Director: Ted Nicolaou
Starring: Diane Franklin, Suzy Gerrit Graham
A civilization on a distant planet has found a way to solve its garbage problem: turning it into energy and beaming it into outer space. A flaw in this system is found when the signal is accidentally picked up on Earth by the Putterman Family's home satellite dish. While this would ordinarily be just another mess, this particular transmission contains a hungry trash monster who quickly begins snacking on the Puttermans and their guests. Only young Sherman Putterman has any clue what is going on, but nobody will believe him. Is there any hope for the Earth? -IMDb
You're in a dimly lit room. It's late at night and you're feeling a slight mixture of boredom and apathy. Your one wish is that something entertaining would magically pop on screen and convert your apathy into a late night ecstatic bliss. You stare at the TV in a hypnotic yearning stupor when suddenly, the TerrorVision theme song hits. Your ears are filled with the cacophonous sound of 80s music. Your prayers have been answered. The next 90s minutes will be everything you've hoped for, and more!
Okay... So, perhaps I'm slightly exaggerating the quality and emotional effects of watching TerrorVision, the wonderful cheesefest from 1986. However, I assure you that, in doing so, my intentions are noble. That is, I'm attempting to make sure that you heed to my advice and watch this movie as soon as possible. No, but really... Stop reading and watch the film below.
TerrorVision is one of these films that I wish I had seen when I was younger. Somehow, it escaped my grasp. I first saw it around 2008 and, at the time, didn't really know what to expect. Often times, the enjoyment derived from watching a wonderful 80s romp is enhanced primarily by its nostalgic undertones. It brings about this trance-like state by transforming the viewer into an earlier, simpler time. For me, since I'd never seen it, I assumed that it wouldn't be possible to elicit this sort of state. Much to my surprise, however, I found myself entirely transfixed by the material. I'd never seen the images nor heard the sounds, yet the exposure somehow transcended this lack of exposure and managed to make me feel precisely like I was my former 12 year old self seeing the film for the first time. It was truly a vision of terror.
Indeed, the film has everything you could want in an 80s monster movie. The characters are utterly ethereal and outlandish, but also strangely creepy. The universe created itself feels oddly uncanny; slightly resembling reality while simultaneously creating a sense of otherworldliness. The monster fits the scope of the movie perfectly. It's both terrifying but also goofy and perhaps even cute. It manages to take the idea of possibly being its next meal both horrendous and humorous. The way the creature is incorporated into the general story, and the method in which it illustrates its origins and fruition is even more glorious. This, folks, is how you introduce a memorable monster into a movie.
Some argue that the movie is too over the top and cheesy to be scary. I, however, vehemently disagree with this assessment. Indeed, to me, it's this very goofiness that helps to create this odd atmosphere which makes the entire work so creepy. While certainly having a few small faults, the film is, over all, just what you'd want in an 80s monster movie.