Scared to Death (1980)

I feel guilty.

Director William Malone mortgaged his house,  and sold his car and almost everything he owned to make this film.

Which doesn’t change the fact that I still think this one is dull.

Dull, dull, dull.

We get random, bloody killings piling up, mostly pretty girls in their underwear, with lots of blood.

Only later we learn that most of the victims are just comatose.

Not that anyone seems to have noticed this epidemic.  Or all the sewer workers who haven’t shown up for work lately.

So we have the expected long sequences setting up potential victims, including a bit of nudity, a long rollerskating sequence (really), a monster that looks like a cheap version of one of Giger’s Aliens, right down to the extra thingy in its mouth that comes out when it’s planning to feed (yes, I know Malone spent three months sculpting this thing himself.  Sorry.  It still looks cheap) and a lot of monster cam, complete with heavy breathing.

But that doesn’t change the fact that a big chunk of the running time is dedicated to a meet-cute romance.  But then the girl ends up comatose for the last half hour or so and the hero has to run around with another girl.

There isn’t much to distinguish this one from most of the monster drek of the Eighties video market, other than that it is cheaper than most of them.  Even making the creature a man-made monstrosity isn’t really that original.

The curious thing is that there was a sequel of sorts a decade later.  Well, at least the creature has the same name (Syngenor, which is short for Synthetic Genetic Organism).  However, William Malone had nothing to do with that one.

Which isn’t necessarily a criticism.

One might give them points for one of the more eccentric main characters I’ve seen in these sorts of cheap films, but somehow, you get the feeling Malone just bundled together a bunch of odd quirks and labelled it all “odd ball genius”.

It certainly is hard to believe that he was ever anything as hard-headed as a cop.  Let alone good at it.

However, if you think we’re talking a lot of monster mayhem and girls getting murdered in nasty ways — or even that we’re going to spend a lot of time following that police investigation, you’d be wrong.

No, we’re talking about a lot of talk.  Lots and lots of talk.  With the occasional jump scare thrown in.

Or, to sum it all up, this one is dull.

Dull, dull, dull.


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3 thoughts on “Scared to Death (1980)

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