by Special Guest Dungeonmaster
Howard Paul Burgess
There are few more things less encouraging when looking
for a horror movie to rent than an elaborate box, usually a warning
that the movie inside needs all the help it can get. Breeders
comes in a nice 3-D box with a raised image on the cover. The unwary
are supposed to run their fingers over the box and think, boy, this
must really be great to have such a terrific package.
Breeders starts off well with an alien spacecraft
making its way from behind the moon to Earth under the opening titles.
The opening titles don't do a lot for us, though, because none of
the names are familiar- for reasons we'll discuss later.
And the movie literally starts off with a bang. The
spacecraft crash lands on the campus of a small school near Boston.
And this is where its worst problems start, too. Although
the location is stated as being near Boston, we aren't told how
near and it seems that this is really on the other side of the Atlantic.
First of all there's much mention in the credits about the Isle
of Man. And British movies have a look about them, something about
the architecture, the light, and the colors.
This wouldn't be so obvious except that the film's
makers do subtle things like having two characters take cab rides
in vehicles marked Boston Cab Company and a huge gas storage tank
has huge markings announcing it as belonging to the Boston Gas Company.
And there are many representatives of the Boston Police Department,
who are presented here as being so stunningly stupid that they would
have filed a class action against the film's makers had this been
an American production.
As noted earlier, the spacecraft lands smack dab in
the middle of a school campus. A small school. Darned small. There
seem to be fewer than two dozen students in the whole school and
there seems to be only one teacher. But the alien is in luck. Darned
if this isn't a WOMEN's school. And readers, you'll never guess
why he's come to this planet.
Well, the film is called Breeders.
And sure enough, he's come here to produce more of his own kind.
This is the third film I've seen on this theme. Tommy
Kirk was in the first two, Pajama Beach Party and the immortal
Mars Needs Women. And now Breeders comes to boldly
confront those questions left unanswered by Mars Needs Women.
People on campus start to disappear. No big deal,
as far as everyone figures. So what if what they think to be a meteor
crashes into the middle of campus and then people vanish? I guess
it's too much to ask for people to put these events together. Ignoring
these things must be linked to the universal impulse to go into
dark houses and creepy forests armed with only a flashlight.
At the crash site there are chunks of metal that the
students pick up and make jewelry from. And golly but the unearthly
metal starts to make people act strange.
Louise (Samantha Janus) is the coed who starts to
figure out that things aren't quite right. She tells her boyfriend
Ashley (Todd Jensen) her suspicions and he finally starts to believe
Ashley is in an interesting situation. He seems to
be the only teacher in the school. He teaches art, which we can
figure to be the only class taught. And he's living with Louise
on campus, and nobody seems to notice. If I were a student living
on campus and taking only one class, I'd have plenty of time to
notice what other people are doing.
Meanwhile there's a gorgeous young lady (Kadamba Simmons)
wearing a kinky leather outfit and appearing and disappearing around
the campus. Wanna bet that she's connected to the aliens.
Eventually the police are summoned. And, sure enough,
they figure that Ashley is the guilty party. But there is a maze
of tunnels under the campus to explore, so about half a dozen officers
are dispatched to see what's going on. Amazingly, the police car
parked on campus attracts very, very little attention. A couple
of coeds speak to them, but mostly the police car could be invisible.
So here are the police, underground, searching for
clues. And they do what any one of us couldn't wait to do if we
were in an unmarked tunnel in an area where people have mysteriously
I want to see where this goes, so I'm going off all
by myself around this corner and out of sight into the darkness
where I can find this seven or eight foot high monster and make
him feel welcome on our planet.
Hey, I'm dumb, but not that dumb. But at least they're
So eventually the monster gets all of the police.
It's obvious that they had been down there a long time. At one point
we see the police car in full daylight. Shortly thereafter a character
looks out the
window at the car, and it's night. Boom. Continuity is the stuff
of small minds.
Eventually it's cleared up what the alien is doing
on Earth. The girls will lose control of their wills and become
mindless zombies and have fertilized alien eggs implanted in them.
This at least eliminates the inter-species relationship which could
be disturbing to some more genteel souls. But it also makes one
wonder about the purpose of a protracted scene of the girls in the
shower with water from the drain dripping down into the tunnels
and, presumably, driving the alien mad with lust.
Ashley returns to his apartment to find Louise turned
into a zombie by the stone she wears around her neck. She tries
to kill him, but he pulls the stone off her and darned if she doesn't
come to her senses. Remember that. It will be important in a few
Now that Louise has come to her senses, she and Ashley
go to check out what's going on. Since there's been an explosion
and people are acting very strangely, this seems to be a good idea.
All of the other students (all dozen or so of them) are marching
with blank stares. If it weren't for the fact that all of them are
wearing glowing green stones, we'd simply assume that they were
returning from a Hanson concert. But they turn mean and attack Ashley
Now you remember that two paragraphs ago, Ashley simply
pulled Louise's necklace off and she came back to her senses. No
such luck for the other girls. Soon every one of them has been killed:
shot, karate chopped, forced to listen to Spice Girls cd's (oops,
that's not death, it's the fate worse than....) and lie dead in
the tunnels. Louise is disturbed that all of her classmates have
been killed, but Ashley simply assures her that they were already
The alien isn't happy about this. Soon things are
blowing up. As they said on the Farm Film Report on SCTV, they blow
up real good.
And, presumably, the alien blows up too. At this point
Ashley, Louise, one policeman (who, up til now, hadn't believed
in ufo's), and the girl in the leather outfit are surveying the
damage. Suddenly streaks of light go across the sky. Alien ships
are leaving the Boston area, hopefully headed for another planet.
And this leaves Ashley and Louise to walk off into
the sunset, uh, excuse me, sunrise. There could be another story
with the girl in the leather outfit and the cop. He's a doofus who
wears ugly ties and a hat like you wouldn't believe: maybe she can
do a makeover on him.
It's hard to be too tough on Breeders because
it has some good actors in it, the special effects are ok, and it
has nice photography. The two leads have both done lots of films.
Todd Jensen has been in several movies made in Europe or South Africa
that got American release- Cyborg
Cop, a film of Stephen King's short story The Mangler,
and Woman of Desire. Samantha Janus seems to have built herself
a solid resume of parts doing action and comedy films and tv shows
in England. It's hard to tell if Breeders will advance their
careers or be the dark secret in their closets.
The big problem with Breeders, though, is that
it's deathly dull. The shower scenes and explosions seem to be a
desperate attempt to wake people up. Maybe this would have been
a good Outer Limits episode- at maybe 45 minutes. But at an hour
and 34 minutes it drags, drags, drags. With so few students at the
school, we could have gotten to know some of them better so that
there would be some sense of peril to people we might actually care
about. But as is, they are just faceless furniture.
Several other films have had the title Breeders.
Most video stores have at least three different ones, all of them
probably approaching the same concept. Chances are that any one
you rent will be more interesting than this one.
On a five scale, Pops very generously gives Breeders one
half of a green rock.