The Being (1983)

Dump a few barrels of radioactive waste on the outskirts of a small Idaho town and—Hey presto!—hideous slimy mutants are springing up out of the ground to attack the locals.

Martin Landau and Jose Ferrer get top billing in this ridiculous piece of 80s trash, but it is the likes of Kinky Friedman and Rexx Coltrane (AKA Johnny Commander) who are the real stars, which should give you some idea of the true calibre of this film. With writing and direction from Jackie Kong, who also gave us the execrable Blood Diner, this is one of the sorriest, most random pieces of garbage you’re ever likely to witness.

The film opens in promising style, a Twilight Zone narration leading into a splatteriffic scene in which a teenager gets his head yanked clean off by a mutant. From then on, it all goes seriously pear-shaped, with a daft attack at a drive-in (the on screen movie provides some female nudity, so it’s not all bad I suppose), a terrible children’s easter egg hunt with the prize hidden in a monster’s pit, a traffic cop having his heart ripped from his chest, a surreal dream sequence, and the revelation that the whole thing is part of an official cover-up to protect the town’s potato industry. While some of the hokey gore is admittedly fun, The Being is just too scatter-shot, disjointed, and slapdash to work as a whole, even as a lightweight piece of tongue-in-cheek schlock.