by Tim May
The cover of Beasties proclaims it to be “from the creators of Creepozoids.” Since David DeCoteau’s masterpiece was our first review, Beasties was obviously of interest to us. However, DeCoteau had nothing to do with the film until he picked it up for video distribution—and limited video distribution at that. Beasties (also known as The Bionaut) was limited to 200 video copies, and has never been released on DVD, making it one of the rarer films we’ve reviewed.
Beasties is, unsurprisingly, a Gremlins rip-off (with a “dash of Back to the Future,” according to the back cover). The story’s pretty difficult to discern from simply watching the film, but I’ll try. The film begins with a couple in a car. As this is a horror film, the guy obviously is impatient as diarrhea shit and cannot wait to fuck. And, of course, the girl “isn’t ready,” so they just make out until the beasties come and kill them.
Now, I think the main character, a dork named Nelson Croft, knew this couple, but who cares? Nelson just started going out with a girl, and on their first date, they’re attacked by the beasties! They barely escape to a deserted cabin in the woods owned by some poor man’s Shannen Doherty. Then we meet the “villains,” a group of ‘80s movie “punks” (think Return of the Living Dead or the beginning of The Terminator) who’ve formed a cult which worships the beasties. The cult is led by this guy, who is far more beastly than any of the beasties.
The punks seem to think that Nelson is the “Bionaut,” who will bring about the end of the beasties, so they go after him. The best scene comes directly after of this, when poor man’s Shannen Doherty takes a shower, and one of the beasties spies on her, so we get a hilarious sequence of shots which goes like this: titty, beastie, titty, beastie, titty, beastie, and so on.
Unfortunately, after this brilliant scene, Beasties gets boring as fuck for about an hour. Where the fuck did the beasties go? All we get for most of the rest of the film is scenes with Nelson and his friends worrying about the beasties. Why can’t they fight some beasties instead?
However, once the beasties finally do come back into the picture, Beasties goes from being a decent camp obscurity to an all-time classic. After seemingly endless discussions about beasties and bionauts, the beasties come and take Nelson’s girlfriend away, ending the film with the most hilariously awful special effect I’ve ever seen, and hysterical line delivery on the part of Nelson.
Beasties is a rare gem, filled with great moments (Nelson dips his finger in a puddle of slime and says, “It appears to be some sort of slime!”). It’s a shame Steven Paul Contreras never made another film. If you like films like Hobgoblins, check it out. You’ll never find a more beastly movie.