Movies From the Black Lagoon: Forbidden World
Movies From the Black Lagoon
Forbidden World - 1982, Rated R
By Tom Doty
Roger Corman fans will totally dig on this deep space horror flick that recycles sets from 'Galaxy of Terror" in much the same way that Corman recycled other film sets to produce one day wonders such as 'The Terror"(shot in a day and a half with a script by Jack Nicholson, who also starred) and "Little Shop of Horrors."
This time the sets represent hours of backbreaking labor by carpenters who painted Styrofoam carry out boxes and then glued them to the walls to simulate a futuristic wall tile. It worked better in the their films they were used in but there the lighting is so harsh that the true origin of the walls is never in doubt.
The story opens when our hero (space age trouble shooter Colby) is awoken from hyper-sleep by his vertically challenged robot to engage in a dogfight with alien vessels. The battle includes a few impressive explosions unless you've already seen "Battle Beyond the Stars," where the footage was first unveiled. Things get interesting in a hurry when Colby lands on a barren planet where scientists are conducting genetic research. Here the film really hits on something. The idea of allowing the scientists to tamper with nature, as long as they do it on a barren planet where nobody else will get hurt, sounds like a good idea to me.
These scientists have gone way off book. Apparently they were charged with investigating a substance that accelerates cell growth. The applications of such a find to the food industry could solve world hunger but these eggheads are more about splicing it with other animals. Colby arrives to find a lab full of expired rats, cats, ad rabbits as well as a collection of nervous scientists that include two gorgeous space babes who also happen to be genetic geniuses.
Pretty soon everyone is depending on Colby to subdue a beast, which resulted when the space substance was introduced to human tissue. Before you know it the crew is dropping like flies as the resulting monster goes through them faster than a bag of Doritos will pass through the digestive system of a Great Dane (I speak from experience and implore you to keep those dreaded snacks far away from your dog). Things look pretty dim up until the climax wherein they come up with a unique solution-give the monster cancer. Great stuff here and it won't rot your teeth though you're apt to blow a few brain cells if you try to analyze it too closely.
This typical Corman fare that bears his imprint and cost effective suggestions. This is evidenced by copious nudity (Corman still considers sex to be the cheapest and most effective device for keeping the audience awake), recycled footage, use of bizarre terminology to cover up the lack of plausible scientific theory, and a bizarre moment at the halfway mark wherein the two female leads decide to cut costs and shower together. The film gets a better treatment than it probably deserves thanks to the good folks at "Shout Factory." Be on the lookout for their special editions of more Corman fare such as "Humanoids From the Deep," "Piranha," and "Attack of the Crab Monsters."
There's a ton of awful lines here so pick your own favorite from the following samples:
"Give me full throttle in the flood vector."
"What is the gooey stuff?"
"Doctor, I wouldn't know a gene from a jelly bean."
"Let's go bag us a ding-whopper."
Tom Doty occasionally emerges from the Lagoon to check his e-mail and to read to children every Wednesday at 10:30am at Borders in Hagerstown. If you'd like to get a message to him, write to: firstname.lastname@example.org.