15 June 2001 | Mr. Pulse
If Ed Wood was given color film stock and a budget that was double the nearly four dollars he made his entire library on, I suspect the result would be something that looked vaguely similar to the film "Nightbeast;" wooden actors, terrible effects, confusing dialogue, and plot holes large enough to drive a semi through.
The Nightbeast is an alien with a brown head and fangs, who crash lands his space ship on earth in the opening moments of the film. He then goes on a rampage killing anyone in sight. The remainder of the movie finds our "hero," Sheriff Cinder, hunting the beast, while bedding coworkers and trudging through subplots that mean nothing to anyone in or out of the film.
This so-called Nightbeast is a fascinating creature. He arrives on earth, and begins his rampage, and throughout the film, no motive is given for the carnage, no explanation provided for his origin or his reason for coming to earth. And none of the characters seem to care, or appear at all surprised that a murderous beast with bad dental work is on the loose. They try to kill it sure, but mostly out of simple survival instinct not even fear of the alien hordes as many a paranoid horror film has shown. The Nightbeast appears primarily during the day (Maybe his name is supposed to be a post-ironic commentary on our society?) and never speaks a word of dialogue. A shame too; he seems like he has a lot on his mind.
When Nightbeast hits the town, he first has a small raygun that he uses to dissolve humans away into nothing. He is so trigger happy (And presumably his gun has unlimited ammo) that he just blasts without aiming, and there are scenes filled with literally hundreds of lasers whizzing around our not-so-intrepid heroes who fire at it with their handguns showing on their faces a mixture of extreme heroism and idiocy. Of course, we later learn that the Nightbeast (Whose one weakness is electricity...funny that it doesn't like being electrocuted, SO creative) actually uses the humans for his food, begging the question if he needs to eat us to survive, then why use a raygun that destroys all trace of the humans leaving nothing to eat?
The film includes some wife-beating subplots that go nowhere, and a sex scene painful in both the unattractive nature of the participants and in the silliness of the dialogue (Example line: "You know I could take my shirt off..." Response: "And I could take my towel off.") And what kind of women completely undresses in front of her coworker with whom she's never shared a romantic encounter with in her life? She tells him she's going to take a shower then strips right in front of the guy! Did I mention he's got a salt-and-pepper curly afro and huge seventies glasses? Yeah, he's the action hero.
Lunacy of this caliber is often hard to come by. And Nightbeast truly fits that description. It won't be easy to secure yourself a copy, but it will be well worth the effort if you can. And watch out for those stupid, big-teethed aliens. Cause you never know...