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Embryo (1976) Movie Poster
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  •  USA  •    •  104m  •    •  Directed by: Ralph Nelson.  •  Starring: Rock Hudson, Barbara Carrera, Diane Ladd, Roddy McDowall, Anne Schedeen, John Elerick, Vincent Baggetta, Jack Colvin, Joyce Brothers, Dick Winslow, Ken Washington, Lina Raymond, Sherri Zak.  •  Music by: Gil Melle.
        A scientist doing experiments on a human fetus discovers a method to accelerate the fetus into a mature adult in just a few days. However, the "adult" fetus turns into a homicidal psycho and looks for a new formula to prevent her from aging further.


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Image from: Embryo (1976)
Image from: Embryo (1976)
Image from: Embryo (1976)
Image from: Embryo (1976)
Image from: Embryo (1976)
Image from: Embryo (1976)
Image from: Embryo (1976)
Image from: Embryo (1976)
Rock Hudson plays a doctor whose wife died in a car accident many years ago. The wife's sister (played by Diane Ladd) for reasons I wasn't able to figure out lives with him and seems to only serve as an assistant in his lab and as the housekeepercook. RH has an adult son Gordon (played by John Elerick) who has a wife (Anne Schedeen) and baby on the way.

RH is out driving one night and hits a pregnant Doberman by accident. He takes it back to a lab in his own home and tries to save it. Once he realizes the dog is pregnant he makes the decision to do an experiment. He knows the mother doesn't have much chance of surviving but he wants to see if her pups have a chance. He removes them from the mom and puts them in a man made embryo like womb and injects them with a growth hormone. To his delight and surprise one of the pups survives and becomes full grown within a matter of days. The dog seems fine but soon turns violent. It kills another dog and then starts to turn on the SIL unbeknownst to RH.

Meanwhile RH approaches the head of a local hospital whom he knows well (played by The Incredible Hulk baddie Jack Colvin). He tells JC about his successful experiment and then asks to allow him to apply his newfound knowledge on a human. Although JC initially resists RH convinces him they will be saving lives so he agrees.

Soon after a pregnant woman who attempted suicide is admitted to the hospital with no chance of survival. JC calls RH and tells him to come get the baby. RH gets the baby to his lab and conducts the same experiment on the baby as he did on the Doberman. The baby develops rapidly and soon is a fully developed adult female (played by Barbara Carrera). RH names her "Victoria" as he was "victorious" with his experiment on her. RH teaches her everything (including sexual intercourse) and knows he has to introduce her into society without raising red flags so he concocts a story for her. She will be introduced as his new research assistant. She makes her debut and things are going well with no one suspecting anything. Soon though she starts to experience side effects from the drugs she was injected with by RH. She starts to inject herself with the same drugs without RH knowing so she can continue to live.

The SIL doesn't like Victoria and figures out she's not who they said she was. She gives RH an ultimatum - it's either her or the girl. Victoria knows her days are numbered and does not want her life to come to an end so she injects SIL with a drug that causes her to die from a heart attack. Once HR figures out what's going on he races back home to try to stop Victoria but it's too late. She has figured out that in order to continue living without continually injecting drugs she needs the pituitary gland of a gestational baby between five and six months. It just so happens that Gordon's wife is about that many months along in her pregnancy so Victoria takes the baby out of the wife and puts it in the man-made embryo.

When RH and his son arrive Victoria threatens to cut the cord that connects the mother to the baby. RH manages to inject Victoria with some drugs but she stabs Gordon in the scuffle and he dies instantly (just a side-note-not really possible for him to die that quick especially cause she only stabbed him high up on his back. He didn't even bleed that much so that was kind of far-fetched).

In the scuffle the embryo gets knocked over and the baby lands on the floor (side-note I guess in the 70's they weren't hesitant to "go there" with disturbing images). Victoria manages to rush out of the home and get in her car and drive away. RH quickly follows her (he doesn't seem too broken up that his son is dead and his DIL might die too not to mention his grandson being in peril) and they get into an automobile chase with him finally pushing her off the road. She crashes and the car catches on fire but before it does Victoria is able to pull herself out. RH sees her and tries to drown her in the water near the car crash but magically within seconds the fire department and police show up and they hold him back from drowning Victoria.

The last scene shows the paramedics magically knowing that she's pregnant while RH is screaming that she has to die. Victoria looks at him and says it's his baby too and he is seen yelling "no" very dramatically while the police try to restrain him stating that he's nuts.

The screen goes black and you hear a smack and then a baby's cries and that's when the credits roll.

I was surprised at how well this was done for the 70's. I wasn't thinking it was cheesy or anything like that while I was watching it. It seems all the movies today base their storylines on this type of material. This proves that there's hardly any new original material out there. It's all been done before.

My only critique is in regards to the actress who played Victoria-her voice sounded slightly Asian crossed with the speech pattern of actresses in the early black and white films. Sometimes it seemed to veer off into an English accent. She could've used some coaching on that. They didn't seem to know how she should talk but since RH was the only one she interacted with during her formative time and he had no accent she should naturally sound the same.

I wasn't looking for this movie when I came upon it but I'm glad I gave it a watch as it was not bad.

Review by apryla-58795 from the Internet Movie Database.


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