HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Beast and the Magic Sword, The
Last Hard Men, The
Found Footage Phenomenon, The
Night Trap
Skinny Tiger, Fatty Dragon
Benediction
Nezha Reborn
Evil Toons
Worst Person in the World, The
Whirlpool
Hunter Will Get You
Superman/Batman: Apocalypse
Revolver
Men, The
Parallel Mothers
Sadness, The
Bloody New Year
Faye
Body Count
Spider-Man: No Way Home
'Round Midnight
Wild Men
Barry & Joan
Wake Up Punk
Twin, The
Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy
One of These Days
Lift to the Scaffold
Savage Dawn
Rest in Pieces
Innocents in Paris
We're All Going to the World's Fair
Beyond the Door 3
Jules et Jim
Love Jones
Saint-Narcisse
Souvenir Part II, The
Knockabout
400 Blows, The
Virus: 32
   
 
Newest Articles
La Violence: Dobermann at 25
Serious Comedy: The Wrong Arm of the Law on Blu-ray
DC Showcase: Constantine - The House of Mystery and More on Blu-ray
Monster Fun: Three Monster Tales of Sci-Fi Terror on Blu-ray
State of the 70s: Play for Today Volume 3 on Blu-ray
The Movie Damned: Cursed Films II on Shudder
The Dead of Night: In Cold Blood on Blu-ray
Suave and Sophisticated: The Persuaders! Take 50 on Blu-ray
Your Rules are Really Beginning to Annoy Me: Escape from L.A. on 4K UHD
A Woman's Viewfinder: The Camera is Ours on DVD
Chaplin's Silent Pursuit: Modern Times on Blu-ray
The Ecstasy of Cosmic Boredom: Dark Star on Arrow
A Frosty Reception: South and The Great White Silence on Blu-ray
You'll Never Guess Which is Sammo: Skinny Tiger and Fatty Dragon on Blu-ray
Two Christopher Miles Shorts: The Six-Sided Triangle/Rhythm 'n' Greens on Blu-ray
Not So Permissive: The Lovers! on Blu-ray
Uncomfortable Truths: Three Shorts by Andrea Arnold on MUBI
The Call of Nostalgia: Ghostbusters Afterlife on Blu-ray
Moon Night - Space 1999: Super Space Theater on Blu-ray
Super Sammo: Warriors Two and The Prodigal Son on Blu-ray
Sex vs Violence: In the Realm of the Senses on Blu-ray
What's So Funny About Brit Horror? Vampira and Bloodbath at the House of Death on Arrow
Keeping the Beatles Alive: Get Back
The Punk Rock Movie: Out of the Blue on Blu-ray
Yeah, Too Quiet: The Great Silence on Blu-ray
   
 
  Kindred, The Something fishy going on
Year: 1987
Director: Jeffrey Obrow, Stephen Carpenter
Stars: David Allen Brooks, Rod Steiger, Amanda Pays, Talia Balsam, Kim Hunter, Timothy Gibbs, Peter Frechette, Julia Montgomery, Bunky Jones, Charles Grueber, Bennet Guillory, Edgar Small
Genre: Horror, Science FictionBuy from Amazon
Rating:  5 (from 2 votes)
Review: Ailing scientist Amanda Hollins (Kim Hunter) urges her son John (David Allen Brooks) to destroy all the lab notes from her last experiment. Compounding John's confusion she also blurts out he has a brother named Anthony. At Amanda's funeral John is approached by Melissa Leftridge (Amanda Pays) who cites his late mother as an inspiration. She claims to have in-depth knowledge of her genetic research. So John brings Melissa along with his resentful girlfriend Sharon (Talia Balsam) and fellow med students Hart (Timothy Gibbs), Cindy (Revenge of the Nerds staple Julia Montgomery), Nell ('80s trash horror regular Bunky Jones) and wisecracking Brad (Thirtysomething's Peter Frechette) to Amanda's creepy old house. Nothing prepares them for what they find there: a monstrous genetic-engineered fish mutant bent on mauling everyone in its path and unleashing its spawn on an unsuspecting world. Together they must survive and destroy the creature before deranged rival scientist Dr. Phillip Lloyd (Rod Steiger) gets it first.

Having already delivered one sweatily overwrought performance in a horror movie in The Amityville Horror (1979) and set to do so again in American Gothic (1988), Oscar-winning method madman Rod Steiger hams it up something chronic in The Kindred. Steiger's histrionics might go way over the top, particularly in the last fifteen minutes, but along with Michael John McCracken's icky makeup and practical effects provide most of the entertaining moments in an otherwise slapdash monster movie. Infamous for the sequence wherein one major character transforms into a fish mutant, The Kindred was concocted by no less than five writers. Among them co-directors Jeffrey Obrow and Stephen Carpenter (the latter also handling the appropriately ominous cinematography) and remarkably Joseph Stefano. The screenwriter of Psycho (1960) and co-creator of groundbreaking sci-fi show The Outer Limits. Stefano's involvement is less surprising when one factors in he also scripted TV schlock like Snowbeast (1977). Obrow and Carpenter were stalwarts of mid-budget horror throughout the Eighties, co-directing slasher film Pranks (1982) a.k.a. The Dorm That Dripped Blood and Aztec-possession horror The Power (1984). Carpenter went solo with Soul Survivors (2001) and also broadened his resumé scripting unfunny comedies Blue Streak (1999) and The Man (2005). More recently he created the popular fantasy-horror television series Grimm and became a successful thriller novelist. Obrow stuck with horror for his solo career delivering DTV fare such as Servants of Twilight (1991), Bram Stoker's Legend of the Mummy (1997) and They Are Among Us (2002).

Upholding the Eighties horror trend for revisiting classic horror tropes, either through remakes or applying then-state of the art effects to old ideas, The Kindred tries to put a modern spin on the mad scientist dabbles in things best left alone plot. It ain't David Cronenberg but buried beneath the silly tentacle assaults is the the vaguest hint of an ethical debate. Steiger's Dr. Lloyd insists Anthony the fish mutant is John's brother and a gene-engineered miracle capable of intelligence and emotion so therefore entitled to live. But of course since Lloyd is a ranting loon who abducts accident victims for his experiments nobody listens to him. Monster movie fans might be willing to forgive the film pushing credibility beyond its breaking point but Obrow and Carpenter tip their hand too early with Lloyd's monster-making experiments and hobble their own narrative. The multiple screenwriters result in a disjointed plot that cannot decide which angle to play. While Steiger and British genre staple Amanda Pays have bizarre character arcs the various daytime soap opera entanglements involving the rest of the cast do little to make them engaging. For example Sharon's sole defining trait is her constant jealousy and whining about Melissa. It is worth noting however that in her final film veteran actress Kim Hunter, star of A Streetcar Named Desire (1951) and Planet of the Apes (1968), is earnest and believable even in an entirely bedridden role.

After a meandering two thirds The Kindred eventually abandons all pretense at plot development and suspense and settles into a slime-slinging monster movie. Abetted by another solid creepy score by the reliable David Newman, the film makes its bid to outdo Alien (1979) in the gross-out stakes. It does not reach that high bar but McCracken's effects ensure the film entertains even as it lurches from genuinely unpleasant (e.g. Lloyd experimenting on a shrieking cat; tentacles slithering inside one character's nose and pulsating through their forehead) to outrageous and silly.

Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam

 

This review has been viewed 2251 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (1)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Andrew Pragasam
Graeme Clark
Mary Sibley
  Desbris M
  Sheila Reeves
Darren Jones
Paul Smith
Enoch Sneed
   

 

Last Updated: