A scientist performing experiments on aliens is bitten and infected by a virus that causes him to become one of them. He slowly transforms while other scientists study him, but eventually he gets a thirst for blood and wreaks havoc in the facility.
"Metamorphosis: The Alien Factor" is another one of those sci-fi monster flicks I always had an interest in simply because it was going the "Alien" rip off route. One thing I found funny was that this film is an unofficial sequel to "The Deadly Spawn", and "The Deadly Spawn" had an alternative title to cash in one the "Alien" success. Meanwhile, "Metamorphosis: The Alien Factor" isn't at all like "The Deadly Spawn" and not too much like "Alien" either. Instead it's more like a rip off of "The Thing". Oh and don't confuse "Metamorphosis: The Alien Factor" with Don Dohler's "The Alien Factor", or George Eastman's "Metamorphosis" (also from 1990). Did the namedropping get your mind going? I'm sorry. Rest assured, the rest of the review won't require any thought!
So, what is this film? I mentioned "The Thing", so it's clearly not a film adaption of Kafka's story. Far from it. But you knew that, so why am I even writing this? Who knows? Anyway... this story starts off with a security guard walking into a room and he gets attacked by a huge monster. Then it throws us back in time a bit to show how that monster came to be. This was a pretty fun way of doing it - nothing original or unique, but just interesting enough to work. It goes back to show you that a scientist was performing experiments on aliens. Living aliens, mind you. Weird looking fuckers that have little-to-nothing to do with anything later on. Anyway, a green like thing bites him. This leaves him with a huge wound and.. fuck me, they decide to throw acid on it. Good idea, guys! When all is said and done, they start noticing his arm growing, mutating, and eventually his entire body. Yes, he grows into the huge fucker that killed the security guard in the beginning. We also follow the security guard's children who are wondering why their father hasn't came home yet, so they decide to go to the facility where he works to find him.
I could definitely find a lot more scenes copying "The Thing" in this film than copying "Alien", even though I'm sure a lot of inspiration is from the latter as well. From the monster designs, some gore effects, and the plot of "turning" into an alien, it's all "The Thing". Hell, there's even an infected dog! Remember the memorable scene in "The Thing" where the stomach splits open and weird tentacle-ish things move around eccentrically? You'll find something similar in this one.
What seperates "Metamorphosis: The Alien Factor" from the usual cheesy monster movies I enjoy (like the recently reviewed "Dark Universe") is that it's actually a pretty serious movie. It doesn't come out as stupid except for some of the cheese factor. And it manages to be entertaining still. It's especially entertaining because the driving force - the monster and the gore - is present through-out the entire film and you rarely get bored waiting. This is essential to the subgenre!
The monsters in "Metamorphosis: The Alien Factor" are all looking great, as most effects do (except for the lightning effects and such). Actually, the main monster is superb in most ways. It's huge, slimey, looks angry as fuck, moves great, and we even get a few great full-body movement scenes. It's highly impressive and I can understand why production was delayed because of the effects they were making. The other monsters/creatures/aliens all look good too, but they don't have as much screentime as the transformed scientist does. The gore isn't plentiful but whenever it's on screen it's a pleasure to watch - the bitten hand especially look gruesome as hell. It was pretty gross when the entire arm was swelling.
I am so happy I eventually sat down to watch "Metamorphosis: The Alien Factor" as it's highly entertaining for a monster fan as myself. I would've been obsessed with this as a kid. The effects are fantastic, and you usually don't have to wait long before getting some monster action. There are more entertaining movies in terms of cheese and action, but this must be one of the coolest of the cheesy monster movies just because of how much I loved the effects.