• There's Nothing Out There (20th Anniversary Edition)

    Released by: Troma Entertainment
    Released on: 1/11/2011
    Director: Rolfe Kanefsky
    Cast: Craig Peck, Wendy Bednarz, Mark Collver
    Year: 1990

    The Movie:

    Seven high school kids go to a remote house on a pond for a weekend of party times and teen whoopie. Unbeknownst to them there’s something in the woods that wants nothing more than to devour them and have relations. The seven kids consist of the typical hodgepodge seen in nearly every movie of this kind: the jock, the rich kid, the nerdy guy, the ditzy blonde, the smart brunette, a foreign exchange student (ok maybe not so typical on this one), and the dork who has no girlfriend. The dork is a horror movie fanatic and right from the get go starts in on how the entire trip has a horror movie vibe to it (yes, Scream has the same type of character in it years later…). Of course everyone is annoyed with this and it continues throughout the entire movie.
    Once the kids get to the house on the pond, some potheads show up and start skinny-dipping. Realizing they mistook the house on the pond for a cabin on the lake, they politely leave and we never see them again. After dinner, the nerd and the foreigner decide to go out into the woods, despite the pleading with them to reconsider. There might be something out there after all, and their fools to tempt fate. They ignore him and go out with a pen light for safety. Then the jock and the bimbo decide they want to go out too, and again the dork is ignored. Naked swimming, bedroom boinking, and the dork dressing for defense(hockey gloves, a catcher’s mask, and armed with a wooden bat) fill the space before the carnage begins.

    The frog-alligator-looking alien creature begins to pick them off one by one, but only killing the males. Why not the females? Because it would rather pork them instead. Eventually the survivors start to listen to the dork when he uses his knowledge of horror movies to keep alive and kill the monster. Aside from determining the alien isn’t too smart, they discover he has a weakness….shaving cream in the face. That buys them time to devise a master plan to get rid of the green booger once and for all. Can you guess who survives the ordeal? Probably.

    Let’s get one thing straight: this is not a good movie by the typical standards good movies seem to be based upon. But it is definitely a fun movie. It was designed to be a horror with comedy elements (a parody of horror cliches really), but it really doesn’t achieve either. There’s certainly nothing scary in it, and the jokes are pretty bad, but it somehow works. An amateur movie from start to finish, the acting is pretty dismal, the special effects are laughable and yet there’s nothing painful about sitting through the film. Lots of nudity, a fair amount of the red stuff, and plenty of goofy dialogue keep the interest level high (whether or not the viewer is high) in this little flick, even if it at times doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. For example, the beginning has a sequence that takes place in a video store, which turns out to be a dream. Purpose? Who knows? Who cares?! It’s a nifty little sequence and it’s cool to see all those horror movie covers that get prominently displayed. There’s some “breaking the fourth wall” jokes including a boom mic gag that makes no sense but is awesome. And is there anything wrong with one of the girls running around half the movie in a bikini? No sir. Continuity errors and cameraman shadows also add to the charm. At any rate, do yourself a favor and check this flick out at least once. Any fan of exploitation and horror should dig it if it’s viewed with the right attitude.


    There’s Nothing Out There is presented here in 1.78:1 Anamorphic widescreen. It was shot on 16mm and blown up to 35mm, so the quality is not incredible to start with. That said it still looks pretty decent all things considered. There’s lots of grain, dirt, and a few nice hairs show up. The blacks are hardly black, and the colors washed out at times. It’s certainly not a breath-taking example of what DVD quality can represent, but it absolutely watchable. Troma claims it to be digitally remastered, but who knows what that means. A comparison to the 10th anniversary Image Entertainment DVD may reveal this to be the same transfer.

    The audio is 2.0 Dolby Digital and sounds decent enough. No imperfections like pops and hisses to report and no other noticeable audio glitches. All the sound comes from the front and there is a bit of subwoofer action during the scenes with music (which dates the movie, but in a welcomed way). Nothing great by way of the sound, but nothing to bitch about either.

    Lots of extras on this 2-disc release and most of it is good stuff. If you like indie filmmaking and you dig listening to the makers talk about it, you should be plenty happy with what is in store here.

    Disc One:
    First, choose to start the movie with an introduction by Lloyd Kaufman (5:12), an intro by the director Rolfe Kanefsky (1:14), or no introduction. Or you can watch it with one of two commentaries: one with the director, some cast members and crew, ported over from the Image disc from ten years ago, and the other an all-new commentary by just the director for this Troma version. Both commentaries are pretty interesting, the first being the most entertaining with the various participants, and both have very little by way of silence. It must be tough to talk about a movie twice but Kanefsky is able to without repeating too much.

    Next is a trailer for the movie with commentary, followed by “New Interview with Rolfe Kanefsky” (35:54) which is Rolfe in the bedroom of his studio apartment talking about the film and his career. He’s very honest and up front about the way things have gone for him in the industry and perhaps a little sad about it. But he has a lot to say and although the scenery doesn’t change it’s not too dull. If you like listening to micro budget movie makers talk about their adventures, this may suit you. And last on the disc is some standard Troma extras that seem to appear on the latest releases (Troma T&A, PSA, Radiation March, trailers).

    Disc Two:
    Lots more about Nothing on this disc, all of it with commentary or introductions by the director, which makes it all the more interesting. It’s all worth watching if you have interest in this sort of thing and actually makes helps put the movie itself up on a higher plane.
    • “There’s Nothing Out There Video” (5:15); a video he made using a song that wasn’t used in the movie.

    • “Just Listen” (14:26); a student film Rolfe made in college, and used in the movie during the opening scene.

    • “Mood Boobs” (19:36); a short film he made with a friend of his about boobs that grow with the mood of the boob’s owner.

    • “Mood Boobs Featurette” (16:07); just like the title says. Just as interesting as the short film.

    • “Screen Tests Original Cast Auditions” (11:58) with optional commentary

    • “Pre-Production Footage & Storyboards” (7:11) with optional commentary

    • “Rehearsal Footage & Bloopers” (10:37) with optional commentary

    • “Animated Test Footage & Deleted Shots” (3:26) with optional commentary

    • “Production Still Gallery” (4:17) with optional commentary

    The Final Word:

    A goofy movie that falls into the “so bad its good” category, this ambitious little film has a lot going for it, be it positive or negative. It’s an entertaining 90 minutes that shouldn’t disappoint those who love this type of stuff. Tons of extras, and good ones at that, make this 20th anniversary release worth your consideration.

    Comments 2 Comments
    1. Paul Casey's Avatar
      Paul Casey -
      The horror film dickhead is like a horrible cross between Dave Coulier and David Schwimmer.
    1. Todd Jordan's Avatar
      Todd Jordan -
      Yeah....good call. He was annoying but the chick in the bikini was cute/