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Beast Within, The (1982)
Movie Review by The Mortician

Beast Within, The (1982) I gotta say, the Edward Levy novel is way better (and different) than the movie, but the Tom (PSYCHO II) Holland penned movie still holds up okay. The movie deals with some sort of beast that rapes hot TV actress Bibi Besch (who graciously shows us her nice breasts at age 42!) on her wedding night in the woods. Hubby Ronny Cox takes her to the emergency room and she's okay, BUT...she happens to give birth to a son nine months later! And of course, the son is not Ronny's...it's the BEAST's!!! Ahhhh, seventeen years later, the couple is dealing with troubled teenaged son Michael, who's having all kinds of strange medical problems and in the hospital. At night, of course, he's transforming into THE BEAST and somehow, this “spawn” of the BEAST knows who killed the previous BEAST incarnation and he hunts down those who killed him seventeen years ago...or something like that, some are those just related to the hunters. Throw in a girlfriend for Michael, doting parents who don't want to believe their son is transforming into a creature of the night, and an inept sheriff's department of a small town investigating the murders and you have an 80's classic horror flick. The best thing about THE BEAST WITHIN is its incredible and gratuitous use of air-bladder special make-up effects in the transformation sequences, which also saw heavy use in THE HOWLING and AMITYVILLE II, but I think BEAST WITHIN was the trendsetter on this. It still works and looks pretty horrifying, seeing poor Michael's face contort, stretch and bloat out to hideous, painful levels of distortion that seem to defy even what Plastic Man might be able to do! OUCH CITY! Eventually, though, the beast just looks plain silly, like an over-inflated beachball head version of E.T., out there growling, attacking and killing, but still...it's early ‘80's cheese, so what more do you want? The ending offers more fun-time nudity with Michael's young girlfriend (darling Katherine Moffat, giving us a full nude shot of her hot bod in the sequence!) being raped by him (SON OF BEAST WITHIN on the mind of the producers, perhaps?) and the ol' monster being offed by the townspeople once again. In addition to TV starlet Ms. Besch, there's plenty of other well-known TV and movie actors peppered throughout the proceedings, including Sam Peckinpah veterans R.G. (PREDATOR) Armstrong, L.Q. (CASINO) Jones, Ronny (ROBOCOP) Cox, and Luke (EASY RIDER) Askew, not to mention character actors Don (OUT OF THE BLUE) Gordon ('Out Of The Blue') John Dennis (FLESH AND BLOOD) Johnston. THE BEAST WITHIN also features naked female flesh, ample gore and a creepy atmosphere which make up for any story inconsistencies.

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Rating: 7.7 out of 10.0 - 3 votes cast total
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