Oldskooler Ramblings

the unlikely child born of the home computer wars

Archive for October 23rd, 2018

October of Horror #18: The Borrower (1991)

Posted by Trixter on October 23, 2018

(For an explanation of what these posts in October are, see the parent post.)


An alien convict sentenced to life imprisonment on Earth finds that his human body isn’t functioning properly, and needs additional heads to survive.


Back when video rental stores were a thing, I remember seeing this on the shelf, but never getting around to renting it.  It seemed like an sci-fi horror film that I could sink my teeth into:  Head stealing! Aliens! Rae Dawn Chong!  Antonio “Huggy Bear” Fargas!  Directed by the director of Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer!

The end result of all this is a giant mess that defies explanation.  I should have known something was up when I learned it was filmed in 1988 and sat on the shelf for 3 years before finally getting a video release.  Let’s go over a few things:

  • There are multiple seemingly-inexplicable cuts to a couple watching the Garbage Pail Kids movie in bed.  (This one actually has an explanation: The original distributor of the film also financed the Garbage Pail Kids movie, and probably insisted putting clips into The Borrower.)
  • There is a nearly 1-minute-long sequence where we watch the alien (sporting a stolen head) and Antonio Vargas getting lunch in a lunchline, saying very little and not attempting physical humor.
  • The Alien’s body is white.  Vargas is black.  When the alien steals Vargas’ head, they made no attempt to apply white makeup to Vargas below the torn neckline, or exposed skin.  The alien just simply turns black.  They keep forgetting this minor detail with every new head the alien possesses.  This is a distractingly gigantic oversight.
  • There is a secondary plot about a serial rapist completely unrelated to the main alien plot.  That character is much more horrifying than the actual monster is supposed to be.  When your secondary, minor plot is more interesting than most of the film, you should assume you’ve majorly screwed up as a writer/filmmaker/editor/producer (whoever was responsible).

How a laserdisc of this exists is beyond comprehension.



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