The film: TERRORVISION
The guest: Jon Bjorling
Ah, the 80s. What a strange and wonderful, colorful and bizarre decade. One that brought us so many movies and musical acts fueled by big dreams and, more than likely, lots of cocaine.
One example of this is the 1986 film TERRORVISION. Produced by Empire International Pictures, the film is a strange distillation of a certain segment of American culture — a mutation of the nuclear family. The stage is an upper-middle-class family home that seems more swinging bachelor pad than a place to raise kids or care for the elderly. The family is made up of genre stalwarts (Gerrit Graham, Mary Woronov, Diane Franklin, and Jon Gries) whose performances border on the “Are you acting terribly on purpose?” Regardless, the performances aren’t without their own charm, phoned-in or otherwise.
The tone of the film is goofy, with even the horrific elements played for laughs. Underlying it all is a satirization of American culture ranging from the over-privileged, over-sexed to (then contemporary) Reagan-era “Gung ho!” attitudes, to punk and metal caricatures — all of which amount to something Mad Magazine might have published as a comic, but are showcased here as a very strange and often funny film. Listen as Andrew and Jon discuss TERRORVISION.