The Beast Within (1982) is one of those movies that never hit my radar until recently when MGMHD showed it, then it sat waiting to be watched in my DVR for at least a month. To say I’m surprised I’d never seen or heard of it before is very strange, as it is a perfect fit into the strange horror that I enjoy the most.
Les Baxter, the macabre score genius, is responsible for the soundtrack, giving the film an extra layer of creepiness that I’ve grown to love in AIP films, which this is not. Not only is the score reminiscent of AIP, the acting and camera work is similar. The only thing missing is Vincent Price.
The scene that stuck with me the most features a cameo with hamburger. The way they keep focus on it until the scene fades to black is fantastic. The entire sequence is bizarre and on the verge of comical at first, then it quickly turns dark.
There’s very little in the way of special effects in the first half of The Beast Within, giving only glimpses here there; a skeletal arm grabbing at a woman, a disembodied arm being dropped from a dog’s mouth. When they are presented with typical early 1980s effects, which are always fun.
The Beast Within is a demented gem you shouldn’t miss. I give it 4 out of 5 Stars.