A common theme one will find on the internet about Inseminoid is that it rips off Alien. Sure, it does. Lots of movies have. And Alien ripped off It! The Terror from Beyond Space. That shouldn’t stop one from considering the film on its own merits. It succeeds and fails all on its own, with no credit or responsibility laid at the feet of Ridley Scott or Dan O’Bannon. The similarities to Alien are many, but with a budget of £1 million versus Alien’s $11 million, there were going to be some cuts made.
Inseminoid was directed by Norman J. Warren, from a script by Nick and Gloria Maley. On a far away planet, scientists studying ruins of an alien civilization are attacked by a monster. One of them, Sandy (Judy Geeson), is inseminated by the alien, and will soon give birth to twin monstrosities. In this, Inseminoid tracks closest to Alien. The much lower budget meant that much of the atmosphere that defined Alien was not possible in this flick. The budget also affected the alien costume, which is very subpar. Warren and company made the right decision to not feature the monster that much. As a result, most of the terrorizing in this flick is done by Sandy and not the monster.
Rather than pop out her alien brood and let it do the killing, Sandy is gripped by mania, the alien seed giving her superhuman strength to fight through the defenses of her bewildered colleagues. Geeson wasn’t much of a presence in the film before her unfortunate encounter with the monster, but she sure makes up for it after. A little suspension of disbelief is required in action scenes, as Geeson was a tiny woman, and her castmates had to pretend she was throwing them around. The choreography is a bit eye-rolling, but it fits the film, honestly.
Geeson really goes for broke during the inevitable alien birth scene. In a film that up to that point had a television sense of pace and drama, the birth scene is genuinely chilling. Geeson gives a master class in screaming that had to have left her hoarse for days. It’s incredible, conveying levels of pain and anguish rare in film.
The most surprising aspect of Inseminoid is its earnestness. Despite the pervading cheapness in the sets, costumes, and effects, the movie never goes tongue-in-cheek or delves into silliness. The cast plays this movie as high drama, and, for the most part, are believable. The weak spots amongst the ensemble will be obvious to viewers, but there are enough professional performances to balance that out. Besides Geeson, Stephanie Beacham, Barrie Houghton, and Rosalind Lloyd stand out.
It’s a satisfying voyage watching Sandy terrorize an ensemble cast to the point they all fear for their lives. The sense of isolation and being trapped is strong in this otherwise uneven film. There are times when the lack of funds is just too much for the viewer to ignore. This is one of those flicks that had more possibility than realization, and that’s a shame. However, it makes for one fantastic b-movie, perfect for the Shitty Movie Sundays Watchability Index. Inseminoid does well, landing in the top 100, taking over the #83 spot from Policewomen. Check it out.