There's no denying that Allan Holzman's 1982 cheesy sci-fi flick Forbidden World isn't an entirely original idea, but fans of Roger Corman and low budget classics will still find a lot to love. The film is one of several Alien rip offs that populated the early 80's, and while Forbidden World's effects aren't top notch, Corman's efforts are pretty creative and Holzman's simple, less is more approach definitely works. A healthy dose of sleaze helps to propel the 77 minute movie forward, and the cast (consisting of several familiar faces) does a decent job at portraying a ragtag team of "experts" battling a mutant genetic nightmare.

Intergalactic pimp Mike Colby (Jesse Vint) is awakened from deep space sleep by his sidekick bot Sam, just as the duo is being rerouted to the planet Xarbia. There, on a remote space station, Colby uncovers an illegal genetic research experiment gone wrong. A group of scientists have created an unpredictable monstrosity known as Subject 20. The mutant develops a taste for human flesh and it's up to Colby stop the creature before it destroys the planet and its inhabitants.

One of the things I've always loved about Forbidden World is its quirky but mesmerizing electronic score, courtesy of Susan Justin (always nice to see a woman involved in the B-movie world, sans cheesecake or death). It compliments the feature appropriately, but is odd enough to kick things up a notch -- giving the film that extra something to elevate it above the average sci-fi schlock of its time. This is also achieved by the starkness of some of the sets, and bizarre overhead shots -- all lending a surreal and surprisingly artistic touch to what could have been a hum-drum affair. Add in several gratuitous shots including one where two women take a random shower together, and you have yourself a genuine, low budget sci-fi classic.

Shout! Factory's handsome two-disc set includes a theatrical cut and director's preferred cut (Mutant), which runs just a few minutes longer. Aside from a few slight differences, the story is the same. Extras include a making of featurette with interviews from director Allan Holzman, as well as some of the crew and cast. There's also a six minute interview with the B-King himself, producer Roger Corman who discusses his thoughts on the film. Also included are a poster and still gallery, along with Shout! Factory's reversible DVD cover art and full color booklet -- all a very nice touch.

So, don't be a "dingwhopper" and pick up a copy of Shout! Factory's brand spanking new Blu-ray or DVD to enjoy this entertaining cult flick once more.
CATEGORIES DVDs, Reviews, Sci-Fi