Written by: Carroll Jenkins on February 12th, 2012
Theatrical Release Date: USA, 1986
Director: Tim Kincaid
Writer: Tim Kincaid
Cast:Teresa Farley, Lance Lewman, Frances Raines, Natalie O’Connell, Amy Brentano, LeeAnne Baker, Matt Mitler, Adriane Lee
DVD Released:August 28th, 2001
Approximate running time: 77 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital Mono English
Subtitles: Spanish, French
DVD Release: MGM
Region Coding: Region 1 NTSC
Retail Price: $14.98
Synopsis: An alien rapist that can assume the shape of any person is attacking and impregnating the virgin women of Manhattan. Mostly they have to get undressed for various reasons first.
The spirit of Ed Wood Jr. undoubtedly possessed writer/director Tim Kincaid’s soul for him to create this baby. Good old Ed was just sitting there in purgatory watching the 80′s only cable channel via aluminum foil assisted rabbit ears and the most amazing thing happened – a screening of C.H.U.D. Breeders is in many ways a remake of that film but abandons the cannibals and engages a monster that wants to breed with human women and not just munch on them. So imagine The Horror Of Party Beach, Humanoids From The Deep, and Spawn Of The Slithis blended with Bride Of The Monster, Plan 9 From Outer Space, and Orgy Of The Dead.
Now that you’ve recovered from the shock of such an overwhelming concept you poise the question, “Ed Wood?”. Of course, where else could you get dialog exchanges like this:
Donna: Who told you a cheap dinner in an Italian restaurant was a ticket to a girl’s bed? Don’t you ever call me again, you creep. Donna’s Date to Taxi Driver: 47th and Broadway. [Times Square]
Dr. Gamble Pace: We haven’t figured out what he did in conjunction with the rape, But our tests show some kind of damage from acid. Detective Dale Andriotti: LSD? Doctor: No, some kind of corrosive acid.
Doctor: I want a 24 hour watch on this patient. Who sent all these flowers? We haven’t notified her family yet. Orderly: I brought them over. Mrs. Arquette died last night, she doesn’t need them any more. Doctor: Oh, I see. That’s enough for now. [to Detective]: You wanna talk about this? Detective: Sure. Are you angry with me? Doctor: This kind of case makes me want to kill every man that was ever born.
That’s just the tip of the iceberg, but let’s move on to the scenarios. Orgy Of The Dead had strippers watched by monsters; Breeders goes it one better by having women shed their clothes every ten minutes just prior to being raped by the monster. The dynamic duo of Dr. Pace and Det. Andriotti get most of the choice dialog, but it’s Adriane Lee as Alec who gets to strip nude while talking on the phone with her mother (!). Later the acid scarred victims magically heal and become somnambulistic and march through the streets of Manhattan butt naked. It’s forever a pity that Vampira had to keep her clothes on. Then to top it all, the only possible suspect couldn’t have done it because – he’s gay. A point that is delicately but laboriously revealed.
Quality wise Breeders makes all the aforementioned movies look cheap and shoddy. C.H.U.D. had an intelligent script and was blessed with some gifted actors but had a number of serious flaws as well. Yes, the monster here is also cheap, but certainly better than those in C.H.U.D. and more importantly kept obscured which adds to the suspense. And there is some genuine suspense, despite most kills being telegraphed by the baring of breasts. There is LOTS of nudity here, but no sex scenes, it’s just women stripping down followed by cocaine enhanced nude gymnastic warm-up routines, and almost being molested by a thrill seeking intruder and resigned to enjoy it when the monster rudely interrupts proceedings. The finale features all the nude female victims (beautiful again) writhing around in what looks like the Playboy grotto filled with semen. Add to this a great variety of gloriously low-tech gory kills and transformation effects, and some rather tame eighties fashions, and this is one of the great guilty pleasures of the eighties. Way better than Night Of The Comet, dude.
SPOILER ALERT – Some scenes were shifted for dramatic impact (sales potential) at the expense of story and logic. The first kill in the storyline was the homeless woman, who was the first to gestate and was completely unknown to the police. It was her mutated progeny that alerted the aliens that untainted (virgin) women must be selected for procreation. Said progeny shows up later and is deliously over-the-top.
Anamorphic widescreen transfer looks unrestored but very nice, though subtitles are only in French and Spanish. Really looks substantially clearer and more colorful than either C.H.U.D. or Humanoids From The Deep.
Stumbling upon a gem in the rough among low budget horror films of the eighties is almost as difficult as finding virgins in Manhattan. Any fan of Ed Wood or the previously mentioned movies should proceed post haste to procure this product.
Note: This title currently seems to be out of print but with quantities still extant at various on-line retailers, some at rock-bottom prices.
Addendum: Don’t know how I missed this during the eighties cable and VHS rental years, but I expect it was the horrendous VHS cover art which I distinctly remember as a turn-off. The theatrical poster is actually pretty good – for the eighties.