Progeny (1999) from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)

Major spoilers ...

A doctor and his wife black out one night for two hours, immediately after they had seen a flash of blue light in their bedroom. The wife soon reveals that she is pregnant and she thinks she conceived on blackout night. The husband is worried for two reasons:

  • under hypnosis, he has revealed that his wife was abducted by aliens that night
  • his sperm count shows that he cannot father a child


The baby starts kicking at two months, and soon seems to be controlling the mother's actions. Wilford Brimley, her gyno, puts her on an all-oatmeal diet because it's the right thing to do. The oatmeal doesn't do much, but he also gives her an ultrasound, which reveals that the baby looks like a cross between Bruce the Shark and one of those wide-eyed kids in the Walter Keane paintings. The parent aliens are always vigilant, and need to protect their vile spawn, so they short out the ultrasound and give Wilford a heart attack. Without Wilfy's testimony, nobody will believe the father when he says what he saw on that screen.

Brad Dourif soon shows up as some kind of UFO expert, with evidence that the exact same sort of impregnation has happened in Russia. The doc decides that he had better give his wife a c-section to save her - oh, and by the way, to save the world. Dourif is also present in the operating room, filming the operation to prove that they are not all mad. Needless to say, the doc and Brad had greatly underestimated the vigilance and power of the aliens. During the operation the blue light appears again, and the doc blacks out again. When he comes to, his wife is stone dead, he's being arrested for her murder, Dourif and his camera have disappeared, and the alien fetus is nowhere to be found.

We see the father in prison. He sees a blue light. Then - a guard walks by, and his cell is empty.

The End ????

The basic idea was to make a high grade horror flick, ala Poltergeist, shooting it with a rich palette on good film stock, and hiring real actors, etc. The project looked good on paper and probably sounded like a good idea, but it didn't work out. It was the wrong script, and the aliens just looked downright ridiculous, like those plastic worms that little boys use to make girls scream.


Jillian McWhirter was seen topless many times in the film, and there is also a brief look at her buns in clear light, and a full-frontal in blue light.

Arnold Vosloo showed his butt during the abduction scene.

DVD info from Amazon.

  • Widescreen letterboxed, 1.85:1. The quality of the transfer is inconsistent.

  • Full-length director commentary

  • interviews with the cast, the crew, and actual alien abductees!

  • the complete script line-by-line, clickable to the scene if you have a DVD-rom drive.

  • storyboards, and trivia game

The script revealed almost immediately that there really were aliens, and the director showed us that they looked exactly like gummi worms. The film would have worked much better if it had taken a psychological approach in which the parents (and the audience) were never quite sure whether the aliens were delusional. Toss out the low sperm count factor, toss out the hypnosis, and let them wonder why there were so many abnormalities in her pregnancy. That approach would have heightened the drama. When he gave his wife a c-section, for example, the doc would be wondering whether the whole thing might be in his head, and thinking that he might be destroying his own human daughter. Such an approach would also have eliminated the problem inherent in showing the silly latex monsters, because the unknown is always scarier than any monsters which can be portrayed on screen, especially when silly-lookin' monsters are shown in clear and lingering shots.

Interestingly, the script was based on some "actual" documented cases of alien abduction, and some of that documentation is included in the extra DVD features. Sadly enough, that was the most interesting thing about the film.

The Critics Vote

  • no major reviews

The People Vote ...

  • With their votes ... IMDB summary: IMDb voters score it 4.6
  • I don't think it was released theatrically, although there is a widescreen version, so I guess they were hopeful.
IMDb guideline: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence, about like three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, about like two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, about like two stars from the critics. Films under five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film, equivalent to about one and a half stars from the critics or less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

My own guideline: A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. C means it will only appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover appeal. D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre. F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well.

Based on this description, this film is a D+. Should have been better. Had aspirations to be better, but the wrong script and cheesy special effects kept them from pulling it off.

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