Whilst visiting his mother at the side of her death bed, John Hollins discovers she's been keeping some secrets up at her old abandoned home in the hills. Deciding to visit the old home with some colleagues he embarks to find out just what exactly has been going on up there and hopefully in the process carry out her dying wish. Of course not all goes to plan after his colleagues start getting attacked by some unknown creature. It's up to John and co to work out what's going on and indeed put a stop to things. However, it seems there are other forces at work who'd like to crash the party and take his mothers work for their own. Can John stop all the madness before it's too late?
The Kindred to me is an 80's b-movie classic, which perhaps looks somewhat dated by modern standards but nevertheless is still great. The creature is really the star of the movie, it has a Lovecraftian quality about it, half human-half seamonster. Whilst it's a shame we don't get to see more of it, what we do get to see is fine. I would hate to imagine what The Kindred would look like to today if it was remade. It'd no doubt be lavished with liberal helpings of CGI, annoying teenagers and OTT camera cuts all over the place. In my humble opinion the 80's was a golden time for horror b-movies and The Kindred can take it's place alongside some of the great titles from that time period.
That's not to say it's flawless; it's not the best paced of movies. The first half of the movie is really about setting up the characters and trying to create intrigue with regards to John's mother and her experimentation. Whilst this does work to some extent it could probably have done with a little less and focused more on delivering shocks n horror. Having said that when The Kindred gets going, it really gets going. There's some pretty gruesome imagery in this flick, I won't spoil it for ya but some of the death scenes are brilliant for an 80's b-movie.
The acting quality is a bit here n there, generally it's fine and b-movie aficionado's certainly aren't going to be unhappy. Quality actor Rod Steiger makes an appearance as the shifty, devilish Dr. Phillip Lloyd and puts in a convincing performance (like he usually does). There's also English actress Amanda Pays who's the enigmatic Melissa Leftridge, a big devotee to John's mothers work. Her performance is decent also. Most of the other cast are decent enough, perhaps nothing spectacular but certainly decent.
Sadly The Kindred is a difficult movie to get a hold of. There are a few old VHS copies floating around and a less than amazing Australian bootleg but surely it's time we were treated to a solid DVD/Blu-ray transfer of this old 80's classic. I believe Synapse have the rights to this movie, although I'd need to verify that, hopefully we'll get some info on this soon. Until then keep your fingers crossed. If you do get a chance to see it count yourself lucky. This one is definitely recommended!
UPDATE: I've contacted Synapse Films and can confirm they hold the rights to the movie. They plan to release, once the producer has put some legal issues to order. Hopefully there will be an announcement soon. One of director Stephen Carpenter's other movies The Dorm that Dripped Blood is due for release soon through Synapse also. Details here: http://synapse-films.com/dvds/horror/dorm-that-dripped-blood-the-uncensored-directors-cut/
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