• A Review Page For Those Movies You Watch At Home!

    Couch Potato Movie Reviews is, obviously, a blog that exclusively reviews movies. What makes this blog different is the fact that all of the films we are reviewing are all movies that are available on home movie rental companies such as Redbox, Netflix, Blockbuster, and your quickly disappearing neighborhood rental store. This blog is designed to take a more detailed look at those movies that either were sent straight to DVD, received a very limited release in the theaters, or were distributed through the art house or film festival circuit. We will also review those big Hollywood films, but only after they are available for home viewing.

    All the reviews are written by fans of the great art of film making rather than some newspaper reviewer or stuffy film student. We don’t know everything about film but we do know what we like, and we are more than happy to share our opinions with you. What you do with those opinions are totally up to you, although comments are welcome and encouraged.

    Each film review has a one to five star rating at the end of the critique. Here is what those star ratings mean for you couch potatoes:

    * * * * * : Five stars: go and buy this one, don’t just rent it!

    * * * * : Four stars: put this at the top of your rental list.

    * * * : Three stars: average, not bad just not great either.

    * * : Two stars: only rent if you have to see everything.

    * : One star: don’t waste your time with this.

Deep Space

TITLE: Deep Space

YEAR: 1988

GENRE: Science Fiction and Horror

One film that revolutionized the science fiction aspect of movies would be the 1979 smash hit Alien which once again brought the horror element to the aliens from outer space. As expected, there were a bunch of low budget films that attempted to capitalize o the craze of combining sadistic aliens hell-bent on the destruction of human kind and a couple strong characters working to stop the extra-terrestrial. Most of these ended up cluttering the shelves of Mom and Pop video stores and many have been forgotten in the vast sea that is now VHS hell. Some of these copycat films were acceptable however for varying reasons, and one of those films was a sadly more or less forgotten movie from director Fred Olen Ray called Deep Space. This is not a Shakespearean effort, but Deep Space is an acceptable science fiction/horror flick that just might be the best overall film made by the B-movie director.

A genetically-engineered monster is loaded onto a space probe and is launched into outer space, but a malfunction brings the probe crashing back to Earth. Before the scientists who created the monstrosity can kill the monster it escapes and starts wrecking havoc onto unsuspecting citizens. As the death count rises police Detective Ian McLemore (played by Charles Napier) is assigned to investigate the demise of the local population. Assisted by his partner Jerry Morris (Ron Glass) and female cop Carla Sandbourn (Ann Turkel), McLemore battles baby aliens attempting to kill him and military officials trying to silence the local law enforcement. Detective McLemore and the genetically enhanced monster are due for a confrontation…

First of all it must be made clear that Deep Space is not in any way at the level of the Alien franchise, but what it has going for it is a cheesy fun time for the viewer and some thrills during the ride. One aspect that works is that the alien monster is genuinely scary looking although it does appear to be a rip-off of the H.G. Giger creation, and the use of the monster (who is a guy in a rubber suit) is fairly well done with a suspenseful build-up, quick kills, and dark lighting. The baby aliens, on the other hand, are mostly rubber props that the actors wrestle with to less than effective results. Ray gives Deep Space a fast pace with not a ton of plot development along with some blood splattering kills that will satisfy the gore hounds. The acting is especially bad even for a B-movie especially Napier who always seems to be on the edge of grinding his own teeth out of his head and Glass who never leaves his “Barney Miller” character. There are some interesting cameos that add a little fun for 1980’s fans including Julie Newmar as a psychic, 80’s B-grade action star Bo Svenson as a police captain, and Elisabeth Brooks (The Howling) as a victim. Despite all the bad acting and horror plot Ray is more mature than his usual work as he creates a pretty decent plot that (surprise!) does not include his usual bevy of topless scenes (although some are hinted). The ending fight scene between Detective McLemore and the alien monster is especially over the top including using a chainsaw, pipes, and more guns than the Mexican drug cartel to bring the alien down for the final count.

Film making has a long and storied history of ripping off their predecessors of ideas and plotlines, and Deep Space is definitely guilty of this crime. Despite this, Deep Space is an entertaining entry into B-rated science fiction that will be enjoyed by both horror and sci-fi fans alike. Nothing deep here, but the film is some low grade entertainment for those who like their movies with a healthy layering of cheese. Sci-fi purists who criticize the special effects of Inception or Avatar will want to dodge this, but the more non-anal fans will find some fun in Deep Space.

* * *

–Mark

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