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Film / Spontaneous Combustion

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The cleanest kill on Earth.

A horror film directed by Tobe Hooper, released in 1990 starring Brad Dourif.

During the 1950s, a young couple takes part in a project that's testing an anti-radiation vaccine. A child is conceived during these tests, and once he is born, the side-effect of the vaccine manifests itself by making the couple burst into flames.

Years later, the child has grown up, and starts manifesting pyrokinetic abilities and is in danger of burning out like his parents as well.

"Burn, Goddamn you!"

  • Creator Cameo: Hooper briefly appears in the scene where Sam goes to a rest room. Fittingly, he is shown lighting a cigarette.
  • Eyepatch of Power: Worn by Dr. Vandenmeer, the expert on spontaneous human combustion who is brought to check on the burnt corpses of David's parents. This actually what André De Toth, the guy playing him, actually wore, since he was blind on his left eye.
  • Playing with Fire: Sam's fiery abilities manifest themselves when he's agitated; if he touches someone, they get an electric shock and hours later they burn to death. When he is pissed off enough, he'll set people on fire with just a thought.
  • The Reveal: When Sam confronts Lew, his benefactor, he tells him that he ensured himself that his mother Peggy got pregnant during the anti-radiation vaccine testing, so that he can study the result.
  • Significant Birthdate: Sam is born on sixth of August in 1955, the tenth anniversary of Hiroshima bombing. This is noted by the brass of the Project Samson, as it involved hydrogen bombs.
  • Spontaneous Human Combustion: Naturally. A couple who were involved in an atomic weapons test spontaneously bust into flames shortly after the birth of their son. When their son grows up, he discovers a pyrokinetic ability and begins setting people on fire when he gets angry.