June 7, 2017

Roger Corman: Forbidden World

Tape Freaks has another guest writer! Thank you to Izzi Xiques for a great piece on Forbidden World:

Forbidden World (aka Mutant) is a sci-fi horror flick. But don’t let the poster fool you, this film is NOT about giant bugs.

The plot goes a little like this: An intergalactic troubleshooter is called to duty to a remote planet called Xarbia where a group of scientists are running genetic experiments to produce an endless food supply. In stead though, they accidentally create an unrestrainable murderous mutant. As the mutant grows, the scientist begin endlessly expositioning, fornicating, and dying!

Sort of like Prometheus?: The theatrical release is presented as a deadly serious drama, but the tone doesn't really make a lot of sense. Apparently, around 6 minutes of humor in the directors edit were cut by Corman because he didn’t appreciate audience members laughing during the first test screening. He actually slapped the back of an audience member's head during the screening because he was so upset! The director, to this day, is disappointed the humor was cut because he feels it's a much weaker as a drama.

Totally not stormtroopers: Even though the futuristic robots look more like off-brand stormtroopers, Forbidden World has some serious production value going for it. Though, that's mostly because almost every set piece and costume was recycled from other films with higher budgets, credit needs to go to the FX team because there's some seriously gnarly imagery throughout the film, including dozens of actually dead and disemboweled animals. (But don’t fret! No animals were harmed for the making of this film, they were all animals that had been euthanized for unrelated reasons at local veterinary clinics.) The FX team also put themselves at risk (though unwittingly) while filming a scene where insanely cool pink goo spews out of the mutant. In reality this was a substance that produces EXTREMELY toxic fumes and burns skin on contact! The FX team did put up a bunch of trash bags between the mutant and the film crew so they weren't totally reckless...

But the score though: The true standout in this film is the score, composed by Susan Justin. After watching the movie I had to listen to the score a few times through. It's truly a moody and epic ode to 80’s space horror!

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