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The story has promise when you mix aliens, horror, and the wild west of the badlands, but it does not deliver much of anything exciting.

Four men hunting in New Mexico are controlled by an unknown force as they digress into carnal behavior. Let’s dig into 1989’s HIGH DESERT KILL, directed by Harry Falk!

As I See It

Reading the plot before watching the film had me figuring I was in for a horror and science fiction version of Deliverance. Maybe some Fire in the Sky-type fear could be summoned while out in the dark and wild badlands.

Unfortunately, the rigid limits of a made-for-TV film left little room to add any fat to the story’s bones.

Actually, it’s not until about forty-four minutes into the film that the tension ramps up as they find a killing field with a good amount of animal bones and gristle, which explains the disappearance of all the wild game in the region.

The cast lacked chemistry, and you never quite believe these three fellas are such good friends that they take an annual hunting trip, but that could easily be covered up if their “possessed” behavior was portrayed in a more dangerous manner.

It’s not until they collectively kill a bear with three simultaneous shots that they’re brought together, and the bloodshed sends them into a fervor of primal instinct. Fighting over women like cavemen.

The big fear moments are empty, literally, as they use disappearing acts to build tension. The bear disappears, then their friend disappears. I almost forgot the whole story was platformed on a promise of extraterrestrials. Even that was shown in human form.

The matte shot of the decaying structure that they become trapped in is reminiscent of Stephen King’s Under the Dome, and it’s shown in the lowest resolution possible.

The whole production was, unfortunately, a letdown and could not make the story — pregnant with potential — to give birth to much of anything that could be considered living.

Famous Faces

Marc Singer (Brad) starred as Dar in The Beastmaster, and its sequel, which was like a Conan the Barbarian and Tarzan mash-up, written and directed by Phantasm creator Don Coscarelli.

Anthony Geary (Jim) played the wild-haired scientist Philo in the absolutely brilliant comedic masterpiece that is Weird Al Yankovic’s UHF.

Micah Grant (Ray) was Jonathan in one of my favorite digs and a childhood favorite, Waxwork.

Chuck Connors (Stan) is a western legend known most famously for TV’s The Rifleman.

Lori Birdsong (Terry) doesn’t have an extensive resume, but she does have a couple of cult classic horror comedies on her CV: Munchies and Blood Salvage.

Of Gratuitous Nature

Including the two random women who were camping in the area was just a device to show some carnal behavior amongst the hunters. Other than that, there was a lack of thought put into them as characters.


Micah Grant (Ray) looks like Superman. No joke. He’s chiseled from stone and a massive human. If he couldn’t land a role as a superhero back in the eighties or nineties, his agent should have at least been getting him roles as the Big Bad. It’s no surprise he had an appearance on Baywatch.

Ripe for a Remake

The premise has promise, and if someone had a little more imagination than the original creators — as well as removing the boundaries that are inherent in a made-for-tv movie — you could wind up with something interesting.


No progeny to report.

Where to Watch

Kino Lorber released a bare-bones Blu-Ray. There is a full-length version on YouTube.

Overall Rating (Out of 5 Butterflies): 1.5

The Daily Dig brings you hidden genre gems from the 1960s-90s you may have not yet discovered. You’ll get a brief rundown of everything you need to know, including where to watch each title for yourself. Come back each day, Mon-Fri, for new featured titles. CLICK HERE FOR A TIMELINE OF DAILY DIG COVERAGE.

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