The Popcornomicon

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Inseminoid aka Horror Planet (1981)

Inseminoid aka Horror Planet (1981)

Back of the box...

“An unsuspecting archaeological expedition is the alien creatures only means of achieving its do-or-die obsession - he is the last of the race, and the race must be perpetuated.
One by one the crew are attacked - the lucky die quickly.
Sandy was not so fortunate - one such brutal attack results in her facing the horror of an alien pregnancy. The appalling results of which lead to a series of shocking scenes of carnage, building to a climax which threatens the survival of mankind.”

Director: Norman J. Warren
Starring: Judy Geeson, Robin Clarke, Jennifer Ashley

Watch the Trailer

With the release of Alien Covenant quickly approaching (and probably already in theaters by the time we post this) we thought we’d give ourselves a terror-in-space refresher—but what movie should we watch? Is Alien Covenant a direct prequel to 1979’s Alien or is it a sequel to 2012’s Prometheus? Or both? If only there were a way to watch both movies at the same time. Like, a hybrid film containing elements of both movies. Oh wait, there is! INSEMINOID!

Similar to the well known Star Wars rip-off, Star Crash, the story behind Inseminoid isn’t entirely about making some easy cash. This is a topic of some debate but in our opinion, based on release dates, production schedules, and the fact that nothing is created in a vacuum, we believe the filmmakers claim that their ideas were original and their own. That said, like Star Crash, it’s painfully obvious in Inseminoid that although they started with their own ideas, at some point during production decisions were made to more closely resemble their more successful counterpart.

An explosion during an archeological excavation of ancient ruins on a desolate planet leaves one man catatonic and another infected by an alien energy that drives him to violence. While investigating the incident, two scientists are attacked by an alien creature who dismembers one of them before kidnapping, raping, and impregnating the other. Under the control of the alien energy growing inside her, the newly expectant mother attempts to kill off the rest of the crew to ensure the survival of her human / alien offspring.

Sounds weirdly similar to Prometheus, right? We have this theory that Ridley Scott harbored resentments toward all the people who capitalized on his success with their low-budget mockbusters and is now out for revenge by turning the tables on them and stealing their ideas. So if Prometheus is an Inseminoid rip-off, what will Alien Covenant be??? A clone of 1981’s Alien Contamination, or maybe 1985’s Creature? At this point it would be weird if Alien Covenant wasn’t a clone of something because (while we’re calling people out) we should probably mention that 1979’s Alien was a rip-off film too! It took its story and many of its scenes directly from 1958’s It! The Terror from Beyond Space and rumor has it that they actually watched the film on set! Maybe this explains the situation when Inseminoid director Norman Warren sent 20th Century Fox execs an advance copy of his film and they responded with nothing but well wishes and no copyright threats. They couldn’t say shit because they stole their movie too!

Enough talk about who ripped off who, let’s talk about how the movies differ. The Alien franchise has always been praised for its strong female characters with Ellen Ripley being one of the most badass women in film, but how does Inseminoid portray its ladies? Well, if we had to sum up the film’s attitude toward women, it would be something like “pregnant bitches be crazy!” As the crew lock themselves in a control room while a pregnant woman rampages through the research lab, destroying equipment and brutally murdering everyone she encounters, it’s hard not to pick up on a slightly misogynistic vibe. There’s a strong subtext of man’s fear of women’s reproductive freedom, it’s like a cautionary tale of the horrors that will be unleashed on the world if uteruses aren’t restrained. At one point in the film it’s mentioned that all the female scientists in the facility were given contraceptive injections. These are basically like NASA scientists, not 17 year old camp counselors in an 80’s movie. Can they not be trusted? Well, in this movie’s reality, we guess not. The ladies aren’t exactly portrayed as the most competent characters in the film. In one scene, a female scientist commits suicide because, despite the men instructing her on how to do it, she can’t figure out how to fix a small malfunction on her space suit while she’s trapped out on the alien planet.

Now that we’ve established Inseminoid as a misogynistic rip-off of a rip-off, you might be wondering why you should waste their time watching it? For better or worse, we were never not entertained by this movie. When Inseminoid isn’t providing you with intense visuals, gross effects, or creepy alien babies, you’ll be cracking jokes and laughing at the sheer incompetence of the characters and hilarious award-winning musical score (not being sarcastic, it’s actually award-winning). We’ve been on a horrible musical score streak, last week was The Mutilator’s beach party jamz and now we’ve got some guy noodling on a synthesizer between Seinfeld bass riffs.

If you’re looking to watch a great sci-fi horror movie about an alien threat discovered on a remote planet who uses humans as hosts for its young, you should watch Ridley Scott’s 1979 film, Alien! If you wanna see a low budget b-movie version with even more violence and a cast of characters that’ll have you rooting for the alien, watch Inseminoid!

Watch the Full Movie

Raw Force (1982)

Raw Force (1982)

The Mutilator (1984)

The Mutilator (1984)