The Beast Within (1982) from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)

How many of these 1980's MGM air bladder transformation movies were there? here's yet another one which jumped on the bandwagon driven by The Howling and An American Werewolf in London.

There are important differences between those movies and this one:

1. They were movies with some inventive, clever scripts and a pneumatic transformation scene. This was a movie with a transformation scene and some stuff happening which hoped to justify it.

2. They were directed by top talent. This is a hack job.

Ronny Cox (the guitar guy from Deliverance, who also sings all the background songs in this movie) and Captain Kirk's wife are visiting a small Mississippi town when she is raped and impregnated by a giant cicada monster. Now this isn't as bad as it seems. Look at the bright side. If you are impregnated by a giant moose monster, you immediately have giant moose offspring. But if you are impregnated by a 17-year cicada, you get 16 years of peace before the kid goes nuts on you.  

NUDITY REPORT

Bibi Besch was topless in a dark rape scene at the beginning of the film.

Katherine Moffat's body double was naked (full-frontal) in a nearly identical rape scene at the end of the film.

Of course, there is another side to it. With the moose thing, at least your offspring is a herbivore, so he doesn't threaten any people, and you never have to cut your grass again if you let the kid graze. With the cicada thing, that 17th year is a bitch.

Flash forward 17 years, the kid is changing in horrible, unexplainable ways. A doctor explains it to his mom and her husband while pointing at the x-rays and looking official, "you see a normal 17 year old would have a regular penis, while your son has, as you can see from these x-rays, a giant locust dick!". The sight of a locust dick causes mom to remember the ordeal from 17 years ago, and she realizes the awful truth. 

DVD info from Amazon.

  • Widescreen anamorphic, 2.35:1

  • no meaningful extras

 Well, it seems that their locust-son has to go back to the small town where mom was raped, and do some raping of his own. Oh, and while he's there, he has to kill off all the guys who did some mean shit to his dad 17 years ago, which turned him into a locust in the first place. The scientific principle behind turning someone into a locust is not entirely clear, but they know they are, and how they did it, and they fear the son because he reminds them of his daddy in a lot of ways. 

Like he has a giant locust dick.

So the kid makes a full transformation into a locust, starts killin' and rapin' and stuff. You get the point.

What else is there to say? A bad script, bad direction, silly looking monster suits, and effects which are now passť. Oh, yeah, and though some of the actors are pretty good, others (like locust-boy) were in over their heads. Ba-a-a-a-a-d.

The Critics Vote

The People Vote ...

  • With their votes ... IMDB summary: IMDb voters score it 3.7
  • With their dollars ... it bombed. $1.5 million gross in 550 theaters.
IMDb guideline: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence, about like three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, about like two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, about like two stars from the critics. Films under five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film, equivalent to about one and a half stars from the critics or less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

My own guideline: A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. C means it will only appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover appeal. D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre. F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well.

Based on this description, this film is a D. Not even entertaining for genre addicts. Even those who revel in bad movies will find only a few minutes of real pleasure amid 90 minutes of boredom. Just pretty darned bad.

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