Director – Allan Holzman
Cast – Jesse Vint, Dawn Dunlap, June Chadwick, Linden Chiles, Fox Harris, Raymond Oliver, Scott Paulin, Michael Bowen, Don Olivera
Release Year – 1982
Reviewed by John of the Dead
A close friend of mine recommended this film, and all he had to say to me was “it’s an 80s alien flick produced by Roger Corman” to get me to give it a watch. Coming off as Star Wars vs. Alien, this cheesy watch gives us everything that is great about horror from decades ago, like tons of creature action, gore, and nudity. Of course, Forbidden World will never be mentioned in the same category as the films that influenced it, but this was one experience I enjoyed.
Set in the distant future, a federation “troubleshooter” arrives at a research lab to battle a genetic experiment that has gone rogue and begun feeding on the dwindling group of scientists.
Tim Curnen’s story starts off much like a Star Wars film, with Mike Colby awakening from hypersleep to battle enemy starships while en route to his new mission. It does not take long before he arrives at the research lab, and soon enough the carnage kicks in. The usual clichés are at play here but I found them fun and the “good” kind of cliché. There is plenty of creature action written into the film, and I enjoyed the fact that the creature would constantly metamorph into an even more dangerous organism – growing in size as well. His story includes plenty of on-screen deaths that keep things interesting and ensure good pacing, and with a runtime of under 80 minutes you should not find yourself bored with this piece.
Director Alan Holzman does well with this extremely low budget piece and gives us quite a bit with what little he had to work with. The cheese is of course plentiful and it comes via the acting, dialogue, creature FX, and starship battle, but nonetheless this is that “enjoyable” cheese fans of such films know and love. I was very impressed with the quality of the gore in this film and the sets, while cheap, were excellent and used to full potential thanks to low-lighting and positive cinematography. Holzman did not have much of a directing career after this piece, but I applaud him for doing well in a situation where many directors before and after him have failed.
Overall, Forbidden World is an enjoyably cheesy horror film that gets things right where it matters most: the horror.