5.6/10
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The Beast Within (1982)

A young woman gets raped by a mysterious man-creature, and years later her son begins a horrific transformation into a similar beast.

Director:

Philippe Mora

Writers:

Tom Holland (screen story and screenplay by), Edward Levy (based on the novel by)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ronny Cox ... Eli MacCleary
Bibi Besch ... Caroline MacCleary
Paul Clemens ... Michael MacCleary
Don Gordon ... Judge Curwin
R.G. Armstrong ... Doc Schoonmaker
Katherine Moffat ... Amanda Platt (as Kitty Moffat)
L.Q. Jones ... Sheriff Pool
Logan Ramsey ... Edwin Curwin
John Dennis Johnston ... Horace Platt
Ron Soble ... Tom Laws
Luke Askew ... Dexter Ward
Meshach Taylor ... Deputy Herbert
Boyce Holleman Boyce Holleman ... Doc Odom
Natalie Nolan Howard Natalie Nolan Howard ... Court Clerk
Malcolm McMillin Malcolm McMillin ... Gas Station Attendant
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Storyline

In the beginning of the movie you see a woman getting raped by a man-creature of some sort. The movie takes place years later when the child that was a result of that rape is on the rampage looking for a girl to rape to start the process all over again. Written by Donald O. Caselli <ASAInc@worldnet.att.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

He Was On The Verge Of Becoming A Man... Eater! See more »

Genres:

Horror

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

MGM Studio

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

12 February 1982 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Das Engelsgesicht - Drei Nächte des Grauens See more »

Filming Locations:

Bolton, Mississippi, USA See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$1,250,000, 15 February 1982

Gross USA:

$7,742,572

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$7,742,572
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Katzka See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This was the final feature-length score for composer Les Baxter, who considered it to be one of his finest. See more »

Goofs

During the scene in the kitchen when Michael is telling Amanda to leave, a shotgun keeps appearing and disappearing behind them leaning in front of the window. See more »

Quotes

Doc Odom: There's a chemical imbalance. An occult malignancy in his system.
Eli MacCleary: What kind of medicine are practicing here, Doctor?
Doc Odom: What we have is a pituitary gland that has gone crazy, out of control. It's causing much too rapid growth. No matter what nourishment we give him, it just isn't enough. Now, I... I thought it might be genetic, inherited. But the metabolic tests that we did on both of you show that you're normal as pie. So unless there's something we don't know, unless there's something left out ...
See more »

Alternate Versions

The following cuts were made to the UK release of this film:
  • The opening and closing rape scenes are missing glimpses of the women's breasts and of bloodied bodies
  • Michael's (Paul Clemens) attack on Edwin (Logan Ramsey) is missing the shot of the killer quivering as he gnaws into the victim's throat.
  • A shot of Edwin's mangled body is missing when it is discovered by the Judge (Don Gordon).
  • Michael snarls at the camera with a bloodied mouth during a flashback that is missing.
  • Eventually the Judge gets his head ripped off but we don't get to see the blood pouring out nor the head rolling off the neck stump
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Quantum Leap: The Beast Within - November 6, 1972 (1993) See more »

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User Reviews

 
An atmospheric, underrated 80's creature feature.
22 December 2008 | by Nightman85See all my reviews

One of the better, and most overlooked, monster films of the 80's is this fun and effectively creepy B horror film.

On a dark and stormy Mississippi night, a woman is attacked and raped by a mysterious monster. Now, seventeen years later, her ill teenage son is starting to display some murderous behavior that keeps getting worse...

The Beast Within (based on the Edward Levy novel of the same title) is too often bashed by critics. Many complain that the storyline is convoluted, but frankly if everything were explained it would lose its sense of chilling mystery. There is much to be enjoyed in this off-beat creature flick. The story is nicely creative with a hint of old school horror and a good dose of building tension - all of which is dotted with some startlingly good murder scenes. The gruesome makeup effects aren't bad, this film has one wild transformation scene. Direction wise Philippe Mora does well in giving the film a great southern Gothic vibe as well as an oppressing atmosphere of dread.

The cast holds their own too. Ronny Cox (of Deliverance fame) and Bibi Besch do solid performances as the understandably troubled parents of our title character. Paul Clemens is also good, and strangely alluring, as the teen with the savage side. Supporting performances from Don Gordon, R.G. Armstrong, Katherine Moffat, and L.Q. Jones are good too.

The Beast Within is one under praised horror film. So what if there's a few plot holes, so what if it doesn't follow the book it's based on to the letter - it's a truly memorable horror ride that never has a dull moment. Check it out creature feature fans.

*** 1/2 out of ****


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