The Deadly Spawn (1983) – Raw Review

Aliens Deadly Spawn is a product of the early 80’s fascination with fake blood and giant latex monsters. Filming on  a meager budget of just $25,000 dollars (approx $59,000 today) director Douglas McKeown does wonders with what would otherwise be a total crap-fest.

Fans of monster movies will love this film. Fans of bloody b-movies will love this film. Fans of anything 80’s will love this film. Basically, anyone who actually found their way to this blog and is taking the time to read this review will love this film.The most successful film formula back then (and probably today as well) is the single location, limited cast, horror film. Wondering why? Simple:

  • Single location means the studio doesn’t need to spend a lot of money renting locations or moving everything around. It also means the director doesn’t need to spend months in pre-production scouting locations.
  • Limited cast means exactly that, limited. Don’t need to spend a lot of money on actors and/or contracts with a small cast. This allows more money for other expenses, or extra money to nail down one well known actor.
  • Horror film is pretty self explanatory, but because I love to hear myself type I will explain anyway. Horror films are popular, have always been popular, and will always be popular. So if you have a low budget, a decent script, and some people willing to work for almost nothing (or preferably nothing) you have the opportunity to make a film that will be remembered long after you’ve realized your dream doesn’t pay the bills and you go back to working 9-5 somewhere you hate.

The Deadly Spawn cashes in on all three formulas for success. The film is obviously low budget but you’d never expect it to be $25k! Even today’s inflated rate of $59k is ridiculous when compared to some of the shit sandwiches Hollywood is pumping out with million dollar budgets.

What makes Deadly Spawn exceptionally fun to watch is the creature effects. Remember this is the pre-CGI era of film making, when practical effects ruled the medium. In this case, the aliens and their spawn are just a pleasure to witness in action. Unlike today’s reliance on CGI everything, these monsters are down right terrifying with their undulating tubular bodies and the wet blood they clearly bathe in each time they score a kill.

Q: Why the two names? Is it Return of or just Deadly Spawn… You’re confusing me!
A: The original title was just The Aliens Deadly Spawn, but they changed it to Return of the Aliens Deadly Spawn to cash in on the success of Alien (yes, Ridley Scott’s Alien). I know right, total marketing whores.
Q: So you’re saying the cheesy monster with the fake blood looks better than a CGI monster does nowadays?
A: Absolutely, and it makes filming more realistic because the actors are actually interacting with the big monster rather than imagining where it is and what it’s doing.
Q: This movie look stupid.
A: No you’re stupid. Besides, that’s not a question. 😛 

Q: Good date movie?
A: Yea. It’s fun and campy, lots of blood and body parts but the inclusion of the monster makes it pure sci-fi/fantasy.

Q: How about the kids?
A: Sure! Get some popcorn and the whole family together. It’s like watching a Disney film only with mass amounts of people eating.      SERIOUSLY??!! Come on, it’s bloody as hell and has body parts in it. My kids will need to wait until they are at least 6 years old.

Q: Where or where can I get a copy of this?
A: Anywhere. It’s a cult favorite and is available on blue-ray, Amazon, etc.

The Deadly Spawn











  • Lots of gore
  • Great alien design
  • Nice twist early on


  • Low budget
  • Poor acting
  • Bad editing

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