweeps the floors and walls. We also get an AI which controls...the lighting? The showers? I don't actually know, and none of it pays off. They're just there. It's like the filmmakers were throwing all kinds of crap at the movie, wondering what will stick. In the end, "The Thing" stuck, and all the rest were of no consequence.
I don't really know what else to say. I had a blast, and my friend did too. I don't think I'd watch this movie alone because having a friend really helps, but I have to respect it nonetheless. When it's good, it's actually good, and when it's horrible (which it is most of the time) it's endearing and baffling.
According to IMDB, most of the actors never did anything else. This was their first and last movie, which isn't that surprising. But I salute them. They will never know it, but because of them, two people in Finland, in the middle of a winter in 2019, had a really fun movie night, as if they were covered with a warm, embarrassing blanket full of giggles.
Review by Tehmeh from the Internet Movie Database.