hat 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
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.