Forbidden World (1982) (Scream Factory SteelBook) Blu-ray Review + Screenshot Comparison + Trailer

Studio: Scream Factory
Release Date: May 7th, 1982 (theatrical) / August 13th, 2019 (blu-ray)
Run Time: 77 mins (theatrical) / 82 mins (director's cut)
Region Code: A (locked)
Picture: 1080p (1.85:1 aspect ratio) (both versions)
Sound: English DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 (both versions)
Subtitles: English SDH (both versions)
Slipcover: No
Digital Copy: No
Starring: Jesse Vint, Dawn Dunlap, June Chadwick, Linden Chiles, Fox Harris, and Ray Oliver
Written by Tim Curnen
Directed by Allan Holzman
Rating: R (strong horror violence and gore, sexuality/nudity, and language) (theatrical) / Unrated (strong horror violence and gore, sexuality/nudity, and language) (director's cut)

NOTE: This review contains screenshot comparisons between the 2010 Shout! Factory blu-ray release and the 2019 Scream Factory blu-ray release.

Left = 2019 Scream Factory release
Right = 2010 Shout! Factory release 

THE FILM ⭐⭐1/2

In the distant future, at a genetic research station located on the remote desert planet of Xarbia, a research team has created an experimental lifeform they have designated "Subject 20". This lifeform was built out of the synthetic DNA strain, "Proto B", and was intended to stave off a galaxy-wide food crisis. However, Subject 20 mutates rapidly and uncontrollably and kills all of the laboratory subject animals before cocooning itself within an examination booth. After Subject 20 hatches from its cocoon, it begins killing the personnel at the station, starting with the lab tech charged with cleansing the subject lab of the dead animal test subjects.

Professional troubleshooter Mike Colby, accompanied by his robot assistant SAM-104, is called in to investigate the problem. After Colby settles in, his decision to terminate Subject 20 to prevent further deaths is met with research-minded secrecy and resistance. The staff of the station includes the head of research, Gordon Hauser, his assistant Barbara Glaser, lab assistant Tracy Baxter, the station head of security and Cal Timbergen, the chief of bacteriology.

Forbidden World is a 1982 Alien rip-off from producer Roger Corman, who is the master of low budget schlock. Corman has been making films since the 50s and it was during the 70s that he watched young upcoming filmmakers took all that Corman has spent decades building and ripped him off. Never one to miss and opportunity, Corman decided that he was to rip them off right back. Starting with Piranha in 1978, Corman would produce some of the best rip-offs ever made.

Forbidden World is one of the many rip-offs that Corman produced but it is sadly one of the worst. You already know that it is an Alien rip-off, so you know what is coming. You know that there will be an alien that gets loose aboard a spaceship, killing off the crew members one by one, until it is defeated and the credits roll.

The film does a lot of things right. The look and feel of the film are great while the film doesn't feel like it has a low budget. The film is down and dirty, just like Alien, and features copious amounts of nudity because it wouldn't be a Roger Corman film without it.

The effects are also really good. There are some really disgusting gore effects that caught me off guard. The alien eats its way through the side of a guy's face and we get to see the aftermath which was something I had never seen before. There is also the way that heroes dispatch of the alien. I will not reveal it here but I will say that it is one of the more creative things found here.

The problem that I had with the film is that the characters are instantly forgettable. This may be a minor gripe to some but Corman's films always have characters that we care for and can remember, but here I didn't give two shots whether anyone lived or died. These characters render the film rather boring as we are along for the ride but don't want them aboard.

The score is also not very memorable. After watching Humanoids from the Deep and Battle Beyond the Star, which have amazing James Horner scores, the one here sounds like garbage in comparison. That isn't to say that the composer is bad. I'm just saying that she did not do a great job here.

Forbidden World is a decent film at best. Of course, you have to overlook a lot of bad to get to the good, but that comes with the territory. The bad here, though, is pretty bad. I didn’t give two shits about the characters and that took a lot away from what could have been a great film. Still, I can say that I do recommend checking it out if you are a fan of B-movies or Corman. You might get more out of it than I did.


Featuring a brand new 4K scan and presented in the film’s original aspect ratio of 1.85:1, Forbidden World looks really good. Color timing seems to be a bit different than the 2010 disc, especially in the outside scenes. Detail is better here and skin tones look more natural. Contrast is boosted a bit as well. The biggest thing is the reverting back to the film’s original aspect ratio. I know that many people don’t care that a 1.85:1 film is cropped to a 1.78:1 framing, but I do. I like the look of the 1.85:1 better and its the film’s original aspect ratio, so it gets a win on that front alone. Here the film had been zoomed in on the 2010 disc, but not it is back the way it should be, zoomed out and with the bars on the top and the bottom.

The 2.0 track is good, but not great. Dialogue is clean for the most, and the score comes through with ease, but there is a hiss throughout, even if it isn't that distracting.


The 2019 Scream Factory disc is housed inside of a really beautiful SteelBook with artwork from Laz Marquez.

The disc features a screenshot from the film and is REGION A (locked)


Mutant- Director’s Cut (1h 22m, HD) This is director Allan Holzman’s preferred cut of the film. There are some added character scenes (that don’t change my opinion of the film) and the robot’s voice is way more mechanical and not like the child’s voice as it was in the theatrical version. Differences between the two versions can be found here.

This version of the film was released alongside the theatrical version in 2010, but this version was only available on a DVD included with that release. The video was not very good and the film was in 1.33:1. This time around, Scream Factory found the only existing print of this version and did a 2K scan of it. There isn’t too much of a difference in picture quality, save for a few scenes here and there. The picture quality is obviously miles better than the 2010 DVD.

-Commentary by Allan Holzman

The Making of Forbidden World (34m 15s, SD) This is a pretty standard making-of with interviews from many involved in the production. This is a very uneven making of as there is no rhyme or reason the editing or flow of the doc. One minute there will be talk about the film’s effects, then they will go and talk about the casting only to be taken back to the film’s effects right after. It makes very little sense and the making of suffers because of it.

Interview with producer Roger Corman (6m 27s, SD) The always easy to listen to Corman talks about the film’s production including some stories about how the film came to be and how some of the sets were from Galaxy of Terror. Good interview overall.

Interview with special effects artist John Carl Buechler (14m 22s, SD) Like Corman, Buechler is always fun to listen to as he has stories for days. Here he talks about how he got the gig as well as some of the secrets as to how the effects were done. RIP Mr. Buechler.

Theatrical Trailers (6m 11s, HD) Three trailers are presented here.

TV Spots (1m 16s, HD, 1.33:1) Three TV spots are presented here.

Radio Spots (35s, HD)

Image Gallery (4m 16s, HD) Silent montage of images from the film, behind the scenes, and poster art.


Forbidden World is one of the weaker Corman produced horror films from the 80’s. While the effects and production design are strong, it is the characters that all but ruin the film for me. Not one character is memorable save for the robot the characters keep putting to sleep because they are bothered by it. That is how unlikeable these characters are. They put a robot to sleep because they find it annoying. Still, there are plenty of people who will like the film, and it isn’t a terrible film. This blu-ray, from Scream Factory, is the way to go. The theatrical version of the film has been remastered in 4K and the director’s cut has been remastered in 2K. The special features are nice, but it is the SteelBook packaging that will seal the deal with many fans. Buy this for the director’s cut being in widescreen and in HD alone.


Theatrical Version:

Director's Cut:

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