30th Jul2013

Rewind: ‘Forbidden World’ Review

by Phil Wheat

Stars: Jesse Vint, Dawn Dunlap, June Chadwick, Linden Chiles, Fox Harris, Raymond Oliver, Scott Paulin, Michael Bowen, Don Olivera | Written by Tim Curnen, Jim Wynorski | Directed by Allan Holzman | Produced by Roger Corman


Set on a far off desert planet in a distant future, Forbidden World is a gory tale of a genetic experimentation that goes disastrously out of control. When Federation Commander Mike Colby (Jesse Vint) is sent to investigate reports that a scientific research team’s ambitious quest to create a brand new creature from human cells has gone horribly wrong, he makes a terrifying discovery. Now, there’s a monster on the loose and it’s threatening to wipe out all human life on the planet. Colby embarks on a desperate race against time to destroy the creature but unknown to him some people have a sinister interest in keeping the thing alive and completing the top secret project from which it was created.

Also known as MutantForbidden World is the first DVD in the all-newRoger Corman Collection from Nouveaux Pictures and In2Film and is a typical low-budget early 80’s sci-fi horror that takes its inspiration from Alien (didn’t they all). Shot on the cheap and culling some sets from Corman’s other sci-fi horror Galaxy of Terror – most notably the spaceship in the opening sequence, an opening sequence which looks incredibly out of place as it features a Star Wars-esque space battle rather than the Alien rip-of the film later becomes – Forbidden World throws everything at the screen, literally in some cases: blood, guts, monster make-up, gory prosthetics and copious amounts of nudity – the women seem to be out of there clothes more than in, and director Allan Holzman even throws in a sapphic shower sequence to please even the most jaded of b-movie fan.

Despite the obvious low-budget, the SFX work in Forbidden World is fantastic, whoever had the genius idea to make the creature melt its victims into messy puddles of pure protein should be commended – the results of the monster’s attacks get more an more gruesome throughout the film, with characters literally decomposing on camera – leading to one nasty scene where a still alive victim is on the med lab table with half his face melting off, his body breaking down into proteins, but he still manages to grab for one of the female characters – that is until his hand rips off!

Did I mention Forbidden World is bloody brilliant? They really don’t make films like this anymore… Director Allan Holzman should be congratulated for creating such a b-movie masterpiece on such a low budget. He even gets a little experimental: with weird subliminal imagery, high speed flashbacks (and a flashforward in the case of the opening scene), and intercutting one sweaty erotic sex scene between June Chadwick and Jesse Vint with the death of Scott Paulin’s video technician who just happens to be watching the ‘action’ on his monitors (the perv!).

Watching Forbidden World reaffirmed my long-held belief that 80’s cinema was the hey-day of great ideas overcoming low-budgets, today everything is digital video and CG which feels detached from the action – despite the rubber-monster and the cheap look of this film, at least it felt like some love and care had been put into the production. Yes, Corman and co. were trying to make a quick buck and cash-in on the success of Alien, but Forbidden World is ten times more fun than any of The Asylum’s modern day cash-in’s!


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