Mike Colby, who is rerouted to a planetary research lab, where scientists have created “Subject 20,” although it’s come out not as intended. Shortly before Colby arrives, the genetic fluke has slaughtered all the test animals aboard, and now has cocooned, waiting to evolve.
Eventually, it grows to be big, black and toothy, as if Audrey II of “Little Shop of Horrors” were spray-painted and given spider legs. One by one, much of the cast succumbs to its perfect-V chompers and acidic blood. That cast includes “Spinal Tap” groupie June Chadwick as the doc who beds Colby on his first night there (to the tune of one swanky, synthy soundtrack), and Dawn Dunlap as the girl whose role is to take full-frontal steam baths and scream a lot. And there’s Colby’s sidekick robot, who sounds as if it were voiced by a kid.
Some of the effects are impressively grisly, especially with the ever-disintegrating form of lab cleanup man Jimmy (Michael Bowen of “Jackie Brown” and “Kill Bill“). He’s the first to go when our mutating monster hatches and affixes itself to Jimmy’s face. Throughout the movie, Jimmy’s body slowly reduces to mush, although he’s still alive and kicking (or alive and twitching, to be precise).
As with other discs in the irresistible line, “Forbidden World” doesn’t skimp on extras, including a handful of New World trailers and interviews with principals on both sides of the camera. The biggest draw, however, is the second disc, which presents “ for the time ever “ director Allan Holzman’s original cut. Under the title “Mutant,” it restores five minutes of footage Corman had nixed because of its comedic elements.
Corman rightly has a rep for being a cheapskate, but it’s easy to forget creativity is free, when fostered correctly. This is something of a gem for him. “Rod Lott