Cult Movies

Cult Movie Essentials: Parts-The Clonus Horror (1979)

Parts: The Clonus Horror, also known as Clonus, is a 1979 science fiction horror film about an isolated community in a remote desert area, where clones are bred to serve as a source of replacement organs for the wealthy and powerful.

It was a Myrl Schreibman production, executive produced by Walter Fiveson and produced by Myrl Schreibman and Robert Fiveson, directed by Robert Fiveson, and stars Dick Sargent as the laboratory director and Peter Graves as a corrupt politician. The production cost of the movie was $257,000.

As mentioned, the film takes place in an isolated desert compound called Clonus, where clones are bred to be used as replacement parts for the elite, including a soon to be president-elect Jeffrey Knight (Peter Graves).

The clones are kept isolated from the real world by workers of the colony, but are promised to be “accepted” to move to “America” after they have completed some type of physical training. After a group of clones are chosen to go to “America”, they are given a party and a farewell celebration with their fellow clones. The chosen clones are then taken to a lab where they are sedated and placed in an airtight plastic bag, and their bodies are frozen in order to preserve their organs for harvest.

The story surrounds one clone (Tim Donnelly) who begins to question the circumstances of his existence and eventually escapes the colony. Pursued by compound guards, the clone enters a nearby city. He is found by a retired journalist (Keenan Wynn) who takes him to his sponsor, who happens to be the brother of Jeffrey Knight. Knight’s brother, Richard (David Hooks), and his son (James Mantell), argue over what to do with the clone (who turns out to be the clone made for Richard himself).

 

Richard’s son returns the clone to the colony to reunite with his newly developed love interest (Paulette Breen), only to find a trap waiting for him; the clone is subsequently killed and frozen. Meanwhile, Knight, along with hired thugs of the Clonus project, arrive to interrogate Richard and his son, and both are murdered (along with the journalist who first discovered the clone) as part of Clonus’ cover-up.

Knight is seemingly killed in the ensuing struggle with his brother, but reappears the next day at a press conference, where he is stunned to find that the late journalist had managed to disseminate a secret tape to the news media, exposing the Clonus project.

NOTE: The big-budget 2005 DreamWorks production The Island, also about a colony that breeds clones to harvest organs for the elite, mirrors Clonus in a number of ways. The makers of Clonus filed suit, claiming copyright infringement. On August 25, 2006, the court presiding over this case ruled that it could proceed to trial.  According to a 2007 interview with Clonus screenwriter Bob Sullivan, DreamWorks and Clonus Associates reached a settlement, the specific terms of which are sealed but was said to be a seven figure sum.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.