The Deadly Spawn

The Deadly Spawn (1983)
Synapse Films
Cast: Michael Robert coleman, Charles George Hildebrandt, James Brewster, Elissa Neill
Extras: Commentary Tracks, Alternate Opening, Photo Gallery, Outtakes, Comic-Style Prequel

Synapse Films is, of course, known for bringing some true cult films to DVD and with the 1983 scifi/horror flick ’The Deadly spawn’ they continue that glorious tradition, adding another cult gem to their catalog.

The low budget film about heavily fanged aliens that land on earth in a meteorite collision is a hilarious and entertaining child of the 80s. But unlike films such as ’Critters’ it is not nearly as cuddly. The aliens are wormlike eating machines that strip the flesh off anything that moves. Combined with gory special effects and gushes of blood, ’The Deadly Spawn’ is truly a one of a kind film for its time and looks surprisingly good despite its super low budget.

Synapse has transferred the film from its original 16 mm negatives with the help of one-time director Douglas McKeown and presents in in its original 1.33:1 aspect ratio on this DVD. The transfer is fairly good with a decent amount of detail and sharp edges. Some grain is evident as a result of the low-cost film stock and the print’s small size, but nonetheless it makes for a great viewing with rich colors and deep, solid blacks.

The DVD also contains a number of cool extras, such as two commentary tracks with director McKeown, the producer and cast members of the film respectively. I find it quite amazing that Synapse has been able to track down some of these one-time performers for the commentary, as it adds some great moments, so check these tracks out.

An alternate opening of the film is also included as well as outtakes and an audition reel. Spiced up with a comic-style presentation of the film’s prequel and an extensive photo gallery giving you a good look at the making of the movie, its make-up effects and its premiere, and you have a true little cult gem in your hands.

For fans of the genre and for anyone who simply enjoys watching somewhat silly man-eating slithering worm creatures from outer space with millions of teeth in their gaping mouths – and who doesn’t? – this film is a classic. One that you shouldn’t miss since Synapse went to some lengths to make sure it looks as good on this DVD as it does.