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Breeders
(1986)

Director: Tim Kincaid
Cast:
Teresa Farley, Lance Lewman, Frances Raines


There are certainly a lot of interesting things about this world that we inhabit, ranging from the Egyptian pyramids to movies made by PM Entertainment. Those things and countless others were made by us, the dominant life force on this planet. While mankind is certainly a creative and ingenious life form, all the same I find myself looking up in the night sky and wondering if there could be life - any kind of life - beyond our planet. For example, sometimes I think about the planets of Mercury and Venus. If you are knowledgeable about our solar system, you'll know that these two planets are the closest planets to our sun. And because they are close to the sun, they are very hot. Could life somehow have formed and thrived on these planets? Well, maybe not on the surface of the planets. But maybe deep down underground, where it is cooler, there could be life. It's a whole different ball game further out in the solar system. Take Mars, for example. It's a lot further away from the sun than the planet Earth, so of course the environment is a lot colder. Could there be Martian life? Maybe. While it is very cold on Mars, scientists have discovered that there is one of the building blocks of life on the planet - water, though of course it's frozen most of the time. This might mean that there is some kind of bacteria on the planet... or maybe even some more complex form of life. This might even apply to another part of our solar system, the moon of Europa orbiting the planet of Jupiter. Scientists who have studied the planet have found evidence that under the icy surface of the moon there is a water ocean. Who knows what kind of life could form in an abundance of water?

Then there is the fact that scientists have determined that far beyond our solar system, there are planets with Earth-like conditions. It stands to reason that if intelligent life formed on Earth, it could very well form on those far away planets. It would certainly be a lot easier than on Mercury. Sometimes I wonder not only if there is life on distant worlds, but what could happen if we were to encounter it. Well, a lot of the answer would depend if that alien life form was intelligent or not... as well as if the alien life form were hostile or not. (For that matter, it would also depend on the human side's intelligence and prospect for hostility.) There have certainly been many stories, written and filmed, about alien encounters, but I would like to talk about a certain kind in this review. And that are alien encounters that have some sort of sexual element to them. Personally, I think that the likelihood of that happening in real life is extremely slim. If life were to form on another world, it would have to evolve to something that would be very different from human beings. It might have multiple tentacles or other aspects that would make it a kind of animal in front of our eyes. Certainly, the "plumbing", if you know what I mean, would be much different than what is found in men and women of Earth. Even if an alien and a human did somehow find a way to have sexual intercourse, it is extremely unlikely that their act would produce life. The DNA of each being would have to be a lot different, and not compatible. Humans can't breed even with chimpanzees or gorillas, which are the closest genetic cousins humans have on this planet.

Yet over the years, there have been tales of aliens and humans getting it on, sometimes producing life in the process. Though I would only say that such alien sex stories are only a small percentage of the total number of alien stories that have been concocted. I suspect many writers find the Breedersidea of some human having sex with a tentacled being somewhat distasteful, not far removed from the idea of a human having sex with some sort of earth animal. Even more tasteful cinematic treatments of the idea, like I Married A Monster From Outer Space (made during the Production Code era), often have a creepy edge to them. So I can only imagine what many people would think of Breeders, which takes the idea of interspecies sex and takes it to great extremes. Let me give you an idea with a plot synopsis. The movie takes place in New York City, and there is a serious crime wave going on. Women are being raped, but as it happens, it is a particular kind of woman who is being raped. The women who are being raped are virgins, and when they are discovered after the fact, they have been serious disfigured by some kind of acid. Also, their wombs are now filled with some unidentified kind of black slime. Police detective Dale Andriotti (Lewman) is the chief investigator of the crimes, but he is stumped. The doctor at the hospital who is taking care of the injured women, one Gamble Pace (Farley, Bad Girls Dormitory), is also puzzled as to what is going on. But we in the audience know what is going on. Some kind of alien is getting into the bodies of human men, and once inside a male human, waits until it is near a human female virgin. Once that happens, the alien bursts out of the human male it inhabits, pounces on the woman, and does its thing. Can the alien be stopped? And can the female victims of the alien be helped, especially considering they are wandering out of the hospital to parts unknown in a trance?

Before sitting down to watch Breeders, I did a little research on its writer and director, Tim Kincaid. I found out that in the same year as this movie, he had directed the features Bad Girls Dormitory and Robot Holocaust. Both of those movies were really cheaply made, so I had an idea Breeders would also be extremely cheaply made. I also found out that under the pseudonym "Joe Gage", Kincaid has as of this date directed several dozen pornographic films. So with Breeders involving (interspecies) sex, I had a feeling it would have a great sleaze factor as well. My decision to start my examination of the movie with looking at its sleaze factor is a random choice, of course. The movie starts off with nudity before the bulk of the opening credits unfold, and what follows goes lower (or, depending on your perspective, higher.) A female model poses in skimpy swimsuits in front of a photographer, then during her lunch break goes into her dressing room to snort cocaine and do exercises in the nude. Later, when a nurse comes home after a hard day, she takes off all her clothes while in the kitchen before entering her bathroom to take a long shower. Further into the movie, one of the rape victims gets in a trance and walks out of the hospital completely nude. The same thing happens with another rape victim a short time later. Between those two naked sleepwalkings, a woman is seen taking off her clothes while she is talking to her mother on the telephone. In the climatic scene (spoilers ahead), when Dale and Gamble enter the alien's lair in an abandoned subway line under the city, they find the rape victims bathing completely nude in some sort of alien hot tub that is filled with a white milky substance.

As you can see from what I have just described, it's pretty safe to call Breeders a significantly sleazy movie. But while I am an ordinary man in the aspect of normally finding the sight of naked women to be pretty pleasing to the eye, I didn't find the nudity in this particular movie to be all that erotic. The lack of an erotic edge may in part be explained by the fact that writer/director Tim Kincaid's work in the pornographic industry has been with gay porn. But I think another reason has to do with the cheap and slapdash feel of the entire enterprise. Now, I will say that when it comes to the gore effects and the depiction of the alien, the movie is passable. The makeup effects were done by Ed French (who later went on to big budget movies like Terminator 2), and with very little money he does deliver some impressive bloody and slimy visuals like bladder work. But otherwise, the movie is just as tacky as Bad Girls Dormitory and Robot Holocaust. For example, all we get to see of the rape victims' hospital rooms is one small corner where we see their beds and nothing more in the way of set dressing. There is only one brief scene with background extras, and the bulk of the movie is shot in cramped and dingy locations such as alleys and abandoned tunnels. There's no real color to be found in Breeders, just the feeling that the enterprise was quickly and cheaply knocked off. This probably explains why there is no real atmosphere in the direction. It's not just the scenes of nudity that lack juice, but scenes that should have been dripping with a feeling of tension and/or horror. These scenes instead have a matter-of-fact feeling to them, and you don't get the sense at all that Kincaid behind the camera is enjoying himself, or for that matter trying even a little to jolt or tickle his audience with various onscreen violent acts.

A bigger problem with Kincaid's direction - and writing for that matter - is that how slow the story unfolds. There are certainly scenes that go on for too long, like with the cocaine-snorting model who eventually becomes a victim of the alien. There are also scenes that don't seem to be necessary at all, like one short subplot about an old homeless woman who also becomes a victim. But the main story problem is the central one, with the characters of Dale and Gamble teaming up to solve the bizarre case. There's no real progress made in their investigation until more than half the movie has gone by. And while the movie runs a lean seventy-seven minutes long, the extremely slow pace is often agonizing to sit through. We don't even get any real character development along the way, unless you count the scene where we find out that Dale is the kind of guy who will ask a woman out on a date immediately after revealing to the woman that his sister years ago was raped. Things do pick up a little in the remaining portion of the movie, but it's still pretty slow going and lacking punch, particularly with the flat climatic sequence. There are also some questions raised along the way that are never answered (How did the alien manage to infect the human men it used as disguises? And after each rape, how did the then undisguised alien escape unnoticed?) As you have probably concluded by now, Breeders failed in pretty much every aspect to give me anything that was interesting to watch. However, I feel I should add that over the years it's been released on VHS twice, given a DVD release, and several years later given a release on Blu-Ray. So there does seem to be a substantial audience out there for it. But if you've found you agree with my reviews the majority of the time, it's unlikely that audience for the movie would include you.

(Posted March 5, 2020)

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See also: Amanda And The Alien, Hyper Sapien, Species - The Awakening

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