Forbidden World (1982) poster

Forbidden World (1982)


aka Mutant

USA. 1982.


Director – Allan Holzman, Screenplay – Tim Curnen, Story – R.J. Robertson & Jim Wynorski, Producers – Roger Corman & Mary Ann Fisher, Photography – Tim Suhrstedt, Music – Susan Justin, Special Effects – Dennis & Robert Skotak, Makeup Effects – John Buechler, Steve Neill & Don Oliviera, Production Design – Robert Skotak & Chris Horner. Production Company – New World Pictures.


Jesse Vint (Commander Mike Colby), Dawn Dunlap (Tracy Baxter), June Chadwick (Dr Barbara Glaser), Linden Chiles (Dr Gordon Hauser), Fox Harris (Dr Cal Tinburgen), Raymond Oliver (Brian Beale), Scott Paulin (Earl Richards)


Intergalactic bounty hunter Mike Colby is sent to a genetic research station on a lonely desert world where an experiment to build a creature out of human cells has gotten out of control. Shortly after he arrives, the experiment hatches from a cocoon as a monster and starts killing the station personnel.

Some claim was made to Forbidden World being a genre send-up but there is little evidence to it in watching the film. It reads as being never anything more than another cheap clone of Alien (1979) churned out by Roger Corman’s New Worlds production company. The influence of Alien casts a giant shadow over the film in all regards, from the look of the creature, to its biology and means of attack.

In all respects, Forbidden World is cheap and dreary. The action alternates from attack scenes to sexual encounters and back again with indifferent regard. Meaningless babble is occasionally thrown in to justify happenings. Logic is confusing – why is a trouble-shooter called in before the creature has hatched? And why at all if people want its existence hushed up?

The monster in Forbidden World (1982)
The H.R. Giger copycat genetic monster

The tiresome point-of-view shots from the creature look only like someone has smeared the camera with Vaseline. The poor editing leaves the film sorely lacking anything approaching the masterful handling of Ridley Scott in Alien. Jesse Vint makes a resoundingly wet hero and the cheap electronic score is a major irritant. Many of the effects shots have been cannibalised from the previous New Worlds science-fiction film Battle Beyond the Stars (1980).

Forbidden World has gained a certain (undeserved) recognition on the basis of its climax where the scientist kills the alien by reaching in, pulling his cancer-ridden liver out and feeding it to the creature.

Allan Holzman only made one other genre film as director with the killer cyborg film Programmed to Kill (1987). All his subsequent work has been in documentaries.

Trailer here

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