director Jackie Kong
The Being is the first flick from director and burgeoning legend, Jackie Kong. Her all too brief career highlights have been getting more attention lately, especially, Blood Diner (1987), now higher than ever on my watchlist. But I give Kong an even further point of appreciation as hailing from Hanford, CA, a Central Valley town where my mom used to teach high school.
Kong wrote and directed The Being starring her producer Bill Osco and an interesting motley crew of name actors and obscure characters ranging from Martin Landau (giving his B-picture all), José Ferrer, Dorothy Malone, and Ruth Buzzi (Ruth Buzzi! When is the last time I saw her!!? Did you know she is still alive?). But that’s not all. There is also Kinky Friedman and Murray Langston (better known ironically as “The Unknown Comic”).
Kong’s The Being is the mutant monster result of nuclear chemical pollution, and no conventional rules apply to this monster or this movie. He can leap through the air, ooze through a vent, claw your head off. And there are almost as many fake-out scares (it’s a cat!) as there are actual scares. And half the time the movie seems to want to be a straight-out comedy (Kong’s next film, Night Patrol, apparently moves rather unsuccessfully in this direction).
More than anything, it’s a throw everything and the kitchen sink approach to horror and it’s endlessly entertaining. I don’t know why people complain about the monster, I thought he was pretty cute. I also loved the scene with the toddler seeking Easter eggs in the hole where The Being was hiding out. Cute and toddling on the edge or horror…and comedy.
Hey, this stuff is not for everybody, but for those of us for whom it is, it’s a gas.