Flesh for the Beast (2003) Movie Review

What can I say about “Flesh for the Beast” except, well, it has a pretty nice title. And the movie poster is definitely a classy act. Unfortunately the film is neither classy nor nice, and is in fact Splatter in the guise of an actual horror movie. The final product is neither very horrific (unless you consider the film’s aesthetics, which is generally under average) nor very thrilling, despite the vast amount of flesh and blood dangled before the viewing audience like raw red meat. “Beast” was written and directed by Terry West, who has made some truly awful movies with truly inspiring titles such as (and I kid you not) “The Lord of the G-Strings”, “The Sexy Sixth Sense”, and “Witchbabe: Erotic Witch Project 3”. No word on rather West also gave us “Witchbabe” parts one and two, though. One can only hope, I suppose.

“Flesh for the Beast” stars Jane Scarlett as psychic Erin, who is contracted by shady businessman Stoker (Sergio Alarcon) to visit his expensive and ancient mansion and get rid of the “evil spirits” that resides within. Coming along for the ghostbusting gig are Erin’s colleagues — the nagging Ted (Clark Beasley Jr.), the aging Ketchum (Jim Coope), and four other victims — er, I mean, characters. In short order, the team of paranormal investigators go about investigating the 3-story house, and one by one the males of the group meet untimely ends at the hands of 3 murderous female demons who — as a token to the Splatter crowd for which “Beast” was obviously made for — sexes up the men before clawing off various organs. Ouch.

I don’t want to spend too much time on “Flesh for the Beast”, because there’s just not all that much to say about the film. It’s a bad movie, to be sure, with just slightly average direction by Terry West, whose screenplay stinks up the joint with those awkward lines you expect to hear Dracula say to weary travelers who have stopped by his country estate to escape the storm outside. Well, you expect Dracula to say it in films made in the ’50s or ’60s. It never works in the present, not as camp and certainly not as serious dialogue (whichever West had intended them to be).

“Beast” isn’t rocket science. Those who enjoy German Splatter director Andreas Schnaas’ brand of mayhem — heavy doses of nonsensical killing interspersed with Grade-Z acting in conjunction with superfluous nudity — will probably get a kick out of “Beast”. Actually, the film could have been a lot better, if only certain parts of it were executed better. For instance, although the T&A is overflowing, the three women who provide the bulk of skin are not very, well, pretty. Also, the simulated sex is so clumsy that there’s barely any guilty pleasure to be had. Couldn’t one of the demon/woman/seductress at least pretended to take a guy’s pants off before she started “humping” him? I mean, come on folks, that seems rather basic, no? And considering director West’s history with cheapie sex films, the ridiculous sex in “Beast” seems embarrassingly amateurish.

There’s really not much else to say about “Flesh for the Beast”. The cinematography by Richard Siegel is generally awful, with the film looking grainy and unimpressive. Although I have to admit, Siegel and West do manage to pull off some clever background scene transitions. Which makes the fact that the movie is often plain looking in other parts even more unforgiving. Curiously, there were a number of scenes where West seemed very competent; unfortunately the very next scene almost always ruins these prior moments. It’s too bad there were more bad ideas than good ones.

Of note is that “Beast”, despite being low budget, somehow got permission to shoot the exterior of an actual country mansion, but unfortunately couldn’t swing the interior. Scenes of the paranormal investigators “investigating” various floors and rooms of the mansion are stitched together from different locations. Most of the locations were probably condemned buildings, judging by the peeling wallpaper and general wasted look of the rooms. As a result, whenever a character goes wandering off to his doom, no one in the mansion ever hears his horrible screams. What is supposed to be a film that takes place in the space of one day, in the same house, looks like one that took place in the space of a month-long shooting schedule, shot over many locations. The illusion is never sold.

I’m not going to tell you not to bother with “Beast”. If you like seeing buckets and buckets of bright red blood spilling all over the place, and not-really-attractive women in various stages of undress, then I suppose “Beast” is for you. Lead Jane Scarlett has almost nothing to do with the film until the final 15 minutes, and anyway she doesn’t offer up anything that would be misinterpreted as acting. Of course she’s not alone, because none of the cast shows any real skill, which is probably for the best because anyone with any acting ability would have shied away from the film in the first place.

Terry West (director) / Terry West (screenplay)
CAST: Jane Scarlett …. Erin Cooper
Sergio Alarcon …. John Stoker
Clark Beasley Jr. …. Ted Sturgeon
Jim Coope …. Jack Ketchum
David Runco …. Joseph Monks

Buy Flesh for the Beast on DVD