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Jump to the present-day (late 80's) and our little firestarter is all grown up in the form of university student, Sam Kramer (Brad Dourif). Sam's opening scene is a school play audition wherein his performance is so pathetically bad that even his loving fiance, Lisa (Cynthia Bain) tells him not to quit his day job. If this scene was meant to ease the audience into Dourif's unconventional manner of acting by poking fun at him, it doesn't work, because we'll get to cringe a whole lot more as Dourif spends the rest of the film screaming and bugging his eyes out in an over-the-top performance that, for many other actors, would be a career-ending one. Even if this movie had a decent director, Dourif is woefully miscast and should really stick to roles that welcome complete psychosis like Grima Wormtongue (The Two Towers) and Piter De Vries (Dune).
Cynthia Bain doesn't fare much better, which is a shame because she does show some promise and is one of the better actors in the movie. Indeed, seeing her smiling face early on, while dressed in some attractive, if outdated outfits is one of the few bright points of the film. Unfortunatley, the screenplay soon has her bouncing between moderate to extreme hysteria, reminiscent of the closing scenes of Pumpkinhead, but without the believable motivation.Read more ›
: self-ignition of combustible material through chemical action (as oxidation) of its constituents -- called also spontaneous ignition
The thought of inanimate objects -- such as a pile of rags, or an old collection of tools -- spontaneously bursting into flames, is terrifying. Well, imagine if there was such a thing as spontaneous HUMAN combustion! Pretty scary, huh?
For Sam, it's not only scary, it's reality.
Sam always knew that there was something wrong with him, but he couldn't quite figure out the origin of his problem. After years of research, Sam discovers that his parents had been used in a number of atomic-weapons experiments shortly before he was born. The government was attempting to engineer the perfect weapon for war. When the project fails, the government hides all evidence of the project, and it becomes a tightly-kept secret.
Or did it?
As a result of Sam's parents' repeated exposure to radiation, both of their genetic codes were changed, eventually being passed onto their first (and only) child, Sam. Because of the radiation running through his veins, Sam discovers that he has the uncanny ability to make things AND PEOPLE burst into flames.
Talk about getting "hot under the collar"!
"Spontaneous Combustion" is a masterful horror/sci-fi movie by one of the most talented filmmakers in the industry - Tobe Hooper ("The Texas Chainsaw Massacre", "Poltergeist").
Most Recent Customer Reviews
What's not to love? You have to know it's a low budget sci-fi movie from the 80's going into it. If you love those kind of movies then this one is for you!Published on December 29, 2010 by Amazon Customer
I remembered seeing this when I was younger and really freaking out over the carousel scene where the parents are in the bed all hot for each other. I mean, really HOT. Read morePublished on August 25, 2005 by The Cool Guy
I liked this movie, but there were alot of loop holes in it's logic and the end was horrible. One loop hole is 2 caracters are riding in a car, and one begins shooting flames all... Read morePublished on May 3, 2005 by NateMonroe