THE KINDRED (1986) Reviews and overview

‘Anthony didn’t ask to be brought into this world…’

The Kindred is a 1986 [released 1987] American horror film directed by Jeffrey Obrow and Stephen Carpenter (The Power; The Dorm That Dripped Blood). Obrow also produced the film and co-wrote it along with Carpenter, Earl Ghaffari and John Penney. It stars David Allen Brooks, Amanda Pays and Rod Steiger.

The Kindred was released on January 9, 1987 and grossed $2.4 million.

A geneticist takes his assistants to his old family home to locate the deadly product of his late mother’s revolutionary research into rapid human evolution – his monstrous tentacled baby brother, before a mad scientist gets to him first…


“Where the film really shines is in the special effects department. Anthony is a combination of octopus, alien and a human being liberally doused with goo. And I mean LIBERALLY, there is so much ooze and goo flung about in this movie that I’m sure it was in short supply for other films that might have needed some at the same time. People are literally swimming in the stuff and it is nasty to look at too.” The Black Saint,

“It’s just that the script moves in fits and spurts – when the film opens, it’s intriguing. When that gets stale, the film switches gears and becomes a friends-in-house-with-unseen-terror flick – here it’s basically a monster-slasher. When that becomes a pinch tiresome, it flirts with body-takeover horror – including the film’s highlight when one character acquires a set of gills. And finally, it becomes Anthony’s show, with a huge showdown and critter-filled denouement.” Dan Gorman, Modern Superior

“There is a human to fish transformation scene, rickety floorboards that lead to a subterranean pit of mini monsters, and a rousing climax that leaves Stieger covered in clear gelatinous goo. If you’ve somehow missed this once late night cable regular, do yourself a favor and track it down. The kill ratio may be low but the slime tide is remarkably high.” Kindertrauma

“This movie might have been a small classic of the era along the line of Night of the Creeps or C.H.U.D. or Pumpkinhead if only it had a little more energy and humor, and maybe a dash of gore or sleaze! There are some mutants that The Pawnbroker keeps around, which we see near the beginning of the movie, who add some of these qualities, but then we never see or hear about them again!” Ha ha, It’s Burl!

“An adequate idea for a horror flick, ruined by bad pacing and a woolly plot. Not even mealy-mouthed Amanda Pays sprouting gills and fins can redeem this one.” Time Out (London)

Cast and characters:

  • David Allen Brooks – John Hollins
  • Rod Steiger – Dr. Phillip Lloyd – End of Days; Modern Vampires; Mars Attacks!;  American Gothic; The Amityville Horror; The Illustrated Man
  • Amanda Pays – Melissa Leftridge – Leviathan
  • Talia Balsam – Sharon Raymond
  • Kim Hunter – Amanda Hollins
  • Timothy Gibbs – Hart Phillips
  • Peter Frechette – Brad Baxter
  • Julia Montgomery – Cindy Russell
  • Bunky Jones – Nell Valentine [as Bunki Z]
  • Charles Grueber – Harry
  • Bennet Guillory – Dr. Stone
  • Edgar Small – Dr. Larson
  • Jim Boeke – Jackson [as James Boeke]
  • Randy Harrington – Paramedic
  • Benjamin J. Perry – Porsche Driver [as Ben Perry]

Filming locations:



The Kindred received a limited release in New York City on January 9, 1987, however the film had a cinema release in other countries such as Australia and the UK.

In the US, it was released on VHS by Vestron Video.

On September 1, 2017, Synapse Film’s Don May announced that a Blu-ray and DVD release was planned for 2018.

“About ten years ago, we announced The Kindred,” he told Entertainment Weekly. “We had purchased it and it got entangled in a horrible legal battle. It was no fault of ours, we just had to hold tight until everything was finalized.”

He continued, “Almost ten years later, I can now say that, yes, we are doing The Kindred, finally, for 2018. While we didn’t spend four years restoring it, it took us ten years to get out of all the legal mess to finally announce it again, ten years later. I could probably write a book as to what happened with The Kindred. [Laughs]

We’ll do The Kindred on Blu-ray and DVD, because honestly it’s never been legally available on Blu-ray or DVD in the U.S. So, we’ll be the first company to actually release it. I can also say that our version of The Kindred actually has more gore in it than the original U.S. version had. We ended up finding material which has extra gore which hasn’t been released here.”