AKA Dark Forest, Devil Seed
Starring Sam Hennings, Andrea Roth, Dane Witherspoon, Bernard Kates, Holly Fields, John Mooney, Anne Betancourt, David Dunard, Charles Bouvier, Sonny Carl Davis, J. Marvin Campbell
Directed by Peter Manoogian
Expectations: Moderate, but how can a movie called Seedpeople not be good?
On the general scale:
On the B-movie scale:
It is true that Seedpeople is a variation on Invasion of the Body Snatchers and Piranha, but when the main villains roll around in seed pods and spring out with limbs outstretched to snare another puny human in their mind-control scheme to re-populate the Earth, these types of concerns are pointless. Seedpeople is a film designed for pure fun, and for those willing to get down and dirty with it at its level, it will provide a plethora of hilarity and good times in a slim 81-minute package.
Our main character is a geologist who’s staying in the remote town of Comet Valley to give a talk on meteorites to the Fireball Club. The town was founded on the site where a comet hit the Earth, and recent meteor showers have ignited the townspeople’s desire to hunt meteorites and sell them or collect them or whatever. Meanwhile, there’s some kind of flower spores growing in a resident’s orchard trees. Late at night a man comes by to turn on the water, and instead gets a massive load of plant sperm spewed all over him. It’s a literal alien bukkake, and I wish I could say this was a first in the Charles Band catalog, but it’s not. There are at least two other films I can think of off the top of my head that involve alien sperm, so ponder that for a while before you hit the break for the rest of the review.
It’s strange to consider, isn’t it? That one man could produce at least three films with something as obscure in film as alien cum? But I digress, let’s talk about the things that make more rational sense, like the other alien flower that shoots Kix cereal pollen on its victim, or the little flying creatures meant to represent a seed’s ability to catch the wind and find a space to root and grow. OK, so none of the movie makes all that much rational sense, but that’s what makes it so good.
Seedpeople is campy to the max, and it’s very generous with its FX shots. Unlike many low-budget horror films, the monsters are not obscured till the end of the film. In fact, Full Moon must have known how hilariously awesome these seed-pod baddies were, because the space-faring rollie pollies are right there on the VHS box & poster! Low-budget films didn’t get rented without a cover that draws a browsing customer, and what better to sell your film than its incredible, midget-in-a-suit alien thing. I kid, but I genuinely love these creatures. They’re realized very well, and the filming actually makes them fairly believable in most instances.
As with any low-budget monster movie, the dialogue scenes do little more than string the awesome monster scenes together. The acting from our leads Tom (Sam Hennings) and Heidi (Andrea Roth) is pretty good, though, and the supporting cast is filled out nicely with character actors like Bernard Kates and Sonny Carl Davis. But what’s different about Seedpeople is that it remains pretty engaging, even when the rollie pollie monsters aren’t on-screen. The film has a lot of early ’90s charm, and the script backs it up with outlandish characters and occurrences.
I was especially taken by the scene of the teenage girl trying to get evidence that their housekeeper was a seedperson. With the family’s huge VHS camcorder on her shoulder, she clumsily stands behind a tree trunk in the front yard, and later just behind a few spindly branches. The housekeeper, who is just standing on the porch looking out into the front yard, remarkably doesn’t see her. I guess if you’re trying to get definitive footage of aliens, stand behind a couple of tree branches to throw off their insectoid senses. The town crazy who wears fluorescent light bulbs around his head and down his arms is a hoot as well. And who could forget the sheriff’s office with a nice, welcoming bowl of apples on the front desk? I grew up watching The Andy Griffith Show, so I know how kind TV & movie sheriffs can be, but a bowl of fruit is a kind of hospitality that even I wouldn’t have guessed a sheriff was capable of. But y’know, you can never judge a book by its cover, and no matter how long you live you can always be surprised by the actions of another, sheriff or otherwise.
Seedpeople was a total blast, and it easily ranks as one of my favorite Full Moon films. It’s not one for everybody, but for those attuned to its B-Movie quirks, you’ll be rolling in the aisles. Wait a minute… rolling? Oh no! They’ve gotten you, too! Run! Run!
Next time on Full Moon Tuesday, I’ll be checking out a very early Charles Band film, the softcore musical Fairy Tales! See ya then!