Sunday, 15 February 2009


Inseminoid, Norman J. Warren's 1981 film is probably the low budget British director's bona fida masterpiece. The film which is a sort of bastardization of Alien and Rosemary's Baby, follows a bunch of Anglo American archaeologists marooned in a subterranean research station. The trouble begins when one of the women on their team is impregnated by an alien, and typical of your average unplanned pregnancy turns into a murderous cannibal. The set up is probably fine tuned to the budgetary constraints of the film - a rampaging woman is a hell of a lot cheaper than a HR Giger/Carlo Rambaldi alien, and perhaps it was just as well as the alien creature itself is rather pathetic looking. In spite of all that, Inseminoid is a rather enjoyable piece of space movie trash and a perfect example of a film that works as a whole - aside from the insemination sequence, you couldn't isolate any one scene as being particularly effective but add the entire thing up, and it does emerge as a surprisingly disquieting picture. It's a gloomy, even depressing film as well I think, and in this regard the low budget works it its favor - the flat lighting, cheap effects, the austere looking sets and what looks like uncomfortable shooting conditions for the cast and crew.

Easily Norman J Warren's best looking film, Inseminoid's major coup was that it was actually shot in a extensive cave network in Kent. The set design is excellent (this is no poverty row Blake's 7 episode) and despite the poverty row budget, Warren shot the whole thing in glorious 2:35 widescreen. Obviously the film is an Alien vehicle, but Polanski influence is there too - the insemination sequence is heavily inspired by the nightmare sequence in Rosemary's Baby. And there's an Argento-esque feel to it as well - Warren acknowledged Suspiria as a major stylistic inspiration, and a times the film has scenes shot with candy-colored lighting. The grim electronic score probably wouldn't sound too out of place nowadays on the Ghostbox label. Inseminoid is worth seeing at least once, so if a cheap copy comes your way, pick it up. My copy is the old (and very good looking) Elite disc. There's a UK Anchor Bay edition with a Norman J. Warren comm. track (meant to be good). For fans of low-budget British schlock, Inseminoid would make a good double bill with Xtro.


  1. Boy that would be a double feature! I quite like Inseminoid - it's a sleazy Alien ripoff with the added bonus (for us across the pond) of British accents. I watched this movie one Saturday and my mother-in-law came in and was subjected to it. A great afternoon!

  2. I know ! I think that particular double-bill would leave you near suicidal... I haven't seen Xtro since the VHS days so I must grab a decent version at some stage... Inseminoid is full of flaws but it's has a certain... ambiance... a sort of queasy off-color ickiness which I like...