I've been on a small Diane Franklin kick as of late. Who is this Franklin girl you ask? All it takes is two words and you will know who I'm talking about..International Language. If you guessed "cute French girl from Better Off Dead, the greatest comedy ever made" then you guess correct, my friend. This was the girl that was the archetype for my vision of feminine perfection when I was a teenager, and probably still exists somewhere in the complex mind of Steve the Adult to this day. She was a bit of a teenage crush, but it wasn't the actress herself as much as the character she portrsyed. If it were the other way, I would probably hold Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure to the same light as Better Off Dead.
So after seeing The Last American Virgin a couple weeks back, I spent a little time perusing Franklin's IMDB entry and discovered the entry for Terrorvision(1986). Seeing that it was executive produced by one Charles Band, I knew it was something I had to see. Ten minutes into the film and it was an instant favorite, or at least somewhere in the top 100 or 200(I watch a lot of movies).
The Planet Pluton dispenses it's garbage much like scientists have been telling us we should do it for years..by shooting it as far into space as possible. Much like humans, the "Plutonians" believe if you can't see it, it must not exist anymore. As an advanced species, the Plutonians just don't launch garbage piles into space via rockets. Instead, garbage matter is converted into energy and shot into that deepest and darkest depths of the Final Frontier. Unfortunately, one such "garbage beam" headed towards Earth ends up bouncing off a couple of satellites, causing the trash beam to be directed into the home of the Puttermans. Unfortunetly, one Plutonian's trash is not necessarily another man's treasure, unless you consider a man-eating, mutant space fido your idea of gold doubloons.
Sounds pretty awesome so far, doesn't it? I don't really think the summary I gave will really do it as much justice as Terrorvision is deserved because the characters are what really make this cheese factory of a flick shine.
Stanley and Raquel Putterman - The parental units. Not exactly Ozzie and Harriet, but it'd the 80's so it's totally okay for a middle-aged yuppie couple to openly swing in front of there kids and hang x-rated bondage art all over the common areas of the house.
Grampa - a veteran survivalist who has a dream of one day marketing lizard tails as a renewal food resource.
Sherman Putterman - When is the last time you say a 10 year old kid who looked natural carrying an automatic weapon?
Suzy Putterman - Played by Franklin herself. The oldest child and a punk rock princess, she has a taste for metalheads and the brains of a piece of plywood.
O.D. - Suzy's boyfriend. Doesn't have much going in the brains department, but he rocks a WASP tee and studded leather gauntlets. By far, the best character in the film.
Throw in horribly written dialogue, PG-13 comedy, R-rated gore, and a decently designed puppet mutt and you have yourself a keeper. Did I mention that Charles Band was not only the executive producer, but he also wrote the music? What can't that fuckin' guy do?!?
Unless you a fan of other 80's horror/comedy classics like House and Critters, you might not get as much of a kick out of Terrorvision as I did. It is definitely more for the Killer Klowns crowd than the slasher and gore purists out there. I would never try to sell Terrorvision to my horror aficionado roommate for fear of a straight 90 minutes of whining. But if you're more Freddie Kreuger than Michael Myers, this could be right up your alley.