director Philippe Mora
Memory is a strange thing. Unique in us all. I remember things about The Beast Within from when it came out and also when it hit 1980’s pay cable. I recall an earnest Siskel and Ebert discussion, and I also vaguely (very vaguely) recall seeing it on TV at the time.
It’s reasons for notability, though, I couldn’t being to place. Was it an underrated classic, something awful, or what?
Well, it sat in my Netflix queue for ages as an old double feature DVD whose availability was eternally “Unknown” and yet never removed.
Written by Tom Holland (Class of 1984 (1982), Psycho II (1983), & Fright Night (1985)) and directed by Philippe Mora (mostly known for Howling II (1985) and Howling III (1987)), it’s one of the more strangely plotted horror films of the era. The keyword here is “cicada”.
It stars a heap of solid character actors, headed by Ronny Cox, Bibi Besch, Don Gordon, R.G. Armstrong, and Meshach Taylor. The strong cast imbues the story of a boy going through some rather unusual “changes” at the age of 17 with something more than it might have had. The whole film is rather gripping in its way, giving way to some super practical effects in the film’s finale sequence.
Well worth the while.