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  • See I'm against reeboots and remakes but it's films like this that perhaps should be considered for one. The reason? It was made for television and is rather obscure, at time of writing it has less than 100 ratings on IMDB which for a 1979 movie is remarkable.

    Starring Robert Forster this fascinating little horror/thriller tells the story of a man who illegally and secretly has himself cloned but the clone sets his sights on succeeding his creator.

    The movie raised a lot of moral questions and handled them relatively well with a predictable ambiguous finale that I enjoyed.

    Though The Darker Side Of Terror is hardly ground breaking it's an interesting piece worthy of anyones time.

    Should this get remade there are a fair few parts I think need tweeking, doing this could make an instant classic.

    The Good:

    Very interesting concept

    The Bad:

    Title doesn't fit the movie at all

    Forster isn't on point here

    Things I Learnt From This Movie:

    If it had been me that kid wouldn't have touched the ceiling, she'd have gone through it
  • THE DARKER SIDE OF TERROR stars Ray Milland and Robert Forster as two scientists tinkering with God's creation and getting more than bargained for. It's not a bad flick, good entertainment for a cold rainy night.

    Professor Meredith (Milland) is a university genetics scientist who in his spare time hides out in an abandoned old science block on campus to further his cloning experiments. His best student, lecturer Paul Corwin (Forster)---who's frustrated from having lost his hard-earned promotion to a slimy colleague (David Sheiner)---becomes unwittingly involved in Meredith's latest project: he has stolen some of Corwin's blood cells from a bloodbank and started to create a clone of Corwin. He decides to accelerate the growth of the foetus and within days, there's another Corwin walking around. They quickly educate Corwin #2 through TV visuals and special tests, hoping that he will learn something and become a full-fledged human being. Unfortunately Corwin #2 occasionally gets a bung right eye, and has developed a mind of his own and wants out of the lab. Out in the real world, Corwin #2 doesn't quite know to control his feelings, especially when it comes to women.

    Director Gus Trikonis (MOONSHINE COUNTY EXPRESS) brings a terse efficiency to the proceedings, as if counting down the demise of such a brash experiment as fast as its premature growth, and weaves many a tightly-directed suspense sequence to enliven anotherwise straightforward plot. Al (THE ISLAND OF DR. MOREAU, '77) Ramus's script is a cautionary tale warning us of the dangers of cloning, with riffs on FRANKENTSTEIN, but similarly delivers the exploitation goods. The ending may not please everyone but I found it an apt closure. The film isn't overtly scary, but the understated ambiguity of this final shot is quite disturbing, and sent a couple of chills down my spine. In terms of story and special effects, THE DARKER SIDE OF TERROR could be seen as a percursor to DEAD RINGERS. I was quite impressed with the split frames where both Corwin's are on-screen; the effect is mostly seamless, though at times the split is quite obvious.

    Forster is surprisingly good in both roles as the man with something toprove to his peers and the monster who doesn't understand where he stands. He's a low-key presence, and carries the scenes where he has to play off himself. The clever editing helps, but even though he's not Jeremy Irons, Forster manages to be very convincing. Milland on the other hand is wooden, a borderline mad scientist, but more cranky than mad. Adrienne Barbeau (THE FOG) offers romantic support as Corwin's neglected wife, who thinks their marriage is improving when she beds Corwin #2. John Lehne sticks around as a cop to add suspense. Shot by Donald Morgan (CHRISTINE).

    THE DARKER SIDE OF TERROR would make an entertaining double feature with Ralph Nelson's EMBRYO (1976).
  • CLEO-829 April 2003
    This movie is actually kind of creepy. Scientists mess around with some cloning experiments and of course get more than they bargained for. Somewhat reminded me of the original Frankenstein movie when the clone is learning and being educated at very excellerated pace. Does a clone have the ability to feel human emotion or is his he merely a mechanized copy of the original? Some ethical issues explored. Interesting subject matter that was ahead of it's time.
  • A medical scientist (Robert Forester) discovers that his one time mentor (Ray Milland) has decided to make a clone him from a blood sample he surreptitiously obtained. He's upset with this at first (if not nearly as much as he ought to be). Later though after he is passed over for an important promotion, he decides to join the older scientist in this groundbreaking experiment--bad move since everyone knows that clones will inevitably turn out to be evil ("Dolly" the cloned sheep was always trying to murder the "original" sheep who she was cloned from).

    While there are good arguments against human cloning, you won't find any of them in this preposterous sci-fi TV movie from the 1970's--which is not to say that it isn't entertaining as hell. After the clone is somehow rapidly aged to where it is the EXACT same age and likeness of the scientist, they manage to educate it even more rapidly. The clone actually proves better than the original at satisfying the scientist's neglected wife (Adrienne Barbeau)and taking advantage of nubile, lovestruck co-eds. Unfortunately, the clone also suffers from some kind of dysfunction where his left eye goes white and he falls into murderous impulses. The end of this movie though is GREAT. Trust me, they don't make stuff like this anymore either for the big or the small screen.

    Tragically, this movie is only available in third-generation dupes some yahoo recorded off TBS ten years ago. It's a mystery to me why this and a lot of other 1970's TV movies I loved as a kid are not available on DVD while practically every godawful TV sitcom series in history is, often is in a multi-volume edition. It would also be nice if ONE of the 500 cable TV networks was devoted to this kind of programming (the Turner stations USE to show these kind of movies a lot and occasionally MGM and the Fox cable network still do). There's no use in railing against "bootleggers", however, if no one else is willing to step into the breech and provide these movies legitmately. Definitely recommended though if you can FIND a decent copy.
  • If you have a chance give this movie a look and you'll be pleasantly surprised.

    I'm only giving it 10 stars to improve its overall average. Actually it deserves a 6.

    The production quality is OK for 70s TV. It's the story and characters which really draw you in and don't let go. It seems like no second of the film is wasted.

    The plot: Dr. Robert Forester is a happily married successful university scientist who's met one dark and stormy night in an abandoned science laboratory by an old friend and introduced to his secret experiments in violations of the laws of man and God, clones! All building up to his macabre masterpiece, a human clone growing artificially inside a cathode! Worse yet, to gain Forester's trust and secrecy the clone is of Forester himself! Forester is disgusted and refuses to participate in any way. That is until Forester's promising career is stolen from him by a rival professor. Now the clone project is his only chance at scientific glory.

    Complications in the cloning project force them to super grow the clone to full Forester adulthood and computer program it with his intelligence.

    Just like Dr. Frankenstein they plan to debut the clone before the university. But the clone runs amuck in the 70s disco scene. Posing as Forester he easily picks up his pretty young students and rapes and murders them. He even sleeps with Forester's wife.

    This is sort of like 'The Darker Side of Multiplicity.' Having your own clone could easily become a bad thing.