director Tobe Hooper
America’s first nuclear family, as the test subjects are called, gives birth to a latent mutant son, some 35 years after their own demise by the titular occurence. Tobe Hooper’s ambitious but not ambitiously budgeted or perhaps able 1990 sci-fi/horror thriller, Spontaneous Combustion, seems kind of personal given the age of the protagonist Sam (Brad Dourif), and his own personal situation in the Nuclear Age.
It’s truly a mixed bag of a film, with so much focus on the set up, that the contemporary story dangles more loosely in time and import. The movie’s unevenness spans production quality, direction and even FX. The FX, gleefully CGI-free vary from weak to pretty cool, and maybe that’s the whole film’s trouble.
Why is it that Dourif only stumbles on his abilities at age 35. Is the trigger his learning of his hidden parentage? Of the cabal around him to hide his origins?
While you might wish for more, it’s still a pretty interesting little picture.