WRITER: Steven Contreras
DIRECTOR: Steven Contreras
STARRING: Eric C. Bushman as Nelson
Denise Mora as Laura
Eric Delabarre as Hammerhead
Janine Miskulin as Sara
QUICK CUT: Some college kids head off for a night on the town, and end up running afoul of the local gang, when they're not pondering the meaning of time, fate, and the universe.
Nelson - Our...hero. He's a typical nerdy college kid, just trying to study, but always getting dragged out by his roomie Chubbs.
Laura - The young woman Nelson runs into and feels a strange, inexplicable connection to.
Hammerhead - The leader of the local punk group. He's violent, pigheaded, sexist, and everything else a horrible person would be.
Osires - The guy Hammerhead takes his orders from, in return for helping him with his goals. Whatever those are. Osires seems like an ancient evil force, but all he really does is sit on his Throne of Bone, and tell people to fight for his amusement.
THE GUTS: Welcome back Triskelions, and happy Friday the 13th! We're still sitting around the early 90s, but at least this movie was made in the 80s, it just took some extra time to actually come out. Not that anyone noticed. See, Beasties had a limited release. VERY limited. A whopping 200 copies were sold on videotape, before it was pulled for low sales. And at that number? That is beyond low sales. But, it still somehow made it's way to DVD, and into my hands. So I bring you...Beasties.
Beasties claims to be possibly the worst movie ever made, and I accept your challenge to determine for myself. I've seen some clunkers in my day. Everything from Manos to Clown Hunt to Pod People to Blood Beat.
The movie starts off with 20 minutes of footage that was not in the original. It also starts out with the sound of one of those yappy barking dog toys from the 90s that would bark then flip and bark some m...wait, no, it's the squeaking of a car's suspension as a pair of kids are banging in the back seat. I like my version better.
We all know where this plot is going; they hear a noise, the guy gets out of the car to investigate why his coitus is being interuptus, and he gets killed. Which is exactly what happens. I presume the girlfriend is taken shortly afterwards.
Immediately following that, we cut to a couple, making out in a car, who hear a noise, and the guy goes...goes to...invest...I JUST SAW THIS 30 SECONDS AGO!! Ozymandias rage!!
Wow, what a great use of 20 unused minutes! Show us the same thing a second time, just in case you missed it before! Or in any other horror movie before this!
From there it's time to jump to yet another plot. At least it's different this time, as we meet typical, hard working college nerd Nelson who has zero clue what to do with the ladies, and his typical college party dude roommate, Chubbs. Donnie is trying to drag Nelson off on a date, probably one in which he will make out with a girl in a car, hear a noise, and go to investigate, since that seems to be this movie's only trick.
Because we're not juggling enough plots yet, we cut to yet another group after the guys meet their dates. It's time for your typical goofball college students who are only hear for comedy relief! As evidenced by the really goofy old timey saloon piano music when they're on screen. What the what?
They're just goofing around and trip over a biker punk dude, and offend him and his buddies, who look straight out of the casting of an 80s punk rock metal video. The only reason I mention this is that their seeming leader, Hammerhead, is...is actually a central figure in this story. Way more than the Piano Boys.
Before Hammerhead can stomp the comedic relief into street paste wearing baseball caps, he sees Chubbs and friends arrive, and I guess they have a grudge to work out, because why not? Hammerhead hates everyone. He probably hates you. Just for reading these words. Loser.
Chubbs barely escapes becoming a eunuch for pissing on Hammerhead's van, thanks to a bunch of random people who decided to intervene with bats. They tease the start of a fight, but then cut away, because we can't afford stunt choreography.
After the dorky kids and their tinkly piano music flirt with some girls, the movie finally decides to wander back to its actual main plot, and the second couple that went investigating strange sounds. They are miraculously not dead. Yet.
They discover a strange light in the woods that freak them out, and thanks to more budgetary constraints, the audience does not get to see it. Thanks for sharing us goofy kids flirting badly, but not the actual monstrous stuff!
They get back to their car and gasp, surprise, it won't start. Which makes the girl blurt out that this is just like what happens in movies! No. No, Beasties, I am sorry. You have not earned the right to break the fourth wall like that.
Meanwhile, Hammerhead and his jolly pirate club of guys with jolly pirate nicknames, head to Osires to get some help with their vengeance on Chubbs. Oh, and Osires? He's got a skull for a hat, and he makes Hammerhead's punk look appear subtle and understated.
Oh, and if you're wondering wait, who is Osires? Why does he spell it that way? Why is Hammerhead going to him for help? Why does he seem to be from a completely different movie?? You are not alone.
Things somehow get *weirder* when Osires starts blabbing about the coming of the bionaut. And before you can ask, What the hell is a bionaut?! Hammerhead does it for you. But Osires shuts it down with, "That is not important to you!!" Excuse you! It's important to you, and seems pretty important to the plot, so just rewind and yes, what IS a bionaut?!
Anyways, thankfully, Osires will offer his help, because it is his life mission to stop the bionaut from meeting a boy called...NELSON. Any second now, the movie will start explaining itself.
Nelson and friends run into our couple with the broken down car, and plots actually start to move forward and collide. Jeff and Wanda show them the spaceship, and run away while Nelson's crew investigates inside. And I'd share an image of the craft, but the quality of video is so low, it's a blue blob on black. I swear, I'm watching AvP:R all over again.
After Nelson and Laura swipe an egg from this ship, this living ship, we jump over to a new character getting ready to take a shower, and be visited by the Beasties. Remember them?
She finishes providing the movie's token nudity, sees the Pervie watching her, and manages to throw it out of the room. She also loads up a shotgun, which puts Sarah ahead of the average female horror character.
The creature attacks and she drops the gun, which is the bad news. The good news is, she immediately grabs a knife and stabs the crap out of it. Before she can finish it off though, the Dork Squad arrives to help, and it runs away.
Nerdson investigates, but the creature seems to be gone, probably run off somewhere to die in peace. Laura wonders if it maybe came from the spaceship they found. Sarah, who just stumbled into this mess of a plot, asks the logical question, "What spaceship??"
Our hero worries about giving a bad first contact impression thanks to the stabbying, and also worries about taking the egg from the craft. And Sarah continues to question everything, "You brought an egg in here??"
Yes, welcome to Beasties. The movie which follows its audience by also not having a fucking clue what's going on within itself.
While Sarah worries about her boyfriend Frankie showing up, we cut away to see him being stalked by some Beasties. And is promptly attacked.
So...it must be time to check back in with the kids and their old timey music! They get surprised by something we don't see until they're on the run.
Meanwhile, Jeff, Wanda, Chubbs, and such head to the sheriff's to report what's been going on. But they won't be listened to, because Chubbs once pissed on the sheriff's car. Dude. DUDE, you have a problem.
"Wouldn't it be somethin' if those kids were tellin' the truth??" Gee, maybe you should, I dunno, do your jobs and investigate! Wouldn't THAT be somethin'?
Meanwhile, the dork kids and their piano playin' pal wander along some more, and find Frankie's car and corpse. Nelson realises Frankie might be so late because he has to drive by where the craft is, so he and the girls go to check things out.
Possibly the best moment of the movie occurs when they get in Sarah's truck, one of the Beasties pops up outside the window as monsters do in these movies, and she just casually punches it in the face.
The Piano Boys find a ride from a nice guy, but he immediately gets stopped by Hammerhead's gang, trying to get a ride when their battery dies. They also have the bonus of finally dealing with the kids who pissed them off forever ago.
And if that wasn't fortuitous enough, Nelson and friends drive up on the impending assault charges, and Hammerhead is happy to see the kid Osires is looking for. Nothing like plot convenience to get everyone together!
Fortunately, Sarah still has her shotgun, and keeps the gang from doing anything too nasty, making sure that "Nobody moves, shithead!!" No no Sara, it's HAMMERhead, not SHIThead.
But one of the thugs sneaks up behind Sarah, only to get his face shot off. This gives the others time to jump her while she's distracted, and everyone heads to Osires's heavy metal lair.
They wonder why the gang is interested in them, and Nelson said it's just him that Osires is interested in. "Who's Osires??" "The Evil One." HOW DO YOU KNOW THAT??
Nelson actually explains he knows this, surprisingly, because of deja vu flashes he's been having all night. Gee, if only that had been set up beyond just saying, "I think we were destined to meet". And his explanation beyond that is utter horseshit, about the expansion and contraction of the universe, and when it contracts, EVERYTHING goes in reverse, including *time* and so when the universe expands again, we remember doing things over and over again.
NO. Science no work that way! Hnnngh.
ANYways, Hammerhead decides he likes Sarah's fire, so he takes her off to a bar for his idea of a date, which is basically sit down, shut up, have a drink.
But more importantly, Hammerhead tells the story of how him and his boys found a hole in the ground, went exploring, and eventually found Osires, teaming up with him for great power.
Vamp is upset that Hammerhead is looking for a new girl, so lets Nelson and Murdock...er, Laura go. And Sarah makes her own escape by kneeing Hammerhead in the junk when he tries to woo her.
Unfortunately, she runs into Vamp right outside the door, and Nelson swings back around to save her. Y'know, they were all so close to escaping, they deserve whatever they get at this point.
Vamp brings Laura to Osires to be sacrificed, and the dork lord tells his minion Emerald that the time has come for her to fulfill his destiny. Dude, go fulfill your OWN destiny.
Osires demads one of the other women, Medussa (sic) come forward and fight Emerald, because...um...seriously, every time this guy does something, it just becomes more and more like a rock video. Now we have a gratuitous medieval chick fight for the pleasure of their master. This is either a rock video or Mad Max.
Straight up, the fight goes on for WAY too long, and while it does serve some minor plot purposes of giving Osires blood to transform into Evil Ash from Army of Darkness, it really is very pointless and out of place in the rest of the movie. Which is already such a mess. It doesn't need a pit fight in a post apocalyptian nightmare. It's almost such a mess of a movie, that makes this seem perfectly in place.
Oh, and then Medussa kills herself for more blood, and no good reason.
After Osires drinks the blood and transforms into an even worse looking state, Nelson gets brought before him and we will hopefully get some exposition explaining WHAT IN THE NAME OF CORMAN IS GOING ON.
Of course, when it starts off with "Ah, my future archenemy!" I don't have much hope for this making sense. He says he's been waiting for humanity to fill itself with hate, so it can be manipulated.
Nelson refutes the notion that man is all hate, and Osires asks the kid to look around, and what does he see? Well, I see a bad cave set, cheap throne, bad acting, no budget costume design... Is this an episode of Doctor Who?
Things continue to fall down a pit of nonsense and weird, as Osires says the hand of evil cannot take Nelson's soul. And he somehow knows this. But the hand of innocence can, so have Laura do it!!
Okay, excuse me, but maybe we could've laid these rules, such as they are, an hour ago? Is that asking for too much? Stop pulling random plot points out of your spaceship. This is the biggest problem of the movie, it acts like we know the plot as well as the writer/director does. If you're gonna give us the director's cut with 20 added minutes of bullpuckey, you could've at least have things MAKE SENSE.
Of course, the problem with trying to get the innocent to do evil, it rarely works. And gasp surprise, she stabs Osires instead, killing him. And there is still somehow 20 minutes left.
The Piano Squad show up to the party where Chubbs and friends ended up, and relay the information that Nelson was grabbed by the punkers. So while Nelson and the girls are escaping, all his friends show up to get into a fistfight with Hammerhead.
Following that utterly pointless and poorly choreographed fight scene, Nelson, Laura, and Sarah all head back to the spaceship, because Nelson is being drawn there, and he doesn't know why. Because why bother with any sort of coherent explanation at this stage of the game?
Sarah actually waits at the car, because she's smart enough to not go into the spacecraft causing all this trouble. Deep inside the craft, Nelson and Laura discover an alien creature bonded into the ship. And he's a big lumpy thing that's weirdly cute.
Nelson inches closer to Pilot, sure he won't be hurt, because of more unspecified reasons. The creature extrudes a hand from inside it's mouth, grabs Nelson's face, and zaps him.
When he comes to, Nelson understands all, and explains the steaming pile of WTF bullshit to a very confused audience. And does not clear that confusion up even one teeny bit.
Nelson says this is all his fault, he did this, the creature is NOT from another world. He's from Earth. Earth's FUTURE. And it gets even bullshittier, folks.
The creature...he was once a man. HE WAS ONCE NELSON HIMSELF.
Yeah, we are through the looking glass here, people. We have gone from lame horror movie to taking a sharp left down WTF Lane and into time travel land.
At some point in the future, man causes a terrible disaster. Specifically, Nelson causes it. And a few years after that, he experiments on himself, turns himself into the Big Giant Head, creates time travel, living biomechanical spacecrafts, genetic engineering procedures, and who knows what else, to make this entire mess of a movie possible.
Can we go back in time and stop this movie from ever happening? Because this twist is just like, three steps too far down the narrative chain. It's weirdly abundantly set up, and yet still feels nightmareishly out of left field.
"I had become a BIONAUT!! A living vessel with the mission of life!" No. No, that is still nonsense.
Bionautson starts groaning and farting, and Nelson knows he is watching his own demise. Because somehow the two of them existing at the same time is affecting him on the molecular level. But why isn't it affecting Nowson? And why has it taken all movie to affect him? Why does any of this even matter?
Oh, and remember the monsters running around the movie? The ones the movie is named after? They're Nelsoon's creations, spliced from his own DNA, which he controls with telepathy. Except when he can't for plot convenience. And they were created purely for destruction. .....Why? If the entire point of the bionaut is a 'mission of life' to save the future from itself, why is it creating monsters to cause MORE destruction?!
The eggs start to hatch and the couple runs off to warn everyone, so we can end this travesty of a plot. But instead we have to deal with even more Hammerhead, who came around and grabbed Sarah while she was waiting.
Fortunately, the Beasties show up to eat some punkers for dinner, including Hammerhead himself.
In all the commotion, Laura runs away, and hides in a car, but she eventually gets grabbed by the Beasties and dragged off back to the ship. Which then pixels out into space. Or the future. Or who even cares at this point?
Nelson shouts into the void that this was their plan, remove his future wife from The Plan, to change the timeline, "But even you don't know that! Damnit, YOU JUST DON'T KNOW!!
No, no I don't, and I don't think even the scriptwriter did. Because that's whow the movie crashes to an ending, with pretty much zero conclusion. The only plot that even remotely wraps up is Hammerhead's quest for vengeance and eventual demise.
So many characters started off this movie and then just disappeared. What happened to Chubbs? Jeff? Wanda? What of the actual plot of the bionaut? Is the future saved? Why did all this start? Who WAS Osires? What was his plan? Why was the Bionaut his future yet ancient enemy? What was with the punk rock post apocalypse vibe? But most importantly of all, did the Piano Boys ever get laid?!
What. A. Mess.
Video: This looks terrible. It looks taken straight from one of the 200 VHS tapes it came out on.
Audio: It's a bit muddy, but for everything else, it could be worse.
Sound Bite: "Anyone who associates with me can't be a virgin!" Thanks, Chubbs...
Body Count: This was actually mildly respectable.
1 - 90 seconds in, and a dude is already eaten.
2 - And his girlfriend too, probably.
3 - Frankie goes to deadlywood.
4 - One of Hammerhead's gang gets his face blown off by Sarah.
5 - Emerald gets her throat slashed in service of Osires.
6 - And then Medussa slashes her own throat to escape the movie.
7 - Osires gets stabbed in the chest by Laura.
8 - One of the punkers gets eaten by the Beasties.
9 - A second one soon afterwards.
10 - And Hammerhead himself gets chomped.
11 - And finally my faith in humanity was destroyed.
Best Corpse: The poor schmuck who got shotgunned in the face. Yes, the best death doesn't even go to the critters...no wait, different movie for those guys.
Blood Type - D+: It's pretty lackluster for any kind of blood, but the creature effects, when we get to see them? Aren't THAT bad. They're monstrous, memorable, and gooey.
Sex Appeal: Largely supplied by Vamp flashing her boobs and Sarah in the showah.
Drink Up! Start chugging the instant someone mentions time travel.
Video Nasties: I talk about the Piano Boys a LOT, so decided to give a clip showing them off and their silly wacky music as they find a dead body. Oh, the humour!
Movie Review: Can I just bash my head against the desk for a paragraph? Okay, fine. This plot is a mess. It falls into the same rut as Pod People, for starters, of having way too many plots going on. The comedic relief is pointless. Half the characters are superfluous and just disappear from the story. The monsters the movie is named after are an afterthought to the actual story. That actual story is just a mess... It manages to be competently shot, and the acting actually isn't *terrible*, by Trisk standards, but that's about all the good I can say for this. Two out of five bionauts.
Entertainment Value: This is fortunately not as godawfully bizarre and incomprensible as Alien Beasts, but IS bad enough that you stare going WHAT for a large portion of the proceedings. It actually manages to NOT be the worst movie ever made, at least by my reckoning, but it comes oh OH SO VERY close. And since you must see this movie to believe it, my befuddlement only scratches the surface, it gets high marks for entertainment, four out of five Beasties themselves.
And what is up with the tagline, "They're horny little devils!"?? There is nothing whatsoever about them being horny, or interested in sex, aside from showing up near naked people, which really reads as more coincidence of circumstance and horror tropes. Are they really horny? Does that have a bearing in the plot? Could it have been explained? I don't care...