The Beast Within
Written by Tom Holland
Directed by Philippe Mora
Based on the novel by Edward Levy
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.
"You boys are always dropping things. My guess is you play with yourself too much."