The Beast Within
THE BEAST WITHIN (18)
D: Philippe Mora
MGM/United Artists (Harvey Bernhard & Gabriel Katzka)
USA 🇺🇸 1982
W: Tom Holland [based on the novel by Edward Levy]
DP: Jack L. Richards
Ed: Robert Brown & Bert Lovitt
Mus: Les Baxter
Ronny Cox (Eli MacCleary), Bibi Besch (Caroline MacCleary), Paul Clemens (Michael MacCleary), Don Gordon (Judge Curwin)
A rather crudely produced creature feature loosely based on a 1981 novel of the same name. You'd think it was a werewolf movie, but it really isn't, though there's plenty of references to lycanthrope legend.
On the night of her wedding, a woman is raped in the woods by an unseen beast.
17 years later, her hospitalised son is suffering from hallucinations and fever, as it soon emerges that he is the offspring of the aforementioned beast. No spoilers there, it's quite obvious.
Practically every element of filmmaking is quite poor here, with ropey acting performances, a script full of terrible dialogue, weak characters and incessantly annoying music which fails to be creepy but just won't let up.
The best thing about the film is Tom Burman's makeup effects, which are disgusting, but incredibly well executed.
Still, this isn't worth going out of your way for.
Did You Know:
Along with Joe Dante's The Howling, this film pioneered the trend of air-bladder special effects makeup. For Michael's transformation scene small plastic sacks (usually balloons) would be embedded into the layers of makeup and face castings. Later while filming these sacks would be inflated through tubes and it would help to give the appearance of the skins distortion. The same technique became popular in the genre throughout the 1980's being used in such horror films as Demons (1985), Fright Night (1985), and Evil Dead II (1987).