There’s Nothing Out There – USA, 1990

‘A horror film of comic proportions’

There’s Nothing Out There is a 1990 [released 1991] American science fiction comedy horror feature film written and directed by Rolfe Kanefsky (Art of the Dead; Sunset SocietyParty Bus to Hell; The Black Room; et al). Producer Victor Kanefsky, Rolfe’s father, was an editor (Blood Sucking Freaks; Ganja & Hess). The movie stars Craig Peck, Wendy Bednarz and Mark Collver.

Vinegar Syndrome released There’s Nothing Out There on Blu-ray + DVD, newly restored in 2K from the35mm interpositive, on January 29, 2019. Special features:

  • 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 – Short film about the movie’s influence
  • Murder in Winter – Early feature film by Rolfe Kanefsky (Blu-ray only)
  • Just Listen – Early short film by Rolfe Kanefsky
  • Mood Boobs – Short film by Rolfe Kanefsky
  • Behind the scenes of Mood Boobs
  • 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

Plot:

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 they are attacked by a creature that wants to eat the men and mate with the women…

Reviews:

“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…” Alex DiVincenzi, 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 and needless T&A to good effect, resulting in a film that’s completely watchable and simultaneously horrible.” Ian Jane, 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 back story of the villain that always serves zero purpose toward survival, goofy romance music playing during the sex scenes…” Felix Vasquez Jr.,  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

Buy: Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.ca

“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.” Eric Cotenas, DVD Drive-In

“Fast-paced, smart in script and surprisingly well-edited, it’s a very cheaply produced but stylish parody which falls short of credible acting while impressing with consistently good compositions. More pertinently, it’s fun. Rolfe Kanefsky directs with energy and imagination, compensating for the lack of finesse with a happy mix of snappy dialogue, occasional nudity and schlocky exploitation scenes.” Stuart Willis, Sex Gore Mutants

“In general, this no-budget parody of screen schlock is barely better than the dreck it imitates.” Carol Schwartz, Jim Olenski, VideoHound’s Cult Flicks & Trash Pics

“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.”

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
  • Cyrus Voris … Lead Punk (as Cy Voris)
  • 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
  • Robb DelGuidice … Punk (as Rob Del Guidice)
  • Molly Jacobson … Punk
  • Lottie Lottie … Punk
  • Sheryl Nields … Punk
  • Edwin Stalter … Punk (as Eddie Stalter)
  • John Kim … Man in Black
  • Christopher Thomas … Creature (voice)
  • Rolfe Kanefsky … High School Student Walking on Campus (uncredited)

Filming locations:

Piermont, New York

Technical credits:

91 minutes | 1.78: 1

Digital release:

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

Interviews | Commentary by the Director | Pre-Production Footage | Still Photos | Trailers | Auditions | Behind-The-Scenes

Buy DVD: Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk

Trivia:

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.

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

Some image credits: Broke Horror Fan

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One Comment on “There’s Nothing Out There – USA, 1990”

  1. Pretty much one I never got. I remember back in the day when critics were shitting bricks over this dreck, like it was the second coming of Christ in B movie form.

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