First published back in April of 1981, Larry Miller’s novelisation of Norman J Warren’s movie ‘Inseminoid’ (March 1981) was based on the screenplay by Nick and Gloria Maley.

DLS Synopsis:
Fifty years ago a crew of exploratory archaeologists touched-down on a supposedly uninhabited planet to explore for any signs of life which may have been missed when mankind was last there – a century earlier.  Their first priority is to locate the preparation team who lost contact two weeks ago.  What they find is a massacre.

Now, fifty years on, a new archaeological team has landed on the desolate planet.  The twelve-strong team, headed up by Commander Holly McKay, go straight into action, skirting across the barren rocky landscape searching for any hidden caverns or caves.  And within mere hours of arriving, that’s just what they find.  And within the dark confines of the cavern they unearth a strange alien being encased in a solid glass coffin along with a separate glass case containing some odd looking crystals.

Together with a mountain of tablets depicting more strange hieroglyphics, the research team bring their findings back to the stationary sub-station that they moved into whilst they undergo their research.  However, when the team break open the glass of the coffin and that of the small case housing the alien crystals, their whole scenario suddenly takes a dramatic turn for the worse.

Upon making contact with air, the strange crystals dissolve letting off a toxic gas that slowly wakens the lizard like being.  Within hours the creature has taken its first victim.  But scientific curiosity keeps the team in check, not wanting to destroy this monumental new discovery.  If only they could keep it contained.  But as its strength builds, so does the threat it poses.  And its overwhelming urges for nourishment and procreation won’t hold the beast for long.

The warnings were all there…but they didn’t listen.  And now the beast is loose again.  A beast that had one mission to complete before it died.  A mission to inseminate a victim to ensure the continuation of its race.  A mission it has just succeeded with...

DLS Review:
Science fiction and horror - what a glorious combination of genres.  Throw in a hefty wedge of intergalactic sex and you’ve got yourself the backbone for another spectacular pulp horror soiree.  At least that would be the case, if only the pace and a reasonable skill in writing were there.  Alas, this is where the novelisation falls drastically short.

Ok, so the storyline is a blatant knock-off of Ridley Scott’s classic movie ‘Alien’ (1979), with an added injection of pulpiness to the plot to create what was later deemed one of the glorious video nasties.  Indeed, if you strip away the originality of ‘Alien’ and crank up the sordid sex and gore-drenched violence, then you’re not too far removed from ‘Inseminoid’.

What’s instantly obvious when reading the novelisation is the numerous differences between the book and the film.  The book does cram in as much action and bloodshed as it can within the reasonable constraints of the pre-prepared screenplay.  Sex is also a very big topic of the plot, with any excuse for lavishing in the couplings of the characters quite literally jumped upon.

Although the tale is packed with splatter from a good quarter of the way in until the final showdown, the tale does lose almost all of its impact from its overall poor delivery.  This is the main problem with the book – Miller’s writing ability.  Sadly, the characterisation is beyond weak, it’s simply non-existent.  Suspense and atmosphere are replaced with basic point-blank descriptions of locations and events.  Emotional responses to dramatic situations are no more than a token gesture.  Quite literally, aside from the bloodshed, the novel is a soulless report of the whole tale.

What really bugs the reader though is the slowness of the scientists in working out what’s going on.  Ok, so it’s certainly not a normal situation you have here – but the grinding pace of the scientists dawning on the insemination is beyond frustrating.  There’s no tension – just annoyance at the blindingly obvious.

With all its faults, ‘Inseminoid’ still somehow manages to remain a reasonably enjoyable read (at a very basic level anyway).  Perhaps it was rescued by the short length of the tale?  Any longer and it may well have fallen foul of that cardinal sin for pulp horror novels – it may well have become boring.  Luckily the length is just right and the novel (although reasonably far removed from much of the movie) delivers a light-hearted lowbrow sci-fi horror with plenty of gore and sex.

Worth a few hours of anyone’s time anyway!

The novel runs for a total of 158 pages.

© DLS Reviews

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