A genuine rarity, this one: a truly good, funny, even smart and respectful send-up of low-rent tacky'n'terrible cheesy backwoods-set teens-in-peril fright films that effectively pokes fun at assorted clichéd'n'contrived horror movie conventions without ever becoming the least bit cutesy or condescending towards its Grade B schlock picture subject matter. Writer/director Rolfe Kanefsky's droll, low-key, properly straight-faced and restrained style never devolves into the overly broad or excessive, instead nicely maintaining a dryly deadpan and ingratiatingly affectionate tone throughout.
The slyly generic plot concerns three libidinous high school student couples and token fear flick fanatic Mike (winningly played by Craig Peck, who's really goofy, but thankfully none too annoying) vacationing in a remote wilderness area. Said secluded forest proves to be the stalking grounds for a slimy, toothy, grody little lethal alien frog monster that sees the guys as yummy meals and the gals as ideal mates to reproduce its species with. Mike's comprehensive knowledge on and keen understanding of bromidic horror film banalities, which is initially a source of irritation to the other disbelieving chowder-head collegians, winds up saving the day, much to geeky Mike's own surprise and the viewer's slack-jawed astonishment.
A very amusing, enjoyable and mercifully uninsulting spoof (unlike the atrocious "Scream" stinkers, this film never seems either archly ironic or smugly patronizing in its pointed satiric potshots at corny stock characters and tried'n'true standard situations), blessed with witty dialog (Mike has the feature's single most sidesplitting line, tersely commenting after seeing one victim's face melt: "Now, that's disgusting"), personable acting from a cast of deliberately overage thesps who try unsuccessfully to palm themselves off as teenagers (one dude even has thinning hair!), nifty on-target parodies of such groan-inducingly familiar trash horror film ingredients as gratuitous nudity ("It's skinny-dipping time!"), the ever-absurd false cat scare, an especially uproarious swipe at the making hot, passionate love in front of a roaring fire sequence (the guy's zipper gets stuck!), glaring blatant continuity errors, and a hilarious technical gaffe involving a conspicuously visible boom microphone dipping into the frame, crisp, sprightly cinematography by Ed Hershberger, an endearingly cruddy extraterrestrial beast, a rollicking bang-up score by Christopher Thomas, and some gut-busting joke-ridden ending credits, "There's Nothing Out There" overall sizes up as a brisk, frequently riotous, and highly pleasing low-budget (it only cost $350,000 in total) tongue-in-cheek horror film genre lampoon.
The first-rate deluxe Special Edition DVD by Image Entertainment offers a fairly grainy, but generally solid and up to par widescreen presentation loaded with a wonderful wealth of awesomely abundant extras which include the theatrical trailer, a still and poster gallery, funky animated menus complete with songs and music from the picture, screen tests, bloopers and rehearsals (the bloopers in particular are an absolute hoot), pre-production footage and storyboards, animation test footage and work print outtakes, and, most savory of all, a very funny, entertaining and informative commentary provided by Kanefsky along with various cast and crew members.
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