"This is a science-fiction flick on the same budget as
Rodriguezs EL MARIACHI and it has a good deal of
charm to it, and some surprising aspects that you just
Knowles, Ain't It Cool News
On this site, you can watch numerous scenes from the latest
Mike Conway movies. For TERRARIUM scenes, scroll down,
just a bit.
THE AWAKENING scenes are
on the Message
scroll down to "Benson Shoots."
Newly added are the best scenes from THE
CRYSTAL! You can see these on the
Someone finally did it!! Yes, some
rascals actually put
together a feature length MST3K parody of TERRARIUM.
Unfortunately, it's not for sale to the public..., yet. You can
a scene, right here.
Surely that Tom Cruise movie was
a coincidence! We're quite
honored to have the same voiceover guy that the Spielberg
#1 (WAR OF THE WORLDS)
#2 (WAR OF THE PLANETS)
TERRARIUM, aka WAR OF THE PLANETS - Should
you see it? Depends on what you like. Scroll down and you
can watch several scenes.
Mixed reactions. Some people really like WAR OF THE
PLANETS, while others can't stand this low budget opus.
One thing is for sure, everyone likes the Special Features'
DVD, which includes the fabulously violent ROADKILL.
It's like a Roadrunner cartoon, except with real people!
PRISONER 810 and KILLER'S LAIR are the other two
shorts. Best of all, the cool indie doc, A SPACESHIP IN
THE BACKYARD, is one of the best "making ofs" that
you'll ever see. Lionsgate couldn't include the Special
Features, but you can get it on this site, for just $5, plus
WAR OF THE PLANETS is available at Blockbuster, Hollywood Video,
Best Buy and many other stores. If
you like these scenes, then give it a whirl.
There is some violence in some of these clips, so be warned.
(SPOILER ALERT!!!!) SCENES FROM THE MOVIE,
with director notes:
(4mb steaming Quicktime) Upon reaching the Tau Ceti solar system,
an asteroid strikes the ship's sensor dish, triggering an emergency
UP. (2mb) The crew wakes up, after 15 years of cryosleep.
Instead of reviving in weightless orbit, the ship has crashed,
sustaining damage to both the computer and ship structure. Gravity
is taking its toll on the astronauts' weak bodies. On top of being
trapped, one of the other astronauts, Rita, is missing and her
bunk is bloody.
ATTACK. (3mb) Trying not to just be gory, I focused more on
the psychological experience of each attack, which is that most
of the astronauts can not see what's happening, so they experience
it through the intercom system, but are helpless to do anything.
The biologist gives her assessment of the carnivorous, apelike
creature. The deduction is that it attacked Rita and Debbie, so
it will be back.
ATTACK. (3mb) The I.V. nutrients and electric pulse stimulation
are slow going. Realizing that they have to get out, quick, the
atrophied astronauts try exercise. They are pretty much limited
to basic isometrics. As predicted, the creature returns. I chose
to have this scene take place almost entirely from Nicole's point
of view. She covers her ears to block out the intercom, but she
can't escape the experience.
ATTACK. (3mb) So far, the creature has taken only women. A
few of the colony-minded men decide that they must distract the
creature, so that it leaves the women alone. However, a few crewmembers
have spilled their guts about why they really left earth, forever.
One of those is Kim, who confesses to past suicidal tendencies.
"Please gentlemen, don't do me any favors." Once the
creature pulls Robert out, Kim realizes that he can free everyone
and decides to call the creature over to her.
(3mb) Robert is wounded, but manages to free the crew. They aren't
strong enough to stand, but they can move around. The creature
makes it a close call.
THE WEAPONS. (4mb) Trapped in the Command Module, the crew
realize that they won't last long without the food and weapons,
located at the opposite end of the ship, in the Storage Module.
After waiting out the creature, they make a break for it, with
THE SHIP. (2.6mb) The crew finally makes it outside, only
to discover that they are trapped inside a huge terrarium barrier.
It looks like the hairy carnivorous beast was put in the terrarium
to test the astronauts' defenses, by an advanced alien race of
GONE. (2mb) The evil "grays" enter the terrarium,
at will, and take the creature's body (in addition to earlier
crew bodies "This is why that creature was always hungry.").
The crew uses nightvision to search the terrain. Notice the last,
rather amazing shot of the animated crewmembers, exiting the ship.
ABDUCTED. (1.5mb) Two crewmembers stand guard. The aliens
BLAST BRANDON (3mb) The crew desperately search for Brandon,
who turns up on the other side of the terrarium barrier, with
bloody hands. The crew is unable to hear him, but, apparently,
he killed an alien.
SHOOTOUT. (1.5mb) The crew tunnel under the barrier and set
up sniper positions, as they evacuate supplies from their booby-trapped
ship. The "stealthy," almost invisible aliens are pretty
advanced, but can be seen with the nightvision.
AUTOPSY ROOM. (3.7mb) The aliens surround the ship, but the
captain blows them all to hell. Dena, waits at the rendezvous
point - an abandoned underground structure. Unfortunately, the
ship explosion causes Dena to fall through a second structure,
which isn't abandoned. She finds Kim, who was earlier abducted.
The aliens experimented on her pretty extensively and all she
wants is not to be touched, again.
A couple more...
SPEECH. (1.4mb) This is Roger's speech, which sets up the
TITLE SEQUENCE. (4mb) If you've read this far, this might
interest you. An outside party created new the solar system sequence,
on Lions Gate Films' WAR OF THE PLANETS DVD. You can see the original
TERRARIUM version, as well as hear the main theme, on this link.
New!! This 5 meg video shows
coverage, before and
after the movie went to the theater.
Before it was called WAR OF THE PLANETS, the movie,
TERRARIUM, was known as that little indie flick, shot in a
suburban Las Vegas backyard. Totally dubbed, except for
the video Press Conference scene, TERRARIUM was shot
with a silent Canon Scoopic 16mm camera.
TERRARIUM gained momentum on indie filmboards,
particularly when DVDs were given away on this thread:
Viewers of the original, independent release seemed to like it,
not minding the dubbed actors and wooden sets. Most of these people
were expecting a typical shot on video indie, but got into
a 16mm film, with the cool concept of atrophied astronauts,
unable to fight off a carnivorous monster. All this,
before the halfway point of the movie, in which a major plot
twist, concerning the movie's title, comes to light! Faced
with an even bigger threat, the once weak astronauts break
out the assault rifles and face their enemy.
So, what changed? Well,. Steven Spielberg made WAR
OF THE WORLDS. What could other distributors throw
up against it, to ride the wave of interest? "Hey, what
about that movie, TERRARIUM, that we previously
passed on?" Yes, Lions Gate initially passed on it, until
Mainline Releasing/Lightning Ent. put a spin on it.
The title, TERRARIUM, was changed to WAR OF THE
PLANETS, even though there isn't much of a war. Now,
WAR OF THE PLANETS is in every big video store,
in N. America. The release is huge, beyond any indie
filmmaker's dream! The downside is that the box features
monsters, on the cover, that don't have anything to do
with the movie. The title is kind of misleading, but that is
what put it into stores, in large numbers.
A lot of viewers of WAR OF THE PLANETS were
expecting Hollywood fare and not some guy's ambitious
backyard movie. "Ambitious," because a banquet waiter,
named Mike Conway coerced his stepdad and roommate
to help him build a full sized 64' long spaceship set in the
backyard of Mike's house!
While the ship was still being built, Las Vegas city officials
ordered the monstrosity to be torn down. Mike Conway
grabbed his Scoopic and quickly shot his flick, before the
city could possibly arrest and fine him, for non-compliance!
20 tons of sand and boulders were trucked in. 90% percent
of TERRARIUM was shot in the backyard and garage!
With the city government waiting, Mike stalled, just enough.
All those ideas about 3 point lighting, dolly shots, etc. were
thrown out the window, with the bulk of the movie shot
in two weeks. Somehow, out of 6 hours of silent film
footage, TERRARIUM was put together. No one on this
shoot could have anticipated the huge Lions Gate release,
but there it is.
When Mike released his own TERRARIUM DVD, he
hedged his bet by loading it with a separate Special
Features disc, which included the incredible and well
recieved documentary, A SPACESHIP IN THE
BACKYARD, which details the ship's construction
and the film's eventual release in a movie theater.
Also on the disc were 3 short movies, ROADKILL,
PRISONER 810 and KILLER'S LAIR.
Lions Gate could not include these Special Features. This
is unfortunate, because viewers were missing the best part
of the DVD. The good news is that the Special Features'
disc is available through this website, for $5, plus $2 shipping.
Maybe, those of you, who have read this far, will get a
chance to see what made the original TERRARIUM a bit
A paypal link has now been added to the DVD
Verify your order, by sending your address info to:
astronauts volunteer to pioneer a colony, on a newly discovered
planet. They awake from their frozen 15 year sleep to discover
that the ship has crashed and that they are trapped in their cryotubes.
To make matters worse, a hairy beast breaks in and begins devouring
them, one by one...
does it look like? Go to the Downloads
page to see still photos and movie clips! You can even hear cuts
from the soundtrack. EDIT: Here is the 2004
This one kicks butt! If that's not enough, then check out this
is an 84 minute feature, shot on 16mm film. Made for $27,000,
which included buying a film camera, computer and, of course,
a full scale, 64 foot long spaceship!
was shown for 2 weeks at a Las Vegas theater. It was there that
the film garnered some fans, including visual effects artists,
Chuck Carter, P.J. Foley and Bart Anderson. The trio offered to
do some effects shots to enhance the film.
Conway was making an attempt at a no-frills movie, that had strong
acting from the volunteer cast. The intention was to make a sparse
horror drama, set in a spaceship. However, Conway agreed that
the new visuals were needed and happily accepted the offer of
free effects from guys, who previously worked on STAR TREK - VOYAGER
and BABYLON 5!
The 2004 version of TERRARIUM was substantially recut. Also, 24
new FX shots have been added, most by David Rosler of The Rosler