Cellar Dweller (1988)

cellar dwellar poster 1988 movie
3.0 Overall Score
Story: 4/10
Acting: 1/10
Visuals: 7/10

Cool looking creature

Porn worthy acting

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Cellar Dweller

Studio:  Empire Pictures

Genre(s):  Horror

Release Date(s):   April 28, 1988 (West Germany)/September 20, 1988 (US)

MPAA Rating:  R

cellar-dweller-creature

Cellar Dweller…Coming right off the page and right at you!

A comic creator named Colin Childress (Jeffrey Combs) summons a demon through his work.  When it kills, the only solution he can find is to burn the paper he used to create it.  Thirty years later, Whitney Taylor (Debrah Farentino) is following in his footsteps and moving into his home for inspiration.  Unfortunately, Mrs. Briggs (Yvonne De Carlo) who runs the house doesn’t want her there and is teaming with her former art school rival Amanda (Pamela Bellwood) to get rid of her.  When Whitney begins to draw the comic Cellar Dweller again, the creature is on the loose and killing…again.

Directed by John Carl Buechler, Cellar Dweller was an ’80s monster film which has gained a small cult following over the years.  Despite the fan base, the film has never been released on DVD.

cellar-dweller-eating

Don’t roar with your mouth full!!!

Cellar Dweller is pretty bad.  The movie is a B-Movie and it shows it.  The movie has a certain level of cheapness to it that it doesn’t get past.  The story, the look, and the acting all combine in a bad way to make a true B-Movie quality film.

When Cellar Dweller was released, the VHS market was booming and tons of straight-to-video movies like Cellar Dweller were being made.  It always feels like these films are rushed.  The director John Carl Buechler also was responsible for the effects and had pumped out many movies around this time including other “classic” B-Movies from the period like Troll and Ghoulies.

Cellar Dweller of Buechler’s films, however, is probably the most generic and least inspiring.  The movie’s acting is awful.  It feels like a borderline porn film in that the actors really, really feel like they are just regurgitating lines they just read.  With both Ghoulies and Troll, it seemed like the actors were at least having more fun with the role…here, they seem forced and bored.

cellar-dweller-transformation

That outfit really clashes with your fur!

I will say that the Cellar Dweller creature is quite cool looking.  In the age of CGI creations, it is nice to see a “flesh-and-blood” tangible creature.  It looks just like the Ghoulies and very similar to some of the Trolls, but it also has more of a role than the most of the Ghoulies or little Trolls.  With the good puppet, comes some really awful fake looking fires and animated “magic” scenes that defeat what credibility the movie built on any effects.

With a slew of ’80s B-Movie horror, you can probably due better than Cellar Dweller.  It is a bit of an oddity in that it has never been on DVD so you’ll have to track it down on a bootlegged copy or online.  You can probably do better than Cellar Dweller, but you can also do worse.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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