Nightbeast (1982)

DVD Cover (Troma Entertainment)
Genres: Creature Film, Sci-Fi Horror, Science Fiction
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Don Dohler Don Dohler
Tom Griffith Tom Griffith
Jamie Zemarel Jamie Zemarel
Karin Kardian Karin Kardian
George Stover George Stover
Don Leifert Don Leifert

4.0 / 10 - Overall Rating

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Review by Chad
Added: April 08, 2007
What's the grace period on remaking a film? Five years? Ten? That period of time has been getting shorter and shorter in recent years (hell, the American remake of The Host was announced before the original had even hit theaters), but this whole remake extravaganza is far from new. Take Nightbeast as an example. If IMDb is to be believed, Dohler released The Alien Factor in 1978 and decided to remake it just a couple of years later in order to add more gore and sex into the storyline in an effort to capitalize on the new trend of sleazy direct-to-video releases that were lining store shelves at the time. Is that entirely true? I couldn't say; I haven't seen The Alien Factor and IMDb is far from being the leading authority on film facts. The two films certainly sound similar though, so I'm going to go with the assumption that there's at least a grain of truth to be found there. Anyhow, back to the subject at hand: should this movie have been remade (if it is in fact a remake) so soon? I won't answer that until I've seen the original, but I did enjoy this film.

Set in a small Maryland town, Nightbeast tells the tale of an alien whose spaceship crashes and so he decides to terrorize the local population with both a ray gun that is capable of disolving humans entirely and a set of claws that would make Freddy Krueger jealous. Killing everyone that he comes across and seemingly impervious to earthly weapons, this beast must be stopped... and it's up to the remaining townsfolk - Sheriff Cinder (Tom Griffith), Deputy Lisa Kent (Karin Kardian), Jamie (Jamie Zemarel), and Dr. Steven Price (George Stover) - to do so.

Yes, it's an extremely simple plot, and that's the sort of thing that helps these low-budget creature features in my humble opinion. Why go through the trouble of writing an elaborate plot complete with back story and alien histories when all the audience really wants to see is monster action? A depressingly large number of eighties sci-fi flicks could have learned a thing or two from this particular offering, and I must say that I definitely enjoyed this approach in Nightbeast.

Now, keep in mind that I enjoy those "so bad, they're good" movies that would probably turn most people off before the opening credits finished scrolling by. That's the sort of movie we have with Nightbeast: yes, the acting is horrible, yes, the script is nonsensical, yes, there are some extremely stupid decisions made by the characters, and yes, the camera-work is shoddy at times. But with all of that aside, I truly enjoyed the movie thanks to the fast-paced action and the sexy beast that was in charge of upping the body count. The "man in a monster suit" technique seems to be all but lost in today's world of CGI effects, so it's always nice to see how well this could be done back when that sort of technology wasn't available. And the gore! This beast manages to wrack up an impressive number of kills, and some of them will definitely make the gorehounds in the audience quite happy.

If you've ever watched an episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000 and found yourself thinking "Hey, I wonder if I can find that movie at my local video store" or if you simply love dining on a big plate of cheese, Nightbeast is the movie for you. Hell, it even features one of the most awkward, out-of-place sex scenes that I've ever witnessed - that's got to count for something, right? It's not a flawless film by any means, but it still makes for a damned fun night in front of the tube. 7/10.
bluemeanie #1: bluemeanie - added 04/08/2007, 11:10 PM
Hell yes! Dohler's best film, in my opinion. I remember watching this film all the time as a little kid on VHS, after picking it up in the bargain bin at the local video store. I still have my copy! Just cheesy, gory fun at its best. 8/10.
Ginose #2: Ginose - added 04/12/2007, 06:30 PM
Surely my favorite Don Dohler flick. Nice and gorey and not overly stupid... he really is a talented director, luckily he hasn't strayed from his classic chessy goodness... 8.2/10
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