Thursday, January 13, 2011

The Beast Within (1982)

The Beast Within

Written by Tom Holland
Directed by Philippe Mora
Based on the novel by Edward Levy

Caroline...Bibi Besch
Eli...Ronny Cox
Michael...Paul Clemens
Amanda...Katherine Moffat

Seventeen years ago, Caroline MacCleary was beaten and raped in the woods while on her honeymoon.  Found and rescued by her husband Eli, they later discover that she is pregnant with the offspring of the man (?) who forced himself upon her.  Together, Caroline and Eli make the difficult decision to keep the child, and raise it as if it were the product of their loving union, rather than a hateful one.

Modern day:  Teenage Michael MacCleary is hospitalized for an unusual malady, one which the doctors have no methods of treatment.  His metabolism is working at an advanced-rate, and no matter how much he consumes, it is never enough.  In other words, a Hungry Man dinner just isn't going to cut it.

So this hungry man sneaks out of the hospital and kills--then promptly chows down on--the publisher of a local paper.  Feeling revitalized, Michael is released from the hospital.  But it's only a matter of time before he starts to feel worn down again...

While this could have been a simple film about madness passed down from one generation of madman to another, it instead turns out to be something of a supernatural revenge thriller, with mutants and murder and mayhem, oh my!  Imagine a Southern-fried werewolf film...only instead of a werewolf, it was something like a...werecicada.

If not for the graphic violence, rape, and occasional foul language, The Beast Within would almost seem like a particularly-strong Made-for-TV movie, back in the day when Made-for-TV movies could be good (i.e., Duel). I didn't go into this film with the highest of hopes, so I was particularly surprised with how much I liked it. My only qualm lies in the final 20 minutes or so of the movie, when Michael gives himself over fully to the Beast Within, turning into a cheesy mess of latex and practical FX. The movie would have been better served if the transformation scenes had remained a little more restrained, as they had during the earlier scenes.

Still, a great bit of 1980s horror with just the right amount of sleaze-'n'-cheese sprinkled in for good measure.

Rated R
98 Minutes
United States

"You boys are always dropping things.  My guess is you play with yourself too much."


  1. I liked this film, too, but you're right -- the more they show you, the less effective it becomes. I think the special effects look worse now than they did at the time -- they haven't aged well.

  2. I think the special effects looked awesome and lot more better. I love how the way boy's face swelling and expanding out as he change. The real special makeup effects from the 80's and early 90's are 200 times twice as realistic.

  3. The Special Makeup Air-Bladders Effects are so remarkable and cool, and I love the lot of makeup bladders fx on other horror films too. The 'BEAST WITHIN' I first saw have my heart beeping everytime I saw other guys turn into monsters. I wonder if new professional producers would do sequels to this film and would use the same makeup fx. If they do they should have four other young guys and one adult guy change into more terrifying monstrous beasts and use ninty more makeup air-bladders fx.

    BEAST WITHIN is similar to the werewolf movie style... 'The Howling' because of the transformation special effects. Basically 'THE BEAST WITHIN,' and 'THE HOWLING' are the most highest monster transformations. I definitely want to see billions and billions of monster transformations with the real special makeup air-bladders effects, and I can't wait for six 'Beast Within' sequels soon.

  4. They really should go back to doing the real special makeup effects, puppetry fx, and makeup air-bladders fx for the upcoming horror movies. I also love to see thousands of more big swelling, deforming, and expanding human bodies.

  5. I really hope the new professional producers and directors will make billions more weird monster transformation movies similar to this film and do the lot of real special makeup effects, the monsters puppetry effects, and hundreds of more air-bladders effects.


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