THE BEAST WITHIN
The Beast Within was produced by Harvey Bernhard, who had had big success with The Omen (1976) and sequels a few years earlier and was clearly hoping to consolidate a career as a horror producer. (Aside from producing The Lost Boys (1987), he didnt). The Beast Within was also the best film ever directed by Aussie director Philippe Mora whose genre career has been noted only by singularly drab films like The Howling II (1985), The Marsupials: The Howling III (1987), and Precious Find (1996) or the spoofily silly like Art Deco Detective (1994) and Pterodactyl Woman from Beverly Hills (1997) and moments of occasional interest the witty superhero parody The Return of Captain Invincible (1983) and the true life alien abduction film Communion (1989).
The plot an early effort from Tom Holland, later the director of Fright Night (1985) and Childs Play (1988) has a number of irritatingly large gaps it is never made particularly clear how or why Paul Clemens is transforming into a cicada creature, for example. It is however slickly handled by Philippe Mora who sets the killings up as a series of genuinely weird set-pieces there is one memorable sequence with the beast attacking a victim held inside the police station and another where the gory nastiness of a throat ripping is effectively suggested by having the victims hands and feet thrashing in minced meat spilt on a kitchen floor.
The cast all do fine, with the exception of Paul Clemens (interestingly enough a former contributor to Famous Monsters of Filmland magazine) who only seems to spend his time sweating and snarling. Especially good is Kitty Ruth Moffat who, after bringing a refreshingly enthusiastic naivete to the love story here, seems sadly to have vanished from cinema screens altogether. The effects are top notch, although the final transformation effect comes out looking like a preposterous crossbreed between the Swamp Thing and Monty Pythons Mr Creosote.
Philippe Moras other genre films are:- the witty superhero parody The Return of Captain Invincible (1983), The Howling II (1985), The Marsupials: The Howling III (1987), the supposedly true-life alien abduction film Communion (1989), the wacky Art Deco Detective (1994), the space opera Precious Find (1996), the deliberately silly Pterodactyl Woman from Beverly Hills (1997) and the time travel film Continuity (2012).