director Ted Nioclao
A horror film about satellite television. Well, a horror-comedy, at least.
This was one that sat on just about every local video shop shelf through the latter half of the 1980’s. The poster/cover image is appealing and intriguing. But overall, it wasn’t until re-delving into it just now that it all came back to me that yes indeed I did see this film before. A friend of mine, another 1980’s horror aficionado, told me he held a soft spot in his heart for this one.
I can see that. I can also see that the production values on most of this film would have put it in the nearly made-for-television qualities in a certain part. But it has some entertaining monster effects and heavy doses of the sillies.
See, in far out outer space, a garbage dump through electronic projection shoots an insatiable, gruesome, absorbing thing through to the satellite dish of a kooky family in the US of A. Mom and Dad are swingers (Mary Woronov plays the Mom). Sis is a Cyndi Lauper-like punk teen with a dopey, goofy punk boyfriend, and granddad has little Sherman watching old horror movies and stockpiling weapons in their “safe room”. There is also an amusing horror show hostess, Medusa, as it all goes down.
I watched this “on demand” from one of the channels and sadly it wasn’t letterboxed, but you know, it was probably pan-and-scan when I’d seen it before on VHS.
It’s made me think a couple of things. One, that I maybe should develop a category for “Tres 80’s” or something because this one comes from the heart of the decade. And secondly, before Waco, Ruby Ridge, and the Oklahoma City bombing, characters that stockpiled weapons were comic foils, harmless kooks, with obsessions that were all laughed off. But like Michael Gross and Reba McEntire in Tremors (1990), old granddad here in TerrorVision is a throwback anomaly of popular culture.