As most can probably guess by my avatar, I love the 1987 horror/comedy Blood Diner. If you haven't seen the movie, it comes highly recommended from me, but be warned: it's certainly not for everybody. The film is crude, disgusting, insane, and has so many random and irrelevant moments, it's sure to put a smile on the face of any cheese-loving horror fan. So naturally, after watching it, I felt compelled to seek out the director (Jackie Kong)'s other work, which is what this review will be focung on. Don't go away now, because you may just run into...
The Being 1983 Review
The movie opens with a voice-over explaining how strange and unexplained events are occurring in Pottsville, Idaho, such as the disappearance of a child. We then get to see said child (who looks xteen) running away from an unseen monster. He gets into a deserted car at a junkyard (which just so happens to have the keys in the ignition and works) and drives away, until the monster gets on the roof, tears it open, and rips this kid's head off! We are then introduced to Detective Mortimer Lutz (Rexx Coltrane), who is investigating the rash of disappearances in Pottsville. He suspects that Garson Jones (Martin Landau) is lying about how the town's toxic waste disposal is completely safe, and that a monster is on the loose. Mayor Gordon Lane (Jose Ferrer) disapproves of this idea, so now Lutz must team up with his love interest, Laurie (Marianne Gordon) and Jones to stop the monster before it consumes the whole town.
Let me start this review by saying there are three Oscar-winning actors in this movie: Martin Landau (Ed Wood), Jose Ferrer (Cyrano de Bergerac), and Dorothy Malone (Written on the Wind). Even though Martin Landau won his Oscar eleven years later and Dorothy Malone has a very small part, I find it extremely surpring that such a low-budget monster movie got such high-caliber performers. But then again, the lead (Rexx Coltrane) is really, really bad. His acting is really wooden during a majority of his screentime, and, not to be a conspiracy theorist here, he was the film's producer. Draw whatever concluons you can from that, but I'm not going to point any fingers. The rest of the actors are only okay, but at least we have some award-winning performers here to balance it out, which also includes Ruth Buzzi (Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In).
Bedes some poor performances, one of the film's weaknesses is that the film is pretty slow in between the good parts. There's a lot of converng between different characters about stuff that's not too important to the rest of the movie. There's some talk about the radiation from the toxic waste dump poisoning the water, how pornography is trashing the town, and other stuff like that. There's also some filler that gets tedious, like an Easter egg hunt (we do get to see a slimy hand in a pit, as well as some monster eggs though), kids smearing dog excrement on an old lady (Doprothy Malone)'s house (who is apparently the mother of the kid who somehow turned into...The Being). There are also a lot of continuity flaws within the film, with several scenes taking place during the night and the next shot is early morning, and vice versa. I also must add that I feel the poster is a really great '50s monster throwback poster, and has that old-time extraterrestrial monster movie feel.
But, of course, the best parts come when the monster goes on a rampage. He rips heads off, tears hearts out, and even rips all the limbs off one unfortunate fellow. The monster also has the ability to turn into a slimy substance and reform whenever he wants. While ridiculous, it at least sets this creature apart from other radioactive monsters. When we finally see the monster clearly at the end, it looks pretty cheap but it's cool enough to warrant my seal of approval. The puppetry on the monster, I might add, is superb. I just wish there was a more eventful climax than what eventually goes down, and the creature's demise is really underwhelming (though gory). I would have preferred it to attack the Easter parade that was going on, but the toxic waste dump was a great setting for the final battle. I just wish they had executed it better. (Click below if you want to see the monster, but I would suggest you seek out the film first).
The Being isn't necessarily a bad movie (despite some continuity errors and some poor acting), it's just forgettable. In fact, I had to go back to the movie when I was doing this review because I forgot some plot points. It's nowhere near as good as Jackie Kong's next horror movie, which she would release four years later. In Blood Diner, she fixed every flaw that was in this film (bedes the acting), including boring filler and dialogue. However, The Being has enough going on to deserve a viewing, or even bought if it's cheap enough ($10 or under is suitable). It was released on DVD by Shriek Show with pretty good picture and a few bonus features (a trailer and stills). It's been released on a few double/triple-feature DVDs, alongde such titles as Cop Killers, The Dark, and Creatures from the Abyss. Also there are two things interesting I want to say about the DVD: the first is that it sports proudly, "From the director of 'Blood Diner'", yet Blood Diner doesn't even have a DVD release. The other is that on the back, there's a quote from BadMovies.org that says, "A rare find. Grab some friends to watch this." On the te, the full review says, "A rare find: a monster movie set in Idaho." and "Grab some friends to watch this, because you do not want to attempt it alone." Very flattering. I want to say it's a good party movie, but the filler prevents me from saying so.
The Verdict: A monster movie throwback that's entertaining enough to recommend, but a couple scenes of boring, excess flab prevents it from being truly awesome.
Dont trust my judgment? Heres four other opinions:
The Loft Cinema
The Chronicles of Horror Movie Night