Two years after ripping off Alien with The Terror Within, producer Roger Corman decided to rip it off a second time with The Terror Within II. This time, star Andrew Stevens hopped into the director’s chair and, along with the sex-crazed monsters, a religious cult was also added. A year after The Terror Within II was released, Alien 3 was released and it also featured a religious cult. Was it a coincidence or was Roger Corman predicting the future?
Speaking of the future, The Terror Within II returns us to the crappy future that was predicted by the first film. As the previous film’s only survivor, scientist Andrew Stevens is walking across Colorado to take a position at yet another lab. Along the way, he meets a young woman named Ariel (Clare Hoak). No sooner have they met than they’re doing their bit to repopulate the human race. Meanwhile, a cult wants to kidnap Ariel and offer her up to the mutants. (The mutants were called Gargoyles in the first film. Now, they’re called Lusus.)
Meanwhile, at the other lab, the scientists, including Stella Stevens and R. Lee Ermey, are studying a mutated finger, which appears to be spontaneously regenerating into a Gargoyle or a Lusus or whatever its called now. Does it occur to anyone at the lab that growing their own monster is a stupid idea? No. Humanity is doomed.
The Terror Within II was shot for even less money than the first film but it’s also a marked improvement. That’s mostly due to Andrew Stevens being a far more competent filmmaker than the director who did the first film. Stevens know how to shoot an action scene and, when the monsters inevitable do end up storming the lab, it’s more exciting in the second film than it was in the first. Plus, whereas The Terror Within only had George Kennedy to lend it some class, The Terror Within II has both R. Lee Ermey and Stella Stevens! It’s an improvement, all around.
Unfortunately, there was never a third film. The Lusus probably would have won anyways. There’s only so many underground labs that humanity can hide out in.