Stanley Putterman is installing a new satellite dish for his “pleasure palace”. The dish salesman is no help and things are going poorly when the dish is struck by ‘lightning’. Actually, the lightning is space trash in the form of pure energy. Putterman’s dish is now working and home to a ravenous space monster.
With the dish setup Stanley and wife, Raquel head out for an evening of swinging. Daughter Suzie heads out with O.D., W.A.S.P.’s biggest fan. This leaves son Sherman at home eating lizard tails and watching monster flicks with Grandpa. Elvira rip-off, Medusa is constantly interrupted by the actual monster trapped in the signal.
After a little technicolor lightning, our space friend has eaten the dish repairman and Grandpa. Sherman calls the police and Medusa but neither believe that a monster ate Grandpa. When Mom and Dad come home with their swing partners, they lock Sherman in Grandpa’s survival bunker. Sherman learns the monster can take the form of anyone he eats. However, the alien is hungry again and all four adults become monster chow.
Shortly after Sherman blasts out of the bunker, Suzie and O.D. drop in. Again, poor Sherman is met with disbelief until the alien manifests. The alien chases the kids through the house until the sight of O.D.’s studded wrist band reminds the space puppy of his former master. The kids start to treat the monster like ET, showing him the joys of food, music and television. Suzie and Sherman call horror host Medusa once more to try the get the alien on television. A knock on the door and a lack of commercial free programming lead to the end of O.D. The knock on the door is an officer coming to arrest Sherman for making crank calls, the monster swiftly deal with him.
Suzie and Sherman arm themselves from Grandpa’s bunker. They receive a visitor in the form of the alien sanitation technician responsible for their predicament. As he is explaining how he can help, Medusa arrives and kills him, thinking she is helping. The alien eats them. Taking Medusa’s form, the monster catches a ride back to the studio with her driver.
To me, Terrorvision is, almost, that perfect fusion of consciously campy and accidentally awful.
The family is a bunch hapless, nearly endearing, idiots. Think the Griswolds meet ET with an
eating disorder. Everyone is more caricature than character and each more over the top than
the last. All of this is ok, Terrorvision is neither serious nor frightening and it doesn’t set out to
Terrorvision’s theme song should be enough the let you know what’s coming your way. ‘I dance
by the light of the t.v. screen… I watch the Medusa’s eyes turn green but my own reflection I’ve
never seen’. The cheesy sound effect that accompanies The Hungry Beast pinballing through
space should be your signal to cut your losses now or cross the point of no return. Then we
meet the family: Grandpa spends his days downtown handling out literature about lizard tails as
a self sustaining food source, Mom is desperately trying to do her work out routine in heels, Dad
dresses like Disco Stu, Suzie looks like the bastard offspring of Cyndi Lauper and Rainbow Brite
and Sherman dresses like a mini commando and is under psychiatric evaluation. Grandpa and
Suzie are easily the most amusing. However, we spend the most time with Sherman, while not
unsympathetic, was the most overacted and hard to choke down. Although, there is something
to be said for being the most unbelievable character in a movie about a blood thirsty, mutant
space dog. Outside the family we have: Not-Elvira, Medusa, hyper-sexual, late night horror host
and O.D. Reily, Suzie’s none-too-bright boyfriend, looking something like a scarecrow made of
spare parts of Motley Crue.
Notice I’ve said little about The Hungry Beast? All the other character upstage him. He has
three eyes, a pincher thing and leaves a trail of slime where he eats. The Hungry Beast looks
like the Trash Heap from Fraggle Rock, if Henson’s QC department was napping. All told, he’s
still pretty damn likeable, I didn’t mind when he ate the entire cast.
I’m getting long-winded, so I’ll wrap it up. There is no blood or gore in Terrorvision, only slime.
There are also no human breasts, just nudie statues and PG-13 wall art. Despite a body count
of twelve, Alisa remarked that it could be shown to children. I’m not sure I agree but I was
allowed to watch worse in my youth. Overall, I give it three and a half evil satellite dishes. Watch
My initial reaction to TerrorVision wasn’t positive at all. I was way too over the top for my taste. All the characters were quintessential 80’s stereo-types on steroids and the plot was derivative at best. The monster (space dog) looked like it was created by a kindergarten class using Elmer’s glue (I’m impressed that he was somehow likeable though). The movie spends most of the time bouncing between surreal and stupid and the special effects were terrible (not in that good B horror movie way).
Nipple fountains are a good way to win me over! I loved the fact that almost every one of these atrocious characters was eaten by a space dog. Watching Pluthar’s head explode in his space suit was pretty amazing too. I loved Diane Franklin! She was wonderful! Overall, the best part of the film has to be the theme song – by a landslide.
I wouldn’t call this film good by any stretch of the imagination, but it was slightly entertaining at times. I do not, however, feel that it was the “good” kind of bad horror movie. I would give it two evil satellite dishes.