This one is for those who have a soft spot in their black hearts for cheesy eighties sci-fi horror that borders between spoof and sincere.
A space traveler makes love to a succubus, and only an imprisoned, beautiful space woman can save him from the evil that now lies within. Let’s dig into 1988’s TRANSFORMATIONS, directed by Jay Kamen!
As I See It
Also known as Alien Transformations, this eighties sci-fi horror film is filled with cheap sets that make it seem like a spoof film. Even the name of our space traveler protagonist seems like a joke (Wolfgang).
There are a lot of things that rhyme with other genre flicks throughout the film, including the gooey monster, which looks like Toxie and Tarman had a baby. Most of the creatures throughout have a recycled feel to them, as if they were leftover costumes that were dolled up with some grime and gore to make them “original”.
The flamethrower scene is reminiscent of the pods from Gremlins. And when they emerge, they seem like distant cousins of Louis (Rick Moranis) and Dana (Sigourney Weaver) in Ghostbusters once they became the Gatekeeper and the Key Master.
The score reminds me of an eighties teen flick. There is no credited composer, though Jonathan Bogner is listed as the “Music Supervisor”. I’m not saying the music was on par with John Williams (no one is), but it does capture a bit of that same spirit.
Even some of the dialogue seems like a full-on satire: “I’m not afraid of you! I’m not afraid to love you!” Come on!
Charles Band of Full Moon films, the legend of direct-to-video and cheesy but beautiful genre films, was initially attached as an Executive Producer. But he requested that his credit be removed over a dispute about story elements.
Lisa Langlois (Miranda) has a few eighties bangers on her resume: Happy Birthday to Me, Class of 1984, The Nest, and Deadly Eyes.
Patrick Macnee (Father Christopher) played Dr. Waggoner in Joe Dante’s werewolf classic The Howling and Sir Wilfred in Waxwork and Waxwork II.
Christopher Neame was in a couple of Hammer Horror flicks.
Of Gratuitous Nature
Wolfgang has sex with the disguised succubus, and even in space, in the eighties, aqua net bangs were all the rage. We pan around the evil, lustful creature to see her back and a gaping hole that is sure to trigger anyone with trypophobia.
Lisa Langlois may not be the first to appear in this section of the column twice, but she is definitely the first to appear twice in one week after Deadly Eyes.
Ripe for a Remake
Any re-imagining would be earmarked for a “direct to video” distribution, which today would mean direct to streaming, and I’m not sure there would be a huge audience for such a snoozer.
No progeny to report.
Where to Watch
Surprisingly, Kino Lorber released a Blu-Ray with a dearth of extras. Not that they are on the Criterion Collection level, but usually, they release more archival-level content. You can stream it on Tubi.