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THE BEAST WITHIN (1982) – Episode 249 – Decades of Horror 1980s

“Oral sodomy?… Well, that’s why it’s a small town… Yeah, we’ll look into it. Thank you for calling.” Say what? Join your faithful Grue Crew – Chad Hunt, Bill Mulligan, Crystal Cleveland, and Jeff Mohr – as they confront the over-the-top effects, excellent acting, and confusing story in The Beast Within (1982).

Decades of Horror 1980s
Episode 249 – The Beast Within (1982)

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Decades of Horror 1980s is partnering with the WICKED HORROR TV CHANNEL (https://wickedhorrortv.com/) which now includes video episodes of 1980s and is available on Roku, AppleTV, Amazon FireTV, AndroidTV, and its online website across all OTT platforms, as well as mobile, tablet, and desktop.

A young woman gets raped by a mysterious man-creature, and years later her son begins a horrific transformation into a similar beast.

In the early 1980s, producer Harvey (The Goonies, The Lost Boys) Bernhard purchases an unfinished novel by Edward Levy and hires Tom (Fright Night, Child’s Play) Holland – his first feature film credit – to write the screenplay (from scratch). He follows this up by scooping up Philippe Mora, the talent behind Communion and The Howling II: Your Sister is a Werewolf (cue blank stare), to direct. The result is the often maligned creature feature The Beast Within (1982) featuring Paul Clemens, Ronny Cox, Bibi Besch, Don Gordon, R. G. Armstrong, Katherine Moffat, L. Q. Jones, Logan Ramsey, Luke Askeew, John Dennis Johnston, Meschach Taylor, and Ron Soble. While the make-up effects by  Thomas R. Burman (Prophecy, Altered States) are collectively praised, the premise received far more disparagingly negative critiques. Now it is time for the Grue Crew to settle the score. Is it a schlocky disaster or a grotesque cult-classic? 

At the time of this writing, The Beast Within is available for streaming from Tubi and as PPV from Amazon and AppleTV. The film is available on physical media in Blu-ray format from SHOUT! Factory. 

Every two weeks, Gruesome Magazine’s Decades of Horror 1980s podcast will cover another horror film from the 1980s. The next episode’s film, chosen by Grue Crew for their sestercentennial episode (that’s 250th, Grue Belivers), will be Gremlins (1984), with guest host Ralph Miller who is one of the effects artists who worked on the film as part of Chris Walas’ crew. This should be fun!

Please let them know how they’re doing! They want to hear from you – the coolest, grooviest fans – so leave them a message or comment on the Gruesome Magazine Youtube channel, on the Gruesome Magazine website, or email the Decades of Horror 1980s podcast hosts at feedback@gruesomemagazine.com.

Jeff Mohr
Jeff lives smack dab in the middle of the cornfields of Iowa and is a long-time horror fan. His first remembered encounters with the genre were The Wizard of Oz, Tarzan gorilla chases, and watching the first broadcast of The Twilight Zone episode, "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge." While he now qualifies as an old fart, he strives to be an Old Boy. Paraphrasing Robert Bloch, he has the heart of a small boy. He keeps it in a jar on his desk. Jeff has written for Horrornews.net and SQ Horror Magazine. He currently writes for Gruesome Magazine and is a co-host of the Decades of Horror podcasts - The Classic Era, 1970s, and 1980s - and the Gruesome Magazine Podcast.