50 Movies for 50 States Part Two: The `80s — #19 – Maryland, Film – Nightbeast

#19 – Maryland, Nightbeast

Nightbeast (1982), written and directed by Don Dohler, starring Don Dohler’s friends and family (assumed), filmed in Baltimore, Maryland

In-bred backwoods Maryland-types fight drooling a monster from out of space. Sounds fun, no? I’m going to give this column about as much thought as Don Dohler did it making Nightbeast, which is basically fuck all. Ironically, I’ve been working on this review for a long time. Here’s what I wrote about Nightbeast in a review I last edited on July 23, 2012 and never published:

Nightbeast is a movie that isn’t here to fuck around – nay – it’s here for business. The opening battle between the titular “beast” and a crew of camping rednecks ends with every single one of the human characters being either A. laser beamed to the death or B. chewed up. Even a pair of adorable children can’t escape the destructive rampage which takes place in the film’s first 15 minutes or so. Nightbeast’s biggest problem is that it can’t possibly sustain the momentum it creates right from the on-set, but – wow – what an on-set.

That’s right. I used the word “titular” and kept a straight face. I suppose what I wanted to come across in that introduction was that Nightbeast, right out the gate, promises a good time but that the good times don’t last forever.

There was something lacking in sincerity about that first paragraph that just didn’t give me the fuel to continue. Some time later — weeks? months? — I started anew with this introduction:

I hold B-movies with a certain amount of respect and admiration.

Having a happy fondness for a movie like Don Dohler’s Nightbeast, however, is a very different thing than having to sit through it. There are so many better things to do with your time.

Now THERE’S some honesty!

In short, Nightbeast is a big fucking waste of time.

Oh, but don’t let me stop you from watching it. I suppose, as far as shitty movies go, you could do a whole lot worse. That being said, there is a lot not to like here. I can’t decide whether the monster in this film is utterly awesome or retarded looking.

Here, he (she?) is kind of cool looking.

The “titular Nightbeast” was created by John Dobs, who was responsible for creature work in films like Ghostbusters II and Alien Resurrection. Basically, the same guy who was responsible for bringing the Statue of Liberty to life was responsible for the monster in Nightbeast. Take that for what it’s worth. It’s worth nothing to me. I call it like I see it. I don’t know John Dobs from Lou Dobbs. What if the monster looked like Lou Dobbs? Actually, it kind of looks like Bill O’Reilly after a failed shotgun suicide attempt.

The acting is terrible and the actors and actresses are unpleasant to look at. Tom Griffith plays the main character – the hero — the sheriff of a small town. He looks like a combination of Howard Stern and my junior high school shop teacher. His deputy is played by Karin Kardian, who has a strangely descriptive bio on IMDb.com, despite only having one acting credit to her name – this one. It states that she gave a “winningly lively performance as perky small town deputy Lisa Kent” in Nightbeast. More fun facts: Kardian was hairdresser for director Don Dohler’s aunt when she landed her part in Nightbeast. It says that, after Nightbeast, Karin moved to California for a few years but eventually returned to Baltimore, Maryland. In 1999, she was working as a restaurant server.

Let’s take a quick break for gore.

I would love to know where she works to visit her and ask her all sorts of Nightbeast related questions. For instance: What was with the mullet you sported in Nightbeast. You’re a hairdresser, right? What was it like performing that love scene with Tom Griffith? Did it take a lot of convincing to get you to do that scene? How much were you paid? Was the sex simulated or real? Was it even necessary? Don’t answer that. It was completely unnecessary … especially the really awkward moment in which Kent and Griffith stare at each other naked for about 10 seconds. That one’s tough to explain.

Nightbeast is actually a REMAKE of Don Dohler’s earlier picture, The Alien Factor. The fact that there’s an inferior version of Nightbeast out there makes my head hurt.

Oh, be-HAVE!

If you’re still interested in watching Nightbeast, here it is via YouTube:



3 responses to “50 Movies for 50 States Part Two: The `80s — #19 – Maryland, Film – Nightbeast

  1. I should say, in retrospect, that I may have been a little hard on this film. The first 20 minutes or so are a lot of fun and there is a lot of stupidity to laugh at sprinkled throughout. Perhaps I’m just sick of monster movies.

    Anyway, next week is definitely NOT a monster movie.


  2. I’ve actually been talking to a guy on Twitter who did a documentary on Don Dohler — I wonder if he knows her whereabouts.


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