Presented by Synapse Films

The Deadly Spawn

Directed by Douglas McKeown

Fantasia Midnights presented by Synapse Films



Douglas McKeown


Douglas McKeown


Tom DeFranco, Charles G. Hildebrandt, Richard Lee Porter


Synapse Films, Inc.

Official website

USA 1983 83 mins OV English
Genre Horror

“This labor of love and strife defies its meager budget to deliver one of the most surprising, gory creature features of the decade”

World Premiere of Synapse Films's New 4K restoration, followed by a special first-look presentation of RETURN TO THE SPAWNING GROUND, a new 22-minute featurette by Michael Gingold and Glen Baisley!

It’s a typical day in the life of an extended New Jersey family—until first Dad and then Mom venture down into the basement and are devoured by a creature with three eyeless heads and about a million sharp teeth. Spawned from a meteor that crashed nearby the previous night, the monster births dozens of slug-like offspring, one of which is discovered by visiting friends of science student Pete (Tom DeFranco). But as they try to determine its origin, more of the slithering flesheaters begin to crawl upstairs and claim further victims, and young monster fan Charles (Charles George Hildebrandt) may be the only person who can save the day.

An exemplar of the kind of practical-effects creature features that thrilled drive-in audiences and VHS viewers in the 1980s, THE DEADLY SPAWN is first and foremost a showcase for the work of special effects creator John Dods, who also came up with the story with producer Ted A. Bohus and director Douglas McKeown. Dods’ impressive low-budget bestiary is seen early and often, chomping its way through the cast headed by young Hildebrandt, the son of famed fantasy illustrator and SPAWN executive producer Tim Hildebrandt—whose house served as the central shooting location. Making the most of its low budget, this taut and grisly shocker has now been lovingly restored in 4K from the original 16mm camera negative by Synapse Films—a new transfer making its world premiere at Fantasia. Join us to take the first bite! – Michael Gingold

PLUS! Following the screening, stick around for a special first-look showing of RETURN TO THE SPAWNING GROUND, a new 22-minute featurette by Michael Gingold and Glen Baisley.

Forty years ago, the DEADLY SPAWN team took over the Hildebrandt home and infested it with toothy creatures. Join producer Ted A. Bohus, creature creator John Dods and grown-up star Charles George Hildebrandt as they revisit the New Jersey house (now looking significantly different), to take you on a room-to-room tour and reminisce about the monster mayhem they created there!