I don't know if any of you have ever seen this one movie called "ALIEN"? It was about these blue collar space travelers who were towing a bunch of raw mineral ore back to Earth after mining it from deep space. Well, along the way they picked up a distress signal...oh, you've heard of this movie before? Well so have the people who made today's groovy movie "The Intruder Within", which was broadcast on TV in 1981. Yeah, not too too long after "ALIEN" made a zillion dollars at the box office. The makers of "The Intruder Within" were definitely out to steal a little of Ridley Scott's thunder. Actually, the Italians had already made their own "ALIEN" ripoff called "Alien 2: Sulla Terra", about which I will say very little here. "The Intruder Within" does a slightly better job at creating an actual film out of the material, as opposed to "Alien 2", which seemed only designed to be a few reels of negligible celluloid that could be shown in theaters, where the title alone could be expected to rake in at least a little money before people realized the movie was horrible.
But whereas "Alien 2" had only the vaguest connection to Ridley Scott's film, "The Intruder Within" makes me feel like if they got ahold of the script of "ALIEN", made a few changes with a red pen, and filmed their movie. They changed the setting from outer space to an oil rig in the middle of the Southern Ocean off the coast of Antarctica. After some exposition where a young roughneck has a dream that everyone's going to die, we learn that the medical officer on board the rig was hastily replaced by the company (asterisk!!). Not long after, the oil drill, which has been digging at depths "never before reached", dredges up a series of objects that resemble eggs (asterisk!!). There's also a wormy thing with teeth (!!!!) that bites a crew member, who then promptly dies. Someone touches one of the eggs and gets cut by it; he then goes suicidally crazy. The sketchy medical officer suspects that the objects are eggs containing an unknown life form (double asterisk!!!), and he's willing to risk the lives of the crew members in order to see what happens when the eggs hatch. After he isolates the eggs in a locked box, one hatches and BURSTS (!!!) out of the box, attacking a guy cleaning the lab. Shortly thereafter, he awakens and suddenly wants to mate with every female on board. He rapes one unfortunate woman, who languishes a while before an adult creature rips itself out of her body (biggest asterisk of all!!!!). It goes on a rampage that you will most likely find way too short compared to the length of time you waited for it to happen. Even with so many plot similarities, the movie goes further and recycles some of the actual characters from "ALIEN"; I noticed parallels to Dallas, Lambert, and Parker, and there was a whole crew of Bretts.
|"No, my name is NOT Dallas."|
I have to admit, there's something enjoyable for me about watching a ripoff film like this; it's not offensively bad, and it's interesting to see the ways someone tried to creatively reimagine "ALIEN" into a TV movie. The body count is also suprisingly high, although none of the deaths are particularly terrifying or spectacular. Despite being broadcast in 1981, it was probably filmed in 1980, and the spirit of the 70s still hangs over it. I recommend it to anybody who's a geek for "ALIEN", or just plain sketchy sci-fi/horror flicks.
* At the time of writing, you can watch the whole movie on YouTube. Here's the link:
|"I know I've seen something like this thing before, but where? WHERE?"|