NEW JERSEY: The Deadly Spawn

Tim Sullivan (director, 2001 Maniacs) will be here in person to tell tales of working as a 16-year-old P.A. on The Deadly Spawn! A rare case where the monster is actually as awesome as the one depicted on its VHS cover art — in this case, one of the most amazing-looking, bombastic, cartoonified death machines ever from the Golden Era of Goresploitation. After crashing to earth in the middle of the night, a strange meteor disgorges an unseen, slimy man-chomping menace that swiftly and blithely takes out an entire neighborhood’s worth of unsuspecting rural New Jerseyites. One of those love letters to the horror genre like Phantasm, The Deadly Spawn’s sincerity and overwhelming desire to please the audience easily shines through, and the limited funds were wisely dumped almost entirely into the effects budget. Sporting rows of razor-sharp teeth and pulping everything in sight, the memorable creatures are a sure crowd pleaser every time they appear. Director Douglas McKeown also doesn’t spare the red stuff, doling out some wonderfully gruesome effects akin to something from E.C. Comics — and the third act is especially fun, as the film morphs into an alien version of Straw Dogs (albeit with a wholly different finale!)
Dir. Douglas McKeown, 1983, 35mm, 78 min.