When Troma distributes someone else's film, chances are it's a piece of shit that'll bore your dead grandmother to death. Thankfully though, this isn't always the case. Sometimes, Troma DOES hit pay dirt in their distribution acquisitions. Case in point: Don Dohler's NIGHTBEAST.
An alien craft crash lands near a small town and starts offing the clueless locals via ray gun, disembowelment and decapitation. Only Sheriff Cinder (Tom Griffith, who looks like the offspring of John Holmes and Mark Shannon) and his partner, Lisa (Karin Kardian) can stop the creature. Dohler regular Don Leifert appears in a small role as Drago, a biker who harasses the townsfolk.
NIGHTBEAST is a movie that knows its audience well. We ain't here for deep characterization or high drama: we wanna see the goony-lookin' alien get right down to business – business being disemboweling idiots and shooting them with a ray gun to make them vanish in a glorious flash of disco light (victims ain't "Stayin' Alive" here, folks). NIGHTBEAST moves along with zero fucks given, hardly stopping to take a breath other than when necessary. And it's one of the few movies to elicit some genuine tension from this viewer – something movies RARELY ever do. Bravo!
For a movie undoubtedly made on a budget of toe nail clippings and pocket lint, the special effects are about as good as it's gonna get. The optical effects look as though they were created using a disco lamp and the gore is what you'd expect from a low-budget film, i.e. cheap prosthetics and guts bought from Discount Butchers.
Whatever Troma was smoking when they picked up NIGHTBEAST for distribution they need to smoke more of it: of all the Troma-distributed films I've seen, NIGHTBEAST is definitely one of the best. No-bullshit entertainment is what NIGHTBEAST is all about, so do yourself a favor and take it up on the offer. – Evan Romero
Evan Romero is a regular contributor to the pages of ER (including our mammoth 30th anniversary issue available from our website) and spends much of his time reading morally questionable books and watching movies no sane person would touch. He is the vocalist/bassist for the punk band Porno Holocaust (you can find them on Facebook and listen to some demos if you’re inclined). His short story “Touch” was recently published in REJECTED FOR CONTENT 5: SANITARIUM. You can read more of his reviews at ReelAtrocities.com or at PopHorror.com. He last wrote about THE ORPHAN KILLER.