Given that I was one of those amazingly dorky movie-nerd kids who had an after-school job at the local Video Village, I had tons of cheesy old horror posters to hang across the four walls of my bedroom. (Mom wouldn't let me hang the My Bloody Valentine one-sheet in the dining room; can you believe it?) One such poster that hung next to my window for several years was that of Jackie Kong's The Being. That poster was duly replaced with one for Madman once I actually sat down to watch The Being.
Grungy, muddy-looking, entirely cheap, and completely beholden to Alien for all its money moments, The Being (aka Easter Sunday & The Pottsville Horror) is Z-grade schlock-slinging at its most obvious. Horror team Bill Osco and Jackie Kong have their names on a small handful of certifiable cinematic cheeseballs (this one, Blood Diner, and the stunningly poor Night Patrol), but few are are aggressively pointless as The Being is.
The small town of Pottsville, Idaho, is home to a new mutant freak monster thing, a creature spawned from toxic waste and fully intent on tearing the head off of any humans it comes across. That's pretty much it in the plot department. Several people get pulled into the dark by the beeeeeing, and a few people do not. The main one who does not is the world's least likely policeman, as played by Rexx Coltrane (aka Bill Osco, aka the movie's producer), and he's the one who finally takes an axe to the hilariously goopy beast, thus ending the reign of el beeeeeeingo.
Frankly I'm stunned that the MST3K boys never got their fingers into this wonderfully inept and amateurish little ripoff. I mean ... just check out the cast! You tell me another film in which you'll find Martin Landau, Jose Ferrer, Dorothy Malone, a slathering plastic beast-creature on wheels, and Ruth Buzzi, and I'll give you a movie you'll be watching while I'm in another room drinking bleach straight from the bottle.
Mr. Kong does display a few decidedly tongue-in-cheek moments, but they're not nearly enough to save such this flimsy and blatant Alien ripoff from being a massive chore of poorly-lit proportions. Still, I'm sure there's some hardcore gorehounds out there who are just dying to add this forgotten little turkey to their schlock-horror collection, so for those folks, I say thanks to Media Blasters for digging through the early-80s vault of horror flick awfulness.
Video: It's an Anamorphic Widescreen (1.78:1) transfer ... but I wouldn't go in expecting anything too crisp or flashy. Frankly the flick looks about 10 degrees better than a VHS copy would, but at least the aspect ratio is in proper order ... plus the grainy fuzz and print glitches might just add to the D-level horror charm.
Audio: Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo in your choice of English or Spanish. Again, the aural problems spring from the source material, but if you crank your speakers up, you can cut through the muffle and enjoy the insipid dialogue.
Extras: Just a bunch of Shriek Show / Media Blasters trailers for The Being, Anthropophagus, Just Before Dawn, Love Bites, and Devil Dog, and a Fangoria International promo that's hawking Rojo Sangre, Plaga Zombie Zona Mutante, Choking Hazard, and Hiruko. Ah, there's also a photo gallery of snapshots from the Being set.
Kitschy, campy, cheap, and dumb I have no problem with. Problem is, in addition to all these things, The Being is just really quite dull. If you're consider yourself a true-blue crap-horror carnivore, you might consider satisfying your curiosity by giving The Being a weekend rental ... but don't tell 'em I sent you.