Movie of the Week: Terrorvision (1986)

Take this Movie of the Week recommendation with a grain of salt. This is no masterpiece, but it also has many things to offer that most films don't. 

Terrorvision is at its best during the first half, which reads like a satire of what happens to baby boomers when they become parents. Mom and Dad are selfish Me Generation narcissists who are too involved in their own fun to give much regard to their children or their elders. Grandpa is a shell-shocked war vet, going senile and living in the family's subterranean bomb shelter. The kids are spoiled and complacent. The art direction throughout is colorful, and the premise allows the integration of clips from classic horror movies, complete with wraparound narration from a TV host named Medusa. Plus, the lovely and inimitable Mary Woronov looks and acts like something out of a Sally Cruikshank cartoon. 

So all of that is great, but once the real movie starts, it seems to have nowhere to go. The screenplay needs a third act, or at least, protagonists that aren't so irritating. Assuming this film was made for youngsters, why are the teenagers just as shallow as their parents?  Diane Frankin (not her usual charming self) and John Gries (a.k.a. King Vidiot) get the most screen time, but they aren't any more fleshed out as characters than these two. Is the target audience supposed to relate to the fact that they care about nothing besides watching Mtv? I realize that Terrorvision is full of caricatures, but there's no one to like.

After the first 40 minutes or so, it turns into something between E.T. and Gremlins, two movies that helped ruin Hollywood in the 80's. Feel free to shut it off when the teenagers and the alien raid the fridge. You won't miss much after that.

Despite all that, Mary Woronov. And a great theme song.

Movie is not embeddable. Click on above image or here to be directed to the youtube page. 

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