THERE’S NOTHING OUT THERE (1991) Reviews of meta sci-fi comedy horror

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‘A horror film of comic proportions’
There’s Nothing Out There is a 1991 American science fiction comedy horror film written and directed by Rolfe Kanefsky (Art of the Dead; Sunset Society; Bus Party to HellThe Black Room; plus more). Producer Victor Kanefsky, Rolfe’s father, was an editor (Blood Sucking Freaks; Ganja & Hess).

The movie stars Craig Peck, Wendy Bednarz and Mark Collver.

There’s Nothing Out There is notable for having a horror movie fan character who cites genre tropes years before Kevin Williamson’s 1995 Scream screenplay was picked up by Dimension Films.

Vinegar Syndrome released There’s Nothing Out There on Blu-ray + DVD, newly restored in 2K from the35mm interpositive, on January 29, 2019.
Audio commentary with writer/director Rolfe Kanefsky, filmmakers Joe Lynch (Wrong Turn 2) and Jeffrey Reddick (Final Destination), and others (new)
Audio commentary with writer/director Rolfe Kanefsky
Audio commentary with writer/director Rolfe Kanefsky, editor Victor Kanefsky, actors Craig Peck and Mark Collver, and others
Audio commentary with The Hysteria Continues podcast
Interview with writer/director Rolfe Kanefsky and editor Victor Kanefsky (new)
Interview with Victor Kanefsky (new)
Interview with actor Craig Peck (new)
Copycat – A short film about the movie’s influence
Murder in Winter – Early feature film by Rolfe Kanefsky (Blu-ray only)
Just Listen – An early short film by Rolfe Kanefsky
Pre-production footage and video storyboards
Behind-the-scenes rehearsal footage
Cast auditions
Animation test footage and deleted shots
Music video
Theatrical trailer
Still gallery

It’s Spring Break, and seven high school students head to a secluded cabin in the woods for the weekend. Mike, a keen horror film fan, tries to warn his friends of impending danger. However, they scoff at him.

That is until sinister things begin to happen and the friends are attacked by a creature that wants to eat the men and mate with the women…



“Not all of the comedy in There’s Nothing Out There lands – the slapstick gags feel particularly dated – but the self-referential horror commentary has proven to be timeless. There’s also a clever fourth wall break involving a boom microphone, and the biggest laugh of the film comes from its final moment. It concludes on a high note…” Broke Horror Fan

“Cheap, schlocky and gleefully trashy, There’s Nothing Out There is an effective mix of low-budget horror and goofy, tasteless comedy. The film wallows in genre clichés […] to good effect, resulting in a film that’s completely watchable and simultaneously horrible.” DVD Talk

“While the movie is schlocky, it’s also able to point out some fun clichés that predated Scream by nearly a decade. There are riffs on the stray cat jumping out of the darkness, people’s willingness to get naked at the drop of a hat, the unnecessary need to learn the backstory of the villain that always serves zero purpose toward survival…” Cinema Crazed

“This 16mm horror/comedy has decent special effects and camerawork, and like the earlier Final Exam and later Wes Craven flick Scream (1996), it includes a horror movie geek (Craig Peck) whose fright film knowledge comes into play.” Brian Albright, Regional Horror Films, 1958 – 1990

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“The monster is entertainingly cheesy and its movements hilariously stilted. Clothing is ripped off, cat’s jump out of nowhere, one character makes advantageous use of a dipping microphone boom (which is not cropped by the widescreen framing), eyes glow, faces melt, and there’s a nifty bit involving plate glass.” DVD Drive-In

“Making fun of horror films while embracing them at the same time is a tricky balance to strike. Yet, I thought There’s Nothing Out There! did an excellent job mixing horror and comedy.” House of Self Indulgence

“There’s one already-famous scene in which a potential victim swings out of danger by grabbing the dangling microphone boom at the top of the frame. That’s amusing, but in general, this no-budget parody of screen schlock is barely better than the dreck it imitates.” Videohound’s Complete Guide to Cult Flicks and Trash Pics

Choice dialogue:

Stacy: “He is a horror film – a walking, talking horror film!”

Mike: “We don’t know anything about this creature other than it, like everyone else, hates a mouth full of shaving cream.”

Digital release:

On January 11, 2011, Troma Entertainment released There’s Nothing Out There! as a 20th Anniversary DVD with the following extras:

Commentary by the Director
Pre-Production Footage
Still Photos

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Film Facts:

Rolfe Kanefsky was twenty-years-old when he directed the film; his parents re-mortgaged their house in order to raise money for the budget of $350,000.

Principal filming took place over twenty-four days in the summer of 1989 and post-production was completed in 1990.

Various horror films are referenced, including Psycho (1960).

Watch the trailer on YouTube

Cast and characters:
Craig Peck … Mike
Wendy Bednarz … Doreen – Vampires and Other Stereotypes
Mark Collver … Jim
Bonnie Bowers … Stacy
John Carhart III … Nick
Claudia Flores … Janet
Jeff Dachis … David
Lisa Grant … Sally Foster
Sissy Frye … Schoolteacher
Cy Voris … Lead Punk
Ronald St. Denis … Plumber
Michael Berlly … Policeman #1
Rafi Isaac … Policeman #2
Tommy Barz … Policeman #3/Face on Cutting Room Floor
Mark Calderone … Doctor
Maja Barnes … Punk
Rob Del Guidice … Punk
Molly Jacobson … Punk
Lottie Lottie … Punk
Sheryl Nields … Punk
Eddie Stalter … Punk
John Kim … Man in Black
Rolfe Kanefsky … High School Student Walking on Campus

Filming locations:
Piermont, New York

Technical credits:
1 hour 31 minutes
Aspect ratio: 1.78: 1

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