‘Part alien… part human… all nightmare’
Forbidden World is a 1982 American science fiction horror feature film directed by Allan Holzman and produced by Roger Corman and Mary Ann Fisher. The screenplay was written by Tim Curnen, from a story by R.J. Robertson and future exploitation director Jim Wynorski.
Director and co-editor Allan Holzman had edited Battle Beyond the Stars two years earlier and re-used space footage. It was originally titled Mutant but this was changed for the US release after the title scored negatively with test audiences. However, Mutant remained the film’s title for many overseas sales.
The movie stars Jesse Vint, Dawn Dunlap, June Chadwick, Linden Chiles, Fox Harris, Raymond Oliver, Scott Paulin, Michael Bowen, and Don Olivera.
The film is frequently paired with and compared to the previous year’s Corman-produced Alien rip-off Galaxy of Terror, with which Forbidden World shares some of the same sets (designed by future director of Aliens, James Cameron).
It is notable for its gruesome violence, oddball synthesizer soundtrack score by Susan Justin (The Final Terror), choppy editing and a classic exploitation scene in which the two female leads take a shower together.
In the distant future, a genetic research station is located on the remote desert planet of Xarbia, and a research team has created an experimental life form they have designated “Subject 20”. This life form was built out of the synthetic DNA strain, “Proto B”, and was intended to stave off a galaxy-wide food crisis.
However, Subject 20 mutates rapidly and uncontrollably and has killed all of the laboratory subject animals before cocooning itself within an examination booth. After Subject 20 hatches from its cocoon, it begins killing the personnel at the station, starting with the lab tech charged with cleansing the subject lab of the dead animal test subjects…
“Along with the welcomed disrobing, the film is pretty gory, with the genetically created monstrosity started as “Subject 20” evolving from a small globby parasite (where it attaches itself to the mug of a hapless character played by Michael Bowen, Night of the Comet) into a full-fledged tentacled Alien look-alike appearing shadowy, slimy, beastly and intimating enough…” DVD Drive-In
On July 20, 2010, Shout! Factory released Forbidden World on both DVD and Blu-ray Disc. The DVD is a 2-disc set. This set also includes the original Allan Holzman cut that was rejected by Roger Corman due to having humor, while Corman wanted the film to be a straight sci-fi/horror film. This is the first time this cut was available anywhere.
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“Rarely do movies utterly lacking in originality have the good taste to incorporate a variety of influences that perfectly suit them. Mutant has a hipness which has now well aged into retro-hipness. Even the title Mutant slightly predates the Ninja Turtles and was only changed to Forbidden World after Corman polled some illiterate Los Angeles teens who didn’t know what “mutant” meant.” Cinemachine
Cast and characters:
- Jesse Vint … Mike Colby
- Dawn Dunlap … Tracy Baxter
- June Chadwick … Dr. Barbara Glaser
- Linden Chiles … Dr. Gordon Hauser
- Fox Harris … Dr. Cal Timbergen
- Raymond Oliver … Brian Beale
- Scott Paulin … Earl Richards
- Michael Bowen … Jimmy Swift
- Don Olivera … SAM-104
- Victor Warren … Mutant [uncredited]
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