Macabre…ish Horror Review: Shadowzone
Shadowzone, 1990/ 88 min
A now, mostly, defunct and dilapidated subterranean research facility called Jackass Flats Proving Ground is now the home of Shadow Zone. The people still working here are casually strange, possibly from years of working in these conditions. All except, tech, Wiley (Miguel A. Núñez Jr.) The place is rat infested and not even the minimum of hygiene or professionalism is maintained here.
Recently a test subject died there and NASA Captain Hickock (David Beecroft) arrives to investigate. The experiment involves placing people in sleep chambers and inducing extended deep sleep. Hickock tells the scientists that he wants them to do the test again, with all the same parameters, but longer this time, to prove it is not dangerous or face suspension of the project.
The male subject’s veins swell and his head explodes. The lab seals itself when something overrides the program and blows out their system causing facility wide shutdown but triggering the auxiliary power. The female subject is moved to another room when they notice another heat signature on the monitor, the room is cleared and Dr. Van Fleet (James Hong) suits up and goes into the lab but is then killed by the newcomer.
Dr. Erhardt (Louise Fletcher) explains that the experiment found a gateway into a parallel reality inside of the unconscious mind and contact was made. They theorize that the being entered into our reality through the most recent, dead, test subject. And that it must be a shapeshifter and was able to escape the lab. And because the creature’s slightly radioactive, the fail safe is triggered and they are sealed underground.
They get to work restoring the power and monitoring the other subject, who cannot be safely awakened without the main power. So Wiley and Hickock look for the transformer while others look for an escaped monkey. Dr. Kidwell (Shawn Weatherly) is attacked by a mutated monkey copy and Shivers (Frederick Flynn) is reduced to chunks splashed all over a corridor.
It is discovered that the creature can also turn into your thoughts and fears. Despite this creature slaughtering most of the staff, Dr. Erhardt is just fascinated by it’s ability to survive. When the power comes back on, the creature takes control of the computers to tell them it is dying and needs to return home. It swears to spare their lives in return. But after opening the portal, an unwise move costs one of the remaining doctor her life.
This is a Full Moon production, directed and written by J. S. Cardone
There is nudity and blood, some gore but it’s not particularly graphic except autopsied corpses but there are some pretty good monster effects scenes and expect some jump scares. Look for the Full Moon appreciation episode, coming soon, on my podcast, Macabre…ish Cults, Classics & Horrors!