Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Phil's Halloweeen Horror Watch: BLOODSUCKERS FROM OUTER SPACE (1984) from Vinegar Syndrome - October 17, 2018

Starring Thom Meyers, Laura Ellis, Robert Bradeen, Big John Brigham, Glen Coburn, Franny Coppenbarg, Dan Gallion
Screenplay by Glen Coburn
Cinematography by Chad D. Smith
Edited by Karen D. Latham
Produced by Rick Garlington, Garl Boyd Latham, Karen D. Latham, Larry McInerney
Directed by Glen Coburn
Originally released by Karl-Lorimar Home Video
Released by Vinegar Syndrome

Welcome back horror hounds to my annual Halloween Horror Watch! For Day 17, I decided to pull and oldie but goodie from that lovely decade called the 1980's. The movie was part of the straight-to-video trend that was becoming popular, since video stores were desperate to find product to put on their shelves. Shot on 16mm film stock in rural Texas, BLOODSUCKERS FROM OUTER SPACE is a bona fide cult classic that you have never heard of!

The film's official synopsis: A mysterious and invisible alien presence has landed in rural Texas and has started turning the nearby townspeople into white-faced, bloodthirsty killers. As the local authorities begin to investigate the strange and violent goings on, a photographer and his girlfriend find themselves trapped in the midst of an unexpected rural bloodbath, which seeks to turn them into another pair of bloodsuckers from outer space. A low budget, low rent horror comedy from writer/director Glen Coburn, BLOOD SUCKERS FROM OUTER SPACE is a gory and silly slice of home made regional genre filmmaking.

This was one of the most goofy, silly, hilarious local indie horror films from the 80's that I have ever seen! It almost has a Troma-esque feel to it. What makes it so enjoyable to watch that it's such a low budget movie that the filmmakers didn't really take it all so seriously. However, the film was made with a lot skill and care: the sound was awesome, cinematography was nice looking, and the cast put on a great performance. But you can tell they were just having a ball making it! Like I've said previously, you can see the comradery and passion within each frame of the movie, and everybody involved was giving a 110%! This is a perfect snapshot of the local DIY indie film movement that was taking place in the country.

Original In-Store Poster (1984)
Writer/director  Glen Coburn was very fortunate to have such a talented crew to help bring his unique and quarky vision to fruition. His cast and crew made a film that has lasted for over 34 years, and the fact that it's still talked about to this day proves that they left their mark in cinema history. What I enjoyed was Corburn's script, which had a lot of funny one-liners, great comedy moments, and some clever fourth-wall breaking. Add the on-screen chemistry between Thom Meyers' character Jeff Rhodes and Laura Ellis' Julie, plus the rocking score by Emilie Aronson, Ann Armstrong and Steve Hughes and you have one radical movie!

The movie premiered in October of 1984 at the Joe Bob Briggs' Drive-In Movie Festival. It was reviewed by Travis Box of the Dallas Observer, calling it, "one of the best low budget films made in Texas." It was picked up by Karl-Lorimar Home Video and released on home video shortly soon after. In late 2008, the company Media Blasters released the movie on DVD to a new generation of fans. Then in 2018, Vinegar Syndrome re-released the movie in a Blu-Ray/DVD Combo, newly scanned and restored in 2k from 16mm negative elements.

Since I'm a hardcore collector of physical media, I purchased my copy with the limited slipcover (which is now sold out but is still available in a regular edition). The combo set comes with some interesting special features: Commentary Track with writer/director Glen Coburn, actor Thom Meyers, and cinematographer Chad D. Smith, "34 Years Later" - A 50 minute 'making-of' documentary, " Back To Bloodsucker Town" - 15-minute featurette, "Bloody Arm Rip 101" - A how-to guide on recreating the special effect from the film, Stills Gallery: Featuring over 100 images from Glen's personal collection on the making of the film, and a reversible cover artwork.

BLOODSUCKERS FROM OUTER SPACE is a Grade-Z, horror comedy classic that has a lot of heart and soul, which makes up for the extremely low budget! The movie falls into the , "It's so bad it's good" category, but for other reasons! The cast and crew did the impossible and have left their mark in the annuals of horror film history! This was the over-the-top, cheesy, campy VHS rental of 1984, and now it's the must-own Blu-Ray of 2018!! 3 1/2 out of 5 stars! Definitely worth a watch!

BLOODSUCKERS FROM OUTER SPACE is available in a Blu-Ray/DVD combo pack from Vinegar Syndrome. To order a copy for yourself, visit their website at

Thanks for reading, and enjoy the show!

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