A quirky little B movie sci-fi/horror mashup from 1976, EMBRYO is probably best known as the film debut of Barbara Carrera, who would go on to star as Fatima Blush in the OO7 flick "Never Say Never Again" and TV's Dallas.
Rock Hudson stars as Paul, a doctor specializing in fetal research that stumbles on a radical new drug cocktail that greatly accelerates fetal tissue.
When he accidentally hits a pregnant dog on the way home on a rainy night, he brings her home and gives the drugs to her teeny preemie pups.
Within hours, he has newborn puppies and within days, he has full grown Dobermans.
Paul then decides to play God (as scientists always do in these formula films) and acquires a fetus from a woman in a fatal car crash, plopping the fetus in an aquarium like holder and injecting his magic serum.
Within days, that tiny person has become the beautiful Victoria, 24 years old, gorgeous and with a capacity to learn never seem in humans.
But oh-oh, pretty soon the magic doberman starts showing some homicidal canine tendencies and its not long before Victoria starts having some spells of her own.
Hudson is good and earnest in his sixties movie star style, Roddy McDowell is hilariously over the top as a brainiac bested by Victoria and Carrera does well, saddled with a predictable story arc but giving it her all.
If you wanted to have a seminar on BAD screen acting, this could also be a great screener, as Diane Ladd emotes at Soap Opera level in every scene, Dr Joyce Brothers manages to do a bad job playing herself and Anne Schedeen (never heard from again in film after this) gives a horrible performance as Hudson's daughter-in-law, pregnant with her own child and suddenly the object of Victoria's only fix.
Some of the dialogue is so awful its funny, the tiny fetus' move with the assistance of some clearly visible black strings and Hudson manages to squeeze in a nude scene. This is one bizarre movie.
Poor Director Ralph Nelson has done some great work (1968's Charly with Cliff Robertson for an example) but he was clearly on the downward slide here, slumming in the b movie world.
Plain and simple, Embryo never quite hatches into anything worth watching, except for maybe a nostalgic laugh or two!
It gets a D.