Of all the wares that are found in a video store every week (from the run-of-the-mill chain store, to the mom and pop varieties), the oft-dreaded b-movie is the most common. Usually, these titles are marketed towards horror movie aficionados, horny teens (and adults), and guys with way too much testosterone flowing through their veins. Having spent many years behind the counter at a video store, I can safely say I’ve seen just about every selection the world of direct-to-video, shot-on-video, and shit-on-video genre benders imaginable.
Suffice to say, such films from the magical land of Microbudgeta still flood the market. Once in a while, a worthwhile entry comes along: something that has more potential than you’d think, but goes unnoticed by the general populace, only to have some of Hollywood’s more “popular” filmmakers to steal entire scenes (if not stories entirely) wholesale — and get away with it completely. And then there are those other releases which unsuspecting video store patrons decide to check out, only to lose at great deal of intelligence quotient points in the process.
In short: there are the “good-bad” low-budgeteers, and the really awful “bad-bad” ones. And, since I don’t want to be the only one to relish or suffer at their behest, I present to you this edition of Catching Up At The Video Store entitled “Wait, What’s This ‘Budget’ Thing You Speak Of?”
· There’s Nothing Out There! (1992) (Troma Entertainment)
The Short Version: Actually, there is something out there. And we’re all fucked, just so you’re aware.
The Slightly-Elongated Version: A mere four years before 1996’s Scream made the whole “Rules To Survive Being In A Horror Movie” a commonly-referenced item, a completely unknown actor named Craig Peck was laying the groundwork for Jamie Kennedy’s future role. In There’s Nothing Out There!, Peck plays Mike, a young lad obsessed with horror movies, who is vacationing along with six other teens at a cabin in the woods. Unbeknownst to all, a small, flesh-eatin’ critter-type thing is on the loose in the vicinity — and has set its sights on the youthful partygoers. As it turns out, Mike is so well-read (or well-viewed, as the case may be) is horror movies, that he instantly recognizes the deep dark sense of foreboding as soon as it kicks into gear. Naturally, however, nobody believes him. The fools. Troma revives this underground cult classic in this “Two Disc 20th Anniversary Edition” with plenty of special features.