Deadly Instincts (1997) — A friendly PSA about inappropriate teacher-student relationships

“I’m just as human as you are.”

Justin’s rating: But is this college insured from Acts of God? I must know!

Justin’s review: Movies have taught me to be deathly afraid of asteroids. And rightly so — if they’re not bringing the deep impact of armageddon to Greenland, they’re transporting some sort of horrible space critter that’s about to make landfall in the middle of an urban center. If we need any more proof of the latter, we can simply turn to 1997’s Deadly Instincts (also called Breeders if you want to sound extra-icky).

A meteor makes fortuitous impact right on the front quad of some unnamed college. I say “fortuitous,” because for the travelers in its shell looking for dates, this place is the absolute best place for no-questions-asked romantic connections. That’s because out of its faculty of three — Disapproving Principal, Frisky Art Teacher, and Creepy Janitor — the latter two have no compunctions against hooking up with anything boasting a pulse.

The Art Teacher is a particular piece of work and an unfortunate choice of protagonist as he stalks his female students in-between fighting off alien critters. I get that he’s supposed to be magnetic and rakishly good-looking, but in a majority of his scenes, you want to spray a fire extinguisher in his face. Ideally, whenever he opens his mouth. That’ll give him some foam on which to chew.

The only twist here is that the meteor actually brought two visitors. One is an attractive girl wearing an abundance of duct tape, and the other is a somewhat well-done Gorn from Star Trek. Why are they traveling together? Why is the girl constantly warning people about the monster but isn’t in any direct peril herself? Is she his ex? Are they of the same species? How did those girls get hypnotized? Why are they eating vomit? Get used to disappointment, fair viewer, because your queries will not be satisfied.

What we have here is a lame Alien clone crossed with a lame Species clone, both limping to the end credits in a desperate attempt to go the distance. By far, the most entertaining portion was when we discover that the monster had entranced a bunch of coeds with crystal necklaces, turning them into… angry vampires? And even though it was shown in a previous scene that removing the necklace would free the person, Art Teacher and his girlfriend mow down the lot with shotguns. That’ll be fun to explain to the cops.

While the monster effects are fine, for what little we see of them, the creature merely pops out of random places on cue and nominally collects women to propagate his species. He only gets as far as he does because the college faculty, student body, and police detectives are as ineffectual as a small dog wearing an oversized surgery cone and called in six different directions at once. It’s not a perfect metaphor, but hopefully your brain just had a fun image there.

Too many films suffer from a dual lack of budget and plot, just like Deadly Instincts. You can always tell when this is the case, because scenes go on for far longer than they need to, nonsense filler piles up, and everyone moves so slowly as to draw out the suspense. Cat-and-mouse games between aliens and cops in an all-girls college basement shouldn’t be duller than watching preschoolers play tag, but here you go. I’d rather be on babysitting duty.

Deadly Instincts is mockable, if you have the right friends in the right mood, but otherwise there’s absolutely nothing here to recommend this B-movie bomb.

Didja notice?

  • This film’s opening credit sequence was done with the worst Microsoft Word Art you’ll ever see
  • The college never answers the question of insurance
  • Warm space rocks are muy suspicioso
  • Groping during a co-ed, adult-student basketball match is accepted in some quarters. Shouldn’t be, but is.
  • Space girl’s outfit looks like its made of duct tape and garbage bags
  • Sleepwalkers like to eat alien puke
  • Alien crystal necklaces make you into… space vampires?
  • College basements also come with water rides!
  • “I’m not pregnant, I’m just carrying his eggs!”

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