October 18th, 2013: The Beast Within (1982)

The Beast Within

Cast and Crew:  Les Baxter (Score); Don Gordon, R.G. Armstrong, L.Q. Jones, Meschach Taylor

What It’s About: While driving through rural Mississippi on their honeymoon, Eli (Ronny Cox) and Connie McCreary (Bibi Besch) miss a turn and drives off the road.  Stuck in the mud, Eli goes for help.  A mysterious, bestial creature kills the McCreary’s dog and rapes Connie.  17 years later, the McCreary’s son Michael (Paul Clemens) is dying from a strange, unexplained malady.  The couple decide to investigate the identity  and return to Naiobi, the small town near where the attack happened, where they discover the town is hiding several secrets…as is their son…

Why Watch it Today?: There’s a full moon tonight, and, while not everything in Philippe Mora’s film of Tom Holland’s script quite comes together, they do deliver a unique take on the werewolf mythos that is worth a look by fans of 80s horror movies.

Other Choices: The Wolf Man, An American Werewolf in London, The Beast Must Die, Curse of the Were-Rabbit


7 comments on “October 18th, 2013: The Beast Within (1982)

  1. geelw says:

    Heh. I saw this on the day it came out with a bunch of friends and we couldn’t decide if it was so bad it was great or a great disaster. My take is here: http://fanboydestroy.com/2013/05/30/random-film-of-the-week-fore-the-beast-within/

    • T.A. Gerolami says:

      You really saw a lot of these first run!

      • geelw says:

        Yeah, I didn’t realize it back then, but going to the movies every week (or whenever there were films worth seeing back then, which was frequently) was a stupidly good idea.

    • T.A. Gerolami says:

      Nice review-I mostly agree, but I think I got more mileage out of the random Lovecraft echos and the unexpected nature of the beastie than you did, and I actually enjoyed some of the attacks. It’s not perfect but I think it’s interesting enough to be worth a look for fans of 80s horror.

      • geelw says:

        You know, I didn’t even consider the Lovecraft angle. Well, that adds a bit more respect to this oldie. And yes indeed, it’s a must-see for folks into 80’s horror flicks. I think I was a bit spoiled back then because I was seeing so many horror movies that I wasn’t too surprised at the surprises in this one (I think that soundtrack gave away some of the scares, but I’ll need to see this again and check)…

        On a side note, I did recommend it to a friend a few years back and he watched it with his wife and neither of them slept much that night. So this one still has its bite!

  2. T.A. Gerolami says:

    It definitely has all the problems you mentioned; I think as a guy who watches too many horror movies sometimes the “almost wheres” and misfires that do something different (even if it doesn’t quite work) are more interesting to me than they should be.

    The Lovecraft thing is mostly in some names-it never really comes together.

  3. […] movie but warned me it started with an explicit rape sequence.  I assumed he was talking about The Beast Within, but it ended up that both films start that way (thanks 1970s/1980s genre film fascination with […]

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