Movie Review: The Being

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The Being
(1983)

Directed by Jackie Kong
Starring Martin Landau, Marianne Gordon, Rexx Coltrane (aka Bill Osco), José Ferrer, Dorothy Malone, Ruth Buzzi

One of the best things about this recent DVD release is that we can finally see just what the hell the monster looks like! The old Thorn/EMI video prints were so dark, you couldn’t see shit. But now, this new DVD lets us see the monster in all it’s glory….wait, I did say that was a good thing, right?

Okay, so this isn’t the greatest 80’s cheesy monster movie. But it’s not the worst. Close, though. You have to remember that this was back in the day when all you needed was a gooey and bloody monster with big teeth that was chasing people. Throw in a few townspeople to get chomped and you’re good to go. And this is pretty much follows that exact formula.

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Martin Landau is one of the highlights in this film. As he always did, whether it be in major films or these low budget ones, he gave it his all. He always comes across as a real person. Sometimes crazy, as in Alone in the Dark or Without Warning, but he’s always giving a great performance. And even in this low budget flick, he’s playing it for an Oscar. He plays a scientist that has been brought in to prove that there is no harmful contamination to the water by dumping nuclear waste in it. Remember folks, this is the early 80’s, when we were stupid.

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The lead “actor” is actually the producer Bill Osco, who also just happens to be married to the director. Soo….who slept with who to get that job? Actually, it looks like they couldn’t find another lead actor for the role so Osco jumped in. Not sure on just how good of a producer he was, but his talents definitely didn’t lie in the acting field. I was kind of hoping that that big one-eyed bugger would get a hold of him at the end. It is funny though, since in the movie, he’s listed as Rexx Coltrane. But on the DVD box, it lists “William Osco as Rexx Coltrane”. I guess they figured everybody knew it anyway.

While in typical 80’s fashion, we don’t see the monster until the end. But when we do, it’s a mass of oozing blood and goo and big teeth, with one big eyeball starring us down. It kind of looks like a distant cousin to our buddy the Deadly Spawn, though we never get a really good look at it and it’s usually only in closeups. I’m sure the make up budget on this was pennies and the blood and goo covered up a lot of sins. But we thought it was pretty cool none the less.

It really looks like Kong and Osco just wanted to make a monster movie and threw together a few ideas and things and then shot the movie. There are attacks from the monster’s tentacles out of nowhere, and then their gone. At one point, Martin Landau is attacked in the backseat of a car, where you can obviously see the hand of the effects guy operating it…or more likely whipping Landau with the tentacle. But then they throw in this weird dream sequence, when the Osco and Landau on a small plane that is getting attacked by this monster. And just when Landau is pulled from the plane, we see co-star Ruth Buzzi with bloody eyes fly by on a broom stick?!?!? You got me, folks.

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As we said early, Shriek Show has done a great job cleaning up this movie and making it not so dark. Plus the quality of the print is also pretty good. The only extras on the disc are some trailers for this movie and some other Shriek Show titles. There are also some production stills from the movie as well.

So if you’re really in the mood for a cheesy 80’s monster film, and can’t find one, then you might enjoy this one. But don’t expect much, and then you might be entertained.

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