The latest daily grindhouse comes straight out of the UK from the early 80’s. It’s a sci-fi horror flick which came about as part of the exploitation wave of Alien rip-offs and imitation of the past several years since Ridley Scott’s scifi-horror masterpiece stormed through Hollywood. While it’s director, Norman J. Warren and it’s producers do not think it’s grindhouse or an exploitation film of any stripe I beg to differ.
Inseminoid (renamed for a U.S. release as Horror Planet) screams grindhouse right from that title alone. It’s a film about a group of scientists landing on an unknown and desolate planet in search of evidence that an alien civilization existed once upon a time on the planet. The whole thing was either filmed inside a studio-built spacecraft set or in a cavern complex near the studio in the UK. It’s once one of the scientists (as always with grindhouse horror it happened to be a female scientists) has become impregnated by a remnant of the planet’s long-dead civilization that the horror truly begins.
It’s that very scene of rape and alien impregnation which got this film labeled as a “video nasty” in the UK which made it’s release on video near-impossible to make without editing out that pivotal scene early in the film. That scene also got the flick compared to another grindhouse scifi-horror released the same year by low-budget auteur Roger Corman called Galaxy of Terror. Outside of both films using a rape scene by alien means the two films really had nothing in common plot-wise so I think the filmmakers of Inseminoid and Galaxy of Terror just happened to think of a similar idea at the same time.
This film is not great or even good, but like all true grindhouse the people involved in the film took their roles and task seriously to try and make the best film their budget allowed them to. It’s not a horrible film and when seen now it’s actually quite a fun little scifi-horror flick that showed a glimpse into an era of cheap, exploitation films that would last well into the late 80’s.