The Being (1983)

This isn’t a magnificent movie, though it isn’t a bad one either. This is pretty much as average as they come. A year before Toxi the Toxic Avenger graced out screens there was The Being.

This is a story about a boy who falls foul to a greedy Mayor who sells his soul to a corporation so they can dump pollution in his township. Once the boy is mutated, his damaged brain send him on a killing spree. As always, with the plethora of horror films, this could have been better, especially the story which is only there to create The Being.

What this film has in its favour is it’s cast, though not the cream of the crop there are some very good masters of their craft involved. Both Martin Landau and Jose Ferrer in their respective roles of Dr Garson Jones and Mayor Gordon Lane, who is nice and sleazy. In fact, most of the cast give good performances with the material they have, even Roxanne Cybelle Osco, who is the little girl in the Easter Egg Hunt scene (one of my favourites in the film). The only person who seems miscast is Bill Osco as Detective Mortimer Lutz, his style is that of a Chippendale chair… Oh, and there’s even a naked Traci Lord painting her toenails before being attacked by a rubber monster (sorry I couldn’t resist – though it is true).

So why didn’t this get a higher rating? For me, it’s the directing. Though Jackie Kong’s story isn’t too bad for an ’80’s horror film his directing skills aren’t up to the same standard. That said there are some good scenes. As I stated I liked the Easter Egg Hunt; I liked the opening sequence where you hear a radio broadcast informing the town that the storm has passed, this creates a nice atmosphere… which is then spoiled by a narration. The narration isn’t required as everything is explained throughout the movie. I don’t know if this was requested to be added later, it feels that way, or if it was the original plan, but what I do know is that it kills the atmosphere and spoils the feel of the film. This may even get a few people turning off. Kong is also good at filming in the dark as he opts to make everything visible (there’s nothing worse than when a scene is so dark you cannot see what’s happening). He can even build up the tension as the scene in the dinner shows, nice and creepy. If he could have kept this up for the entirety of the film it would have been so much better.

Then there are the effects. The ripping out of a heart is well done as is the oozing pollution which comes through the car’s vents and radio. However, the monster itself is laughable and it’s a good thing that you don’t see it fully until the finale. It resembles a box of goo on a skateboard and the one eye it has doesn’t look at all realistic; I was waiting for the glue to go off and the table tennis ball to fall off.

If you like, leave your brain at the door ’80’s horror and you’ve not seen this one yet then give it a gander as it’s at least worth one viewing. It should be said that it would be better viewed in the dark with a nice cold drink… or two… or three… while the rain outside is spattering your window.