There’s Nothing Out There

1991 | Color | 91 min.

Starring: Craig Peck, Wendy Bednarz, Mark Collver, Bonnie Bowers, John Carhart III, Claudia Flores, Jeff Dachis, and Lisa Grant

Directed By: Rolfe Kanefsky

SPOILER: Yes there is.

Have you ever found yourself watching a horror movie and been completely dumbfounded by the terrible decision-making abilities of the characters? Have you ever been completely baffled as to why, after watching their companions be systematically slaughtered one-by-one, some idiot onscreen decides to wander off alone and investigate that strange noise in the darkness? Or at the very least, have you ever wondered why, after a few of their friends have become a quivering pile of red goo, the remaining friends don’t just get the hell out of the damn house?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, There’s Nothing Out There is the movie for you.

Pictured here: Your typical horror movie character.

Granted, most of the characters in There’s Nothing Out There are still every bit as rock-stupid and oblivious to danger as every other horror movie character you’ve encountered. But then there’s our hero, Mike. Mike has seen every horror flick ever made and knows the warning signs when he sees them. Mike quickly realizes he’s in a horror film and responds accordingly. When Mike sees a suspicious rustling in the bushes nearby, does he needlessly put himself in danger by investigating? No sir, he says an emphatic, “Nope!” and runs to the safety of the house. When it becomes abundantly clear there IS definitely something out there, Mike armors up with hockey equipment, grabs the nearest baseball bat, barricades himself in a room, and nails the doors and windows shut. Mike is the embodiment of every schlock horror fan, reacting exactly as we would if we found ourselves stuck in a horror movie. Sadly, Mike’s friends are nowhere near as savvy as our intrepid horror nerd.

This is Mike. Rest assured, Mike will be surviving this movie.

Our story starts with Mike being reluctantly talked into tagging along with a bunch of his school friends who are headed to a remote lake house for spring break. Accompanying Mike on this doomed vacation are Nick, the de facto leader of the group, thanks to the fact that his parents own said lake house; Nick’s girlfriend Stacey (played by Bonnie Bowers, an accomplished musician appearing here in her first and only film role.); Jim, your stereotypical, lugheaded jock; Jim’s girlfriend Doreen, the ditzy blonde of the group; Janet, a Brazilian exchange student who is as adorable as she is unintelligible—thanks to her molasses-thick accent; and Janet’s boyfriend David (who must be one hell of a salesman…), the obligatory nerd of the bunch.

Ron Popeil’s got nothing on David.

On their way to the lake house, the group happens by the scene of an apparent car accident. The vehicle has been smashed to bits and the driver is nowhere to be found. While the rest of the gang writes it off as a simple car accident, Mike, being intimately familiar with horror tropes (Or maybe he just watched the pre-credit sequence with the rest of us), considers this to be a glaringly obvious warning that they should head back while they still can. Of course, Mike is outvoted and the gang continues towards their inevitable demise.

What? The dude’s got a great ass. I’d pretty much be doing that pose all the time, too.

Despite Mike’s constant warnings about the danger the group is in, once arriving at their destination, his oblivious friends continue to do very stupid things, such as skinny dipping at night, going for midnight strolls in the woods, and other activities one should certainly avoid in a horror film. As the teens are slowly picked off one by one, Mike becomes more and more worried, until Stacy, after seeing the horrible creature (which resembles the world’s angriest avocado, being little more than a green, oblong head, overflowing with rows of razor-sharp teeth.), finally realizes what Mike has known the whole time—they are all in seriously deep doo-doo. Eventually, thanks to his considerable b-movie smarts, Mike is able to come up with a plan to defeat the creature and save himself and the surviving members of the group from becoming alien chow, or in the case of the ladies, something much worse.

“Just try and spread me on toast, jackhole!”

There’s Nothing Out There is a great, low-budget, horror-comedy. Writer/director, Rolfe Kanefsky, was clearly an avid fan of horror and obviously drew heavy influence from the work of Sam Raimi, employing his patented “ram-o-cam” (a low angle, running shot from the monster’s point of view) and other “Raimi-isms” many times throughout this film. The whole film is shot surprisingly well, with many interesting shots and good transitions throughout–something often lacking from similar, low budget b-flicks. Outside of one particularly nauseating transition where the camera spins continuously for what seems like an eternity, most are quite well done. Mike’s knowing observations and constant nods to horror cliches such as rustling bushes, and, as Ken Begg of refers to it, the “spring-loaded cat,” are spot-on and entertaining throughout. There’s even an unexpected and hilarious breaking of the fourth wall where Nick, seemingly cornered by the ravenous alien monster, uses a boom mike which had wandered into frame to swing himself to safety.


Of course, being low-budget horror, there’s plenty of skin on display throughout the film. While there are actually a few nudie shots of the boys, it’s mostly the women who are on display here. Bonnie Bowers in particular spends a considerable chunk of the film running around wearing nothing but a skimpy bikini and, according to rumor, she was not thrilled about the prospect of being remembered as the chick in the bikini in that horror movie (Oddly enough she seemed to have no such qualms when she appeared on The Howard Stern Show in a much more revealing bikini with notoriously skeezy Stern leering at her the whole time, but I digress…). Regardless of her disdain for her wardrobe, or lack thereof, Ms. Bowers was at least clothed for most of the film, appearing topless only for one quick scene, while the rest of her female co-stars consistently have their girls out and about. Although, if anyone has a legitimate gripe, I’d say it’s poor Claudia Flores, who, well after her character bites the dust, remains splayed out and topless for all to see.

Man, I envy Janet. That girl can sleep anywhere!

There’s Nothing Out There certainly isn’t without its faults. The actors’ performances leave a lot to be desired at times, and the male characters—with the exception of Mike, of course—all have faces which are just aching for a punch (Especially David..but especially Nick). Regardless of these minor gripes, There’s Nothing Out There is a solid horror-comedy outing which provides plenty of chuckles and solid moments of parody throughout, with Mike’s horror-obsessed character preceding the similar Randy from Scream, by a good five years. In this humble b-movie nerd’s opinion, There’s Nothing Out There is criminally underrated and deserves much more love than it receives.

I leave you with a little something for the ladies…



Reviewed By Derek “The World’s Angriest Avocado” Miller
Posted On May 31, 2019


Video Clip – Attack of the Spring-Loaded Cat!

Additional Screenshots (Click an image to view full-size)


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