From Troma comes the twentieth anniversary release of “There’s Nothing Out There!” a film I’d admittedly never heard of and was most surprised to see that not only was “There’s Nothing Out there!” something of a fun early nineties horror comedy, but one that was a self-aware jab at the genre long before “Scream” ever convinced audiences it did it first. “There’s Nothing Out There!” is about a bunch of high schoolers who out in to the woods for Spring break to party, drink, and bone each other senselessly. Around the same time as their arrival, an alien being has just crash landed in to Earth, and is now lurking in the woods. Is it out there? Where is it if it is out there? Why is it not in there with them?
In spite of one of the main characters urging people to avoid all of the horror pitfalls in their obviously horrific setting (a precursor to Jamie Kennedy’s character Randy), the body count begins to rise. He insists there’s something out there. They say there’s nothing out there. He doesn’t want to go out there. They go out there. It’s out there! It’s getting in there to them from out there! When will the madness cease?! Potential lunch meat for the monster arrives at the cabin, the teens party as hard as possible and they’re inevitably fed to a monster that is vicious, quick, and loves to swipe the clothing off of his female victims.
“There’s Nothing Out There!” is a hilarious D grade horror comedy, and one that has a particular wit to it that compliments the schlocky horror and cheap scares. The alien monster is obviously made of rubber and foam, and for a majority of the film whenever it attacks a victim, it’s about as believable as Lugosi wrestling with the octopus in “Bride of the Monster.” You have to respect character Mike who spends the entire movie running around urging his friends “Don’t be a horror cliché!” to which everyone more than willingly adheres to his worst fears of getting lost in woods, stripping naked in the dark, and frolicking in mysterious bodies of water, and marshes that leave them open to being killed by the green alien slug from space.
And I dare you not to laugh at the half naked women so horrified by the monster, she runs directly in to a tree. Apart from that and the obligatory nudity, there are some really hilarious satires of the genre including Mike’s insistence on barricading himself in his room (something no one ever does in horror movies until it’s too late), and the passionate sex scene interrupted by a character’s inability to open his pants. Finally, the disaster that arises from Mike’s armor against the monster makes for one of the funniest moments in the entire movie. Director Rolfe Kanesfky’s horror comedy cult classic lacks the fine polishing of a normal horror film, thus there are many errors left in the final cut that are too funny to bash. Apart from the obvious rubbery monster, Mike’s attempt to run from a noise in the woods resulting in the actor falling flat on to his face makes for a giggle inducing moment.
While the movie is schlocky, it’s also able to point out some fun clichés that predated “Scream” by nearly a decade. There are riffs on the stray cat jumping out of the darkness, people’s willingness to get naked at the drop of a hat, the unnecessary need to learn the back story of the villain that always serves zero purpose toward survival, goofy romance music playing during the sex scenes, and the gorgeous house vulnerable to killers that are always out in the middle of nowhere. There goes that damn rake again. Wait… why didn’t the monster just kill everyone with its laser eyes from the beginning? Oh who cares? “There’s Nothing Out There!” is too damn entertaining to apply any logic toward. Especially when one of the characters uses a boom mike from an off-screen camera man while filming to jump over the monster and escape. Oh yes, that happens. Love it, baby.
The Two Disc Anniversary set comes with a restored widescreen version of Kanefsky’s horror comedy, and disc one allows the audience a five minute introduction from Lloyd Kaufman, a one minute introduction from director Rolfe Kanefsky, there’s an audio commentary from director Rolfe Kanefsky, and a new audio commentary from Rolfe Kanefsky for this release. There’s also the “There’s Nothing Out there!” trailer with audio commentary, and a thirty five minute interview with director Rolfe Kanefsky where we learn about the creature in the film, the creative process in its creation, the puppeteering behind it, there’s a never before seen music video for “There’s Nothing Out There,” three short films from Rolfe Kanefsky, Screen tests with cast auditions, Pre-Production Footage and Storyboards, Rehearsal footage, bloopers, Animation Test Footage, Deleted Scenes, and finally a Production Still Gallery, all of which have commentary from Kanesfky!
You’d be foolish not to appreciate the turn out for fans of the film. If you’re like me and you’ve never seen or heard of “There’s Nothing Out There!” you owe it to yourself to watch the cult classic that satirized the horror genre long before Wes Craven ever convinced you he did it first. Rolfe Kanefsky’s horror comedy, even twenty years later, is still hilarious, still goofy, and still worth a watch for any experimental horror buffs looking for a good time. And if you enjoy the movie immensely, you have the Two Disc Anniversary edition (also available in Blu-Ray) for you to feast on after.