Monday, October 05, 2015

31 Days of Halloween - Day 5 - Movie 2

A small town in Idaho is besieged by some sort of gooey monster spawned from radioactive waste. The monster can dissolve itself into liquid and then back into a humanoid form, or something in between, based on what I was able to make sense of. It also left pools of Palm Olive or piles of lime Jello in its wake. It also kills a lot of people and is pretty hard to kill itself.

If I told you how long I've been wanting to see The Being (1983) you'd feel pity for me. Ever since seeing the tiny ad in the New York Times for it back in the Fall of 1984, when it was playing somewhere on 42nd street, I have been intrigued. Was it the tag line - "Half Man, Half Monster...Soul of an Unearthly Thing," or the fact that it "starred" Ruth Buzzi and Martin Landau (along with Jose Ferrer and Dorothy Malone)? All of the above to be honest. Why my then roommate, Steve Peros, and I never ventured out to see it remains a bewildering mystery to this day.

Well, I've now seen it and the mind boggles at the quality of talented actors convinced to be a part of this inelegantly directed nonsense, made more confounding by the sloppy editing and half-assed screenplay. The Being also has one of the most uncharismatic leading men you can find. The movie also plods along even though someone seems to get killed about every four minutes, or so.

It also has some genuinely funny moments, some of which are even intentional, such as the stoner at the drive-in being questioned by the police. I have to say that I liked the monster in this once it's finally shown in detail. For most of the movie you mostly get to see an arm, but it's freakishly long, gooey, asymmetric, one-eyed head full of needle like teeth was a welcome change from the usual men in monster suits that movies of this quality often display. It's behavior and abilities seemed to consist of whatever the filmmakers decided would be good for a scene, or whatever they had on hand, which kept you interested, simply from trying to figure out what was happening half the time.

This is one of those movies best appreciated with a group of friends and a large amount of liquor.

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