‘If you have the guts – he wants them!!’
Nightbeast – aka Night Beast – is a 1982 American science fiction horror feature film written and directed by Baltimore-based Don Dohler (Blood Massacre; The Galaxy Invader; Fiend). It is a remake of sorts to Dohler’s first film The Alien Factor. The movie stars Donald Leifert, Tom Griffiths and George Stover.
Most of the cast of The Alien Factor reprise their roles in Nightbeast. It features opening credit effects by Ernest D. Farino (who later created the title effects for The Terminator, The Abyss and Terminator 2: Judgment Day) and the creature was created by John Dods who later provided special effects for Ghostbusters II, Alien Resurrection, and The X Files. Additional makeup effects were by Amodio Giordano. Parts of the synth score were written by future Star Trek and Star Wars director J.J. Abrams. The movie had a budget of $42,000, a relatively large amount for a Don Dohler production.
A British VIPCO video release, the film was included on the lamentable Section 3 “liable for forfeiture” list as covered on Video Nasties: The Definitive Guide Part Two, Draconian Days
“The film suffers from the usual shortcomings of this kind of regional, semi-amateur film-making: cliches, poor special effects, wooden acting, and the kind of script where “Holy shit!” is considered witty, Oscar Wilde-esque dialogue […] Still, Nightbeast does have its entertaining aspects.” Liz Kingsley, And You Call Yourself a Scientist!
” …a hoot from start to finish. The script was ultra-basic, the dialogue and acting uniformly atrocious, the photography amateur, and the direction pedestrian. However, it does feature a cool alien, lots of daft moments and unintentional (and intentional) humour.” Justin Richards, Blueprint: Review
“While the film is no Night of the Creeps (hell, it’s not even The Deadly Spawn), Nightbeast has its charms. As to what those charms are exactly, I have no idea. Actually, the title of the documentary about the career of Don Dohler sums up these charms quite well: Blood, Boobs and Beast. Check out if you get the chance, it’s a pretty good doc.” House of Self-Indulgence
“If you’re looking for a serious sci-fi movie, you’d be looking in the wrong place with Nightbeast. If you’re looking for cheesy, schlocky, consistently low budget special effects and a montage of gunfire, then you can’t go wrong here.” Internal Bleeding
“It entertained me and it didn’t outstay its welcome, to expect anything else of the movie would have been foolish. It’s far from a classic, it isn’t even very coherent, but with a just few thousand dollars Dohler made a movie that was much more entertaining and enjoyable than a lot of $100 million sci-fi movies I’ve seen.” To Obscurity and Beyond
“Naturally, this is the sort of affair that is a laff riot to those viewers in a certain frame of mind, with all its grottiness and cheapness and ideas above its station, even though those ideas were to make a more violent version of a fifties sci-fi invasion effort which were not exactly ambitious, but Dohler insisted on throwing in bits of business he felt proper movies should have, no matter how out of place they were.” Graeme Clark, The Spinning Image
“Well Nightbeast is probably not going to change your life, but if you are in a serious need of some real 80s entertainment of the weird kind, you can’t go wrong with Nightbeast, cause they don’t make em’ like this anymore.” Hog-Wild Howls
“Although the special effects (including some startling uses of gore makeup) are noteworthy, the actors aren’t given much to do other than stand around and talk. The final result is disappointing.” TV Guide
“Although the movie focuses on the gory kill scenes with glee, it’s not gory enough to be a splatter movie, it’s not campy enough to be funny and it’s not strange enough to be entertaining.” The Worldwide Celluloid Massacre
Cast and characters:
- Tom Griffith … Sheriff Jack Cinder
- Jamie Zemarel … Jamie Lambert
- Karin Kardian … Lisa Kent
- George Stover … Steven Price – Night of the Living Dead: Genesis; Camp Blood 666; Frames of Fear; Call-Girl of Cthulhu; Vampire Sisters; The Galaxy Invader; et al
- Don Leifert … Drago
- Anne Frith … Ruth Sherman
- Eleanor Herman … Mary Jane
- Richard Dyszel … Mayor Bert Wicker
- Greg Dohler … Greg
- Kim Pfeiffer … Kim [as Kim Dohler]
- Monica Neff … Suzie
- Glenn Barnes … Glenn
- Rose Wolfe … Glenn’s Girl
- Jerry Schuerholz … Hunter
- Hank Stuhmer … Hunter
Image credits: House of Self-Indulgence
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