Progeny


Dir: Brian Yuzna
Star: Arnold Vosloo, Jillian McWhirter, Lindsay Crouse, Brad Dourif

As Dr. Craig Burton (Vosloo) and his wife Sherry (McWhirter) have been trying to have a child for some time, they're naturally pleased when Sherry becomes pregnant - so pleased, they overlook the missing two hours of time the night they conceived. However, fragmentary and disturbing memories begin to re-emerge for both of them, and it turns out that Craig's sperm-count is so low, pregnancy through him is almost impossible. Through subsequent hypnotic regression sessions carred out by psychiatrist Dr. Lamarche (Crouse) on both pending parents, it appears the missing time may have been the result of an alien abduction. Craig contacts Dr. Clavell (Dourif - and, yes, just about everyone in this movie is a doctor), a researcher into the subject, who shows him a disturbing video-tape of an alien-induced pregnancy in Russia, which didn't end well. He decides the foetus must be aborted - regardless of the protestations of both his wife, who is fiercely protective of the infant inside her, human or not, and Dr. Lamarche, who thinks Craig is simply insane.

While there are some decent performances here from the genre regulars, the movie could have used a great deal more ambivalence: was there or wasn't there an abduction? Instead, it's not long before the script comes to a decision, and while I was hoping for a last-minute reversal in this area, I was disappointed. Once that's decided, the story doessn't have much more to offer the viewer, despite the copious nudity from McWhirter, who may be the most naked actress in any "legitimate" movie since Lifeforce (though little of it could be called 'erotic' by normal standards). The gore is rather more restrained than one might expect, and the "alien" FX by Screaming Mad George are a little bit of a mixed bag: the little EBE's look like something you might find dangling at the end of a key-chain, though the more-impressive finale appears to have been inspired by Legend of the Overfiend. Overall, it just about passes the time adequately, though we couldn't be bothered to go through the special features, even if they do include interviews with actual abductees. Nah, we're fine here.

C+
[January 2010]


Baby on bored
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