The Beast Within (1982) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Beast Within (1982)

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Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

Tom Burman's innovative prosthetic special effects (used to greater effect in later horror films) are the saving grace of The Beast Within. The premise concerns a couple honeymooning in Mississippi. Caroline (Bibi Besch) is brutally raped by a hairy, sub-human monster and gives birth to a child named Michael (Paul Clemens), who appears normal until he hits his teens. At 17, Michael begins to feel strange, and his parents take him back to Mississippi to find out if his problems are related to Caroline's long-ago rape. Once in Mississippi, Michael transforms into a ravenous insect-like creature that roams the countryside, disemboweling innocent victims and feasting on their torsos.
Rating:
R (adult situations/language, nudity, violence)
Genre:
Horror
Directed By:
In Theaters:
 wide
On DVD:
Runtime:
Studio:
MGM Home Entertainment

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Cast

Paul Clemens
as Michael MacCleary
Ronny Cox
as Eli MacCleary
Bibi Besch
as Caroline MacCleary
Don Gordon
as Judge Curwin
Kitty Moffat
as Amanda
Dan Gordon
as Judge Curwin
L.Q. Jones
as Sheriff
Ramsay King
as Edwin
Luke Askew
as Dexter
Logan Ramsey
as Edwin Curwin
Boyce Holleman
as Doc Odom
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Critic Reviews for The Beast Within

All Critics (8)

Because Mora doesn't go the usual route for The Beast Within, the film ends up being a bit of an oddball creature feature that often stumbles a bit tonally and suffers from some pacing issues around the midway point.

Full Review… | January 8, 2016
Daily Dead

Forget the usual Transylvania or London settings: This horror flick has the distinction of being set in scary Mississippi.

Full Review… | April 18, 2014
Creative Loafing

A movie that suggests that not just the chickens but the locust-monsters inevitably will come home to roost in a postbellum South -- a 'Heart of Dixie' -- haunted by its violent, bigoted past.

Full Review… | December 16, 2013
Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)

The Beast Within is an above-average monster movie with good actors and a sometimes comprehensible plot.

Full Review… | December 11, 2013
PopMatters

It's a frightfully silly and insignificant horror film, whose only virtue is in the makeup.

Full Review… | October 30, 2008
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Gruesome gore is the sole highlight.

July 26, 2002
eFilmCritic.com

Audience Reviews for The Beast Within

The 1980's were a fin e time for horror film, with many outstanding films that have made their mark. However, many gems of the genre have been forgotten due to the fact that more popular films have overshadowed these stellar little shocker. One such film is The Beast Within, a stunning, gory thrill ride that has Science Fiction elements involved with its story along with body horror. This is a stunning horror picture, a film that is quite underrated, one that is brilliantly constructed in the ways it displays its shocks and thrills. The Beast Within uses effective gore techniques to build up the tension, and with the amount of blood-letting on-screen, it's more than enough to appeal to diehard genre fans. Of all those gems that came out in the early 80's, this is a surprising treat, a film that deserves to be rediscovered and enjoyed by a new generation of horror fans. The story is straight to the point, with nothing special, but the real thing that grabs your attention is the on-screen carnage, which makes up for more than half the film, and it's highly entertaining for that matter. The effects are very well done, and the tone of t6he fi8lm is dark, atmospheric with no glimmer of hope, the way a horror film should be. I guess by today's standards, The Beast Within is pretty tame, considering all the torture porn films that have been released in the last ten years or so. Nonetheless, this is a fine cult film, a worthy addition to the genre, and is sure to delight, shock and thrill horror fans that enjoy a good splatter film. The Beast Within is an underrated film, and it is a movie that doesn't deserve to be obscured and it deserves to be seen and cherished again. If you enjoy 80's horror, The Beast Within is a film that is highly entertaining from start to finish.

Alex roy
Alex roy

Super Reviewer

Another awful film adaptation . The book was a decent werewolf thriller although derivative of Hammer Film's " Curse of the Werewolf " . The movie is a mixed bag of bad ideas that has something to do with a teenager turning into a giant cicada .

Michael Bastian
Michael Bastian
½

There is something perversely horrifying about a foreign entity manipulating you from beyond your control, but 'The Beast Within' is a rancid, leisurely paced inner-demon flick that cannot be taken solemnly due to the flaccid performance from Paul Clemens who only appears clammy and disoriented rather than terrified. Add to that, the asinine cicada sound F/X whenever Michael is stimulated are cheesy and cacophonous. The one shining contribution is the pulsating transformation scene in which Michael's skin inflates, peels off and contorts in inexplicably grotesque ways. At least Ronny Cox adds some urbane class to this otherwise strictly gorehound fare.

Cory Taylor
Cory Taylor

Super Reviewer

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