Science Fiction, Thriller

Parts: The Clonus Horror (1979)

0 Comments 15 May 2013

Clonus Cover

Studio: Mondo Macabro

Theatrical Release: August 1979

DVD Release: March 29, 2005

Director: Robert S. Fiveson

R

Review by James Klein

Parts: The Clonus Horror, or as I remember the film simply as Clonus when shown on television, has been a bit popular in recent years. This is the film where its director, Robert S. Fiveson, went national about how Michael Bay and company stole the idea of Clonus for his film The Island. Also, Clonus had been used as an episode on MSTK where it was mocked and ridiculed. Poor Clonus. It’s a shame too since Clonus is a pretty decent sci-fi thriller that I always found enjoyable and unfortunately forgotten.

Set in the near future, Clonus is about a government run project called “Clonus” where scientists have developed a way to clone human beings. A presidential candidate (Peter Graves) is trying to keep Clonus a secret as he and other politicians are using the project to clone themselves. The center that keeps the clones inline do treat the clones kindly while making them train their physical and mental abilities to the extreme. When a clone is ready, he is taken to “America” where it is frozen and stored away for later use, unbeknownst to the clones. The clones believe they go off to another world, almost like a heaven to live happily ever after.

Richard, one of the more advanced clones, is starting to ask questions and is getting the idea that something is being kept from them. He meets clone Lena (Paulette Breen) who he falls in love with much to the dismay of the scientists, headed by Dr. Jameson (Dick Sargent). The two try and figure out a way to escape the center with their goal to get to America on their own.

While the film is fairly low budgeted, this conspiracy thriller with a science fiction twist is fun and does have some tense moments. When the film starts to get bogged down by Richard and Lena’s love interest, the film quickly changes pace and follows the scientists or the politicians. While it is never really action packed, the pace moves along fairly well. Some of the acting may seem stiff at times but given that the cast is suppose to be clones, it is forgivable.

The DVD by Mondo Macabro looks fairly well although it does look a bit murky at times. The daylight sequences look best, while the evening or darker sequences could use some brightening up. The special features do seem a bit lacking with only an audio commentary and interview with director Fiveson, however his informative and enthusiastic memories on the making of the film do provide many interesting stories. There is also a trailer which I believe is for VHS and not an actual theatrical trailer. Either way, it’s nice to have it included.

I have not seen Michael Bay’s The Island to compare it to Clonus but given Bay’s track record (Pearl Harbor, Transformers 1-3) I would say Clonus beats The Island hands down. Either way, this is a fun little film worth checking out on a rainy Saturday afternoon.

Rating: ★★★☆☆

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