‘A crawling terror from the depths of doom’
Inseminoid – aka Horror Planet – is a 1981 British-Hong Kong science fiction horror film directed by Norman J. Warren from a screenplay by Nick and Gloria Maley, a couple who had contributed to the special effects of Warren’s films starting with Satan’s Slave (1976). The movie stars Judy Geeson, Robin Clarke and Stephanie Beacham.
A crew of interplanetary archaeologists is threatened when an alien creature impregnates one of their members, causing her to turn homicidal and murder them one by one…
Agreeing to provide half of the proposed £1 million budget, the Hong Kong Shaw Brothers became partners in the film’s production. Three weeks of location filming at Chislehurst Caves in Kent preceded a one-week indoor session at Lee International Studios at Wembley Park in London. Gozo, an island close to Malta, was chosen to represent the planet’s surface.
Warren denies claims of that the film is merely an Alien imitation, citing the discrepancies between the production schedules: when Inseminoid entered the shooting stage, Alien, which had been filmed in closed studios, had been released in the Britain months before.
Although the director accepts the often “uncanny” similarities between the films, Alien distributors 20th Century Fox discounted the threat of derivation after watching final cut of Inseminoid: “They agreed it was not an Alien rip-off, and in fact, the head of Fox sent us a very nice letter saying how much he enjoyed the film and wished us luck with the release … I find it flattering that anyone can compare Alien, which cost in the region of $30 million, with Inseminoid which cost less than £1 million. We must have done something right.”
“Inseminoid is not a good film, in case you were wondering. It doesn’t make any sense, the costumes are rubbish, the effects are diabolical and the acting (even from the two stars, Judy Geeson and the usually reliable Stephanie Beacham) is atrocious.” British Horror Films
” …the real reason that Inseminoid works comes down to a single performance, that of Judy Geeson. Her Sandy is given a lot of screen time, and she takes advantage of every second; as she oscillates between genuine terror at what is happening to her and the overwhelming alien urge to destroy, Geeson provides a horrifying energy that the rest of the cast simply can’t match.” Scott Drebit, Daily Dead
“This is all very silly and extremely bloody. Warren’s apparent determination to outdo his previous work in terms of sheer tastelessness results in some astonishingly distasteful scenes – and I don’t mean that in a pejorative way. Every opportunity for a brutal set-piece is seized with both hands and played out with a gorgeous visual style that belies the relatively small budget.” Mike Sutton, The Digital Fix
“Inseminoid is a very fine little movie, I dare to say it’s even underrated. Norman J. Warren did his best with what he had, and gave us a semi-classic that deserves to have a better reputation.” Fred Anderson, Ninja Dixon
Judy Geeson (10 Rillington Place; Fear in the Night, A Candle for the Devil), Robin Clarke, and Stephanie Beacham (Dracula A.D. 1972; The Nightcomers; House of Mortal Sin). Victoria Tennant (Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Flowers in the Attic), makes an early film appearance.
Cast and characters [in credits order]:
- Robin Clarke … Mark
- Jennifer Ashley … Holly
- Stephanie Beacham … Kate
- Steven Grives … Gary
- Barrie Houghton … Karl (as Barry Houghton)
- Rosalind Lloyd … Gail
- Victoria Tennant … Barbra
- Trevor Thomas … Mitch
- Heather Wright … Sharon
- David Baxt … Ricky
- Dominic Jephcott … Dean
- John Segal … Jeff
- Kevin O’Shea … Corin
- Robert Pugh … Roy
- Judy Geeson … Sandy
92 minutes 26 seconds (British ‘X’ certificate version)
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