The smartest thing about Breeders might be the distributor’s name: American Entertainment Concepts (as if to say, “better in concept than execution!”). Think about it: due to how much it relies on the consumer’s subjective appraisal, isn’t all entertainment only “entertainment” in concept? Pretty clever. Or maybe it’s just a subtly diplomatic way of concluding that “yeah, some people are going to like it, and others are going to hate it. Either way, who cares?” (Also clever.)
Here’s a bit of trivia: Michael Madsen’s character in The Hateful Eight was named after Kincaid’s dominant pseudonym, Joe Gage. (Proving that one can argue the merits of Quentin Tarnatino’s films, but not his encyclopedic knowledge of exploitation flicks.)
An IMDb look-up of director Tim Kincaid will reveal a long list of inventively-titled gay-porn films, sometimes interspersed with low-budget, bottom-feeding genre schlock. Porn aside, Kincaid’s greatest claim to fame might be the well-deserved drubbing his dumb, post-apocalyptic opus, Robot Holocaust, underwent at the hands of the Mystery Science Theater 3000 crew. And, with the recent resurrection of MST3K via a successful Kickstarter campaign, I can only hope Jonah, Tom Servo, and Crow will seal the blood pact by riffing Breeders.
Because, like all of Kincaid’s “straight” films, there’s a whole helluva lot to riff.
If this, Xtro, Inseminoid, Galaxy of Terror, and Humanoids from the Deep are any indication, the aliens of the 1980s (Aliens aside) were less interested in conquering Earth than sport-fucking its women.
Is it an unintentional nod to Naked Lunch (pun intended) when the boxy super-computer that tells Dr. Gable Pace (Teresa Farley, she of the single facial expression) and Detective Dale Andriotti (Lance Lewman) the location of the alien menace is named “Burroughs”? I wouldn’t put it past Kincaid (who also wrote the script). Personalizing technology with names has been a longstanding convention in popular culture: in the TV series “The Prisoner,” Patrick McGoohan went up against a room-sized computer known as ‘The General’; in the so-awful-it’s-good softcore slasher Nightmare Weekend, a central character uses a computer that’s programmed by a sock-puppet named George (I shit you not).
Aided by some passably gooey practical FX, Breeders is deliciously jaw-dropping sci-fi awfulness – I couldn’t take my eyes off the goddamned thing.
A slippery, bug-eyed alien is wandering the streets of New York City, targeting some of the most dubious “virgins” ever filmed (one does a line of coke before commencing with nude stretches) for reproductive purposes…I think? The explanations for what, exactly, is happening seem arbitrary at best, and contradictory at worst. After the periodic alien attacks and ample amounts of naked flesh (including homages to Mathilda May’s “nude stalk” from Lifeforce), the film culminates in an abandoned subway tunnel, with our impregnated “virgins” writhing in what can best be described as an alien cum-bath…and the reveal of the cock-head-vagina-mouth offspring of their frolic. It’s a lot like the Cronenbergian notion of symbolic vaginal slits and sex without sex, only lacking any of the qualities that make a Cronenberg film brilliant.
I would say Breeders is by-the-numbers exploitation with a sci-fi twist, but its blundering incompetence (characters witness weird stuff, but don’t think to scream or comment until minutes later!) renders it comedic. This is the type of film where Dr. No-Expression can get Con-Ed to turn on the electricity in an abandoned subway tunnel; where an oily hospital orderly steals floral arrangements from the recently-deceased to give to comatose pretty girls; where a bag lady talks to a stuffed doll (hey, George!) before putting up a miniature Christmas Tree…in the sewer. The dialog is priceless, with many stiffly-delivered zingers that are best experienced cold.
Make no mistake: Breeders is bad, but it’s the type of Troll 2-styled idiocy that is informed by a distinct (albeit consistently misguided) vision, and is therefore impossible to look away from.
Jonny Numb’s IMDb Rating: 6 out of 10