Dec 15, 2008

The Kindred

One of my earlier horror movie interactions I encountered was the empty VHS case sitting in my father's Ford F-150. An empty case with the words "The Kindred" etched into the cardboard, above that lie an almost disturbing image of a creature in a baby bottle. The loose definition of Kindred is "similar in quality" which in turn brings the sibling horror plot full circle. This film doesn't even need to borrow any of the terror from it's infantile creature on the one sheet.

I tried to revisit this film approximately a month ago, this with many of childhood favorites like Skeeter. I refrained from allowing myself to become absorbed with this picture because the beginning bored me at a time when entertainment was necessary. Rather than dismissing it like any other cruel bastard, I merely set it aside for a more reasonable time and place. Today was the day where I gave this film its final chance.

John is a scientist struggling with absolutely nothing other than his own narcissistic side. He has a loving girlfriend, a generous job, and a dying mother (the kind that doesn't seem to disturb this suburban living). Upon her death bed, she lapses and remembers a horrific experiment she left at her house. She calls it "Anthony" and it happens to be his brother. Taking a team of scientists to clean and organize her experiments, Anthony is unleashed and begins killing the crew using horrific means.

Anthony, on terms of 80s horror creatures, is near flawless. With Giger-esque skeletal features and tendrils/tentacles that bring to mind the Urotsukidōji era of hentai; Anthony creates nerve-shredding howls and uses his appendages to purge your every orifice as graphically detailed on a human guinea pig. This guinea pig is a female character written in the script solely to be visually experimented upon. A watermelon becomes an incubator for a prototype of Anthony. "He" uses his tendrils to penetrate your nose and creep in your flesh.

On terms of 80s horror, The Kindred stands above the crowd. With no directing style, this film performs exceptionally well. Another film that has the same aesthetic approach is the infinitely worse Monkey Shines. With a similar cast and tale of scientific madness, The Kindred is highly recommended. I'm very fortunate to find that this film performs well over its extended hiatus and found a place in my mind with a memorably horrifying scene of a beautiful woman turning into a fish-woman. The Kindred is truly an experiment of "grueling terror". The film even manages to relay some creepy moments for me, which is normally unheard of in schlock horror.


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