The Terror Within (1989)

terror within poster 1989 movie
3.0 Overall Score
Story: 2/10
Acting: 2/10
Visuals: 2/10

B-Movie schlock, decent looking monster

Poorly paced, little plot

Movie Info

Movie Name:  The Terror Within

Studio: New Concorde

Genre(s): Horror/B-Movie

Release Date(s): January 20, 1989

MPAA Rating: R

terror within gargoyle monster baby

Such a cute little guy! He’s breathtaking (to quote Seinfeld)

A plague has destroyed most of the population and only a few survivors in military bunkers have lived. A bunker patrol comes upon a human settlement, and the scientists realize that humans might have found a way to survive the plague. Rescuing a girl, the team discover she is pregnant, but find the father of the baby is one of the mutated gargoyles that roam the wastelands. With the gargoyle loose in the complex, Hal (George Kennedy) must lead his men in an attempt to destroy it…if they can survive!

Directed by Thierry Knotz, The Terror Within is a low-budget horror thirller.  The film was a Roger Corman production and was released in the theater (briefly), but it found a bigger audience on VHS.

I remember The Terror Within at the video store and even though I was a horror-holic, the movie never looked good enough for even me to rent.  Watching it now years later, I can understand that even as a kid, you can sense “cheap”.

terror within george kennedy

We’ll land this plane no matter what…I mean we’ll kill this thing no matter what!

The Terror Within is a pretty bad movie and very indicative to a Corman film. The movie is an obvious Alien rip-off with the military and the workers at the base replacing the crew of the Nostromo. The movie takes forever to get going with first a lost search crew, then the pregnant human, and lastly the birth. The gargoyle is born and escapes through an airduct. It quickly grows to full size but continues to use the airducts to navigate the base. Much like Alien (or I guess you could argue It! The Terror from Beyond Space), the people try to isolate the gargoyle, but find it is too powerful.

The movie looks cheap. There appears to only be a few sets just reused over and over again. There are the airducts, the hallways, the ladder, and a generic techie room. The movie has a few other sets but primarily, once the gargoyle has escaped, they just go around in circles.  I would argue that the best part of the movie is the gargoyle creature which does not look too bad in comparison to the rest of the film…but it still is a guy in a rubber suit.

terror within gargoyle monster

Someone said there were Cheetos?!?!

The acting is pretty poor. George Kennedy (who is always billed as Academy Award winner George Kennedy) was obviously used to get funding for the movie, and he takes on Alien’s Dallas role. Like Tom Skerrit’s character, Kennedy doesn’t make it, and it can be assumed he only shot for a few days. The rest of the cast is relative no-names and sadly The Terror Within is probably the high point of their careers.

The Terror Within is a rather lame movie. It is pretty much an hour and a half of your life you’ll never get back. It would be ok if it was bad enough to be funny, but the movie isn’t funny-bad…it’s just bad. If you are a fan of bad horror (and yes, I know many are), you might actually want to check out The Terror WithinThe Terror Within was followed by The Terror Within II in 1991.

Related Links:

The Terror Within II (1991)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @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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