The Beast Within

1982, Movie, R, 90 mins

Review

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Bibi Besch and Ronny Cox are honeymooning in Mississippi (which may have been their first mistake) when someone or something with hairy legs rapes Besch. Seventeen years later their son, Paul Clemens, is not the kind of kid you'd like to introduce to your daughter. Matter of fact, he's weird and not feeling too well, so Mom and Dad take him back to Mississippi to see whether his problems are related to that hairy thing we met in reel one. They are, of course, and the teen soon transforms (in some disgustingly effective cheap effects by Tom Burman) into a giant insect creature that roams the area, ripping the limbs off passersby. Written by Tom Holland, who would go on to write and direct FRIGHT NIGHT and CHILD'S PLAY, the script does a nice job of translating the awkwardness of adolescence into a horrifying event. Australian director Philippe Mora (THE HOWLING III) concentrates on exploiting the creepy atmospherics of the Deep South. A strong cast of veteran character actors (Cox, R.G. Armstrong, Luke Askew, and L.Q. Jones) lends credibility to the outrageous premise. Made on location in Raymond, Mississippi, and produced by THE OMEN's Harvey Bernhard. leave a comment

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