Parts: The Clonus Horror

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Parts: The Clonus Horror
Parts The Clonus Horror (poster).jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Robert S. Fiveson
Produced by Robert S. Fiveson
Myrl A. Schreibman
Written by Bob Sullivan (story)
Bob Sullivan and
Ron Smith (screenplay)
Myrl A. Schreibman and
Robert S. Fiveson (adaptation)
Starring Tim Donnelly
Paulette Breen
Dick Sargent
Peter Graves
Keenan Wynn
Frank Ashmore
Music by Hod David Schudson
Cinematography Max Beaufort
Edited by Robert Gordon
Distributed by Group 1 International Distribution Organization Ltd.
Release date
  • August 1979 (1979-08) (U.S.)
Running time
90 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $257,000 (estimated)

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 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.[1] Although they did not feature in any scenes together, the following year Graves and Frank Ashmore would appear together in the comedy Flying High!.

Plot summary[edit]

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 and son 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.



Home media[edit]

  • The film has been released by Mondo Macabro under the title Clonus.
  • The Mystery Science Theater 3000 version of the film has been released by Rhino Home Video as part of the Mystery Science Theater 3000 Collection, Volume 12 DVD set, featuring an exclusive interview with director Robert Fiveson.



In June 1997, Parts: The Clonus Horror was featured as an episode of the movie-mocking television show Mystery Science Theater 3000. Though hesitant about it for the first five minutes, director Robert Fiveson said that he felt "honored" that the film made it onto the show.[2] The DVD release of the MST3K episode includes an interview with Fiveson, who discusses the production of Clonus and the Island lawsuit.


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.[3][4] On August 25, 2006, the court presiding over this case ruled that it could proceed to trial.[5]

According to a 2007 interview with Clonus screenwriter Bob Sullivan, DreamWorks and Clonus Associates reached a settlement, the specific terms of which are sealed. According to Sullivan, the amount settled on was in the seven-figure range.[6]


  1. ^ ""Clonus (Parts - The Clonus Horror)" (DVD review)". March 17, 2005. Retrieved 2007-06-05. 
  2. ^ "Interview with Director Robert Fiveson", "Special Features", Parts: The Clonus Horror disc, Mystery Science Theater 3000 DVD Collection, Volume 12, October 2007.
  3. ^ "Copyright lawsuit claims 'The Island' cloned 'Parts: The Clonus Horror'". August 10, 2005. Retrieved 2007-06-06. 
  4. ^ "Clonus' Producers File Suit". Satellite News. August 10, 2005. Archived from the original on 2007-03-24. Retrieved 2007-06-06. 
  5. ^ "CLONUS ASSOCIATES v. DREAMWORKS, LLC | 457 F.Supp.2d 432 (2006)". 2006-08-25. Retrieved 2017-05-10. 
  6. ^ Walker, Albert (May 17, 2007). "An Interview with Bob Sullivan, Clonus screenwriter". Retrieved 2007-06-06. 

External links[edit]