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THE BEING - 1 Slime
Rated R
Copyright 1983 Bad Dream Inc.
Reviewed by Andrew Borntreger on 9 November 2007 (updated)

The Characters:  

  • Detective Mortimer Lutz - Despite his scruffy appearance, he is the best man in the local police department. Personally, I do not like him. His last name should be "Putz," vice "Lutz." Let's not even go into the dirty old hat that he insists on wearing at all times, including in bed.
  • Dr. Garson Jones - Martin Landau! As the government chemist, he is doing everything he can to cover up the problem. "What do you mean the water is contaminated? Why, I'll drink a glass of it during a televised interview. The nuclear waste dump isn't safe? I think that I'll go camping there." The monster finally dismembers this idiot.
  • Laurie - Blonde waitress with the hots for Lutz.
  • Mayor Lane - Official who wants all of this covered up to protect the interests of "Big Potato."
  • Mrs. Lane - I am glad that she became monster kibble.
  • Deputy Dudley - Totalitarian policeman. I would say that he didn't have a heart, but the mutant rips it out of his chest, so he did have one (but now he doesn't).
  • Marge Smith - Psycho woman who gave birth to the Being.
  • Arn, Willis, and John - "Hey! Here's a job! 'Need three actors for bit parts in monster movie.'"
  • The Being - Apparently, trying to cope with your crazy old mother, when you are already a slime-covered, burrowing mutant, will give anybody a nervous twitch. When a crazy cop comes after you with an axe, you start getting the idea that life = stress.

Buy It!

The Plot: 

This is a rare find: a monster movie set in Idaho. Stick to the spuds, my friends; they are much easier to swallow whole. In this film, we run into something that always trips up low-budget monster movies. The creature is a killer mutant that was created by toxic waste and is able to rip a man's head clean off, but the hero is impossibly difficult to kill. I know that most movies do not end with the hero being decapitated ("Braveheart," thou art alone in the world). It is still frustrating to watch the creature beat and chew on Detective Lutz for ten minutes, when it completely dismembered Garson in thirty seconds flat. The situation reminds me of the old fighting games. You finally get to the boss and start whomping on him, then notice that the boss' (be it a huge warrior, demon, etc.) red life bar is barely moving. Pretty soon, you are wondering, "Do I need to hit him in a certain spot, wait for him to swing at me, or what? I don't have a lot of quarters left."

My annoyance with the film is not helped by the fact that I dislike calling Mortimer the hero. A different actor should have been cast as the town's detective. However, the person playing Mr. Lutz is also the film's producer, so I guess we can understand how that came to pass.

The action starts as a young man flees from the nuclear waste storage facility. Many of you have a picture in your head of what a nuclear waste storage facility looks like. You are wrong. Stop thinking. The Pottsville nuclear dump is wet sand and a bunch of rusting drums and tanks lying around. Some of the containers have radiation warning symbols, some are just rusty tanks. That is the dump. Anyway, the teenager runs for hours (it goes from late afternoon to complete nighttime) and finally climbs into a car that he finds in the local junkyard. As the young man drives down the empty road, thinking that he is scot-free, the monster rips through the roof. It then pulls the kid's head off. The car careens off the road and crashes into a potato warehouse (wow, imagine that).

Inexplicable transitions between day, night, dawn, and dusk are commonplace in this movie. None of it makes any sense and I am going to expend no few words pointing them out to you.

Of course the police are going to investigate a single-vehicle accident, especially when the interior of the car is covered with blood and slime. Unfortunately, nobody ever checks the trunk. The Being is in the trunk (it spends a lot of time in the back seats and trunks of vehicles). Just when nobody is watching, the monster eats the tow truck driver. Mortimer returns to the car, cannot find the guy, and thinks to himself, "Man, that is funny. I wonder where he went."

Geez, I don't know, Mortimer, maybe the guy just strolled off. Miles from nowhere, tow truck still there, that has to be what happened. Why is this movie so stupid?

Pretty soon, a random Idaho redneck picks up his girlfriend for a date at the drive-in. As the two engage in some quick kissing, the entire car bounces. Both of the smoochers wonder, "What was that?" but they shrug it off and head to the movie. Me, I would have checked to see if Cass Elliot was in the trunk (the car really bounced). So what if Cass Elliot died nine years prior? Fine, I would have checked to see if undead zombie Cass Elliot was in my trunk. Does that make more sense to you?

The Being causes some mayhem at the drive-in. To start, it somehow transforms into a liquid and dribbles through the dashboard and into the front seat of the smoochers' car (the smoochers are distracted with each other). Then the creature kills the redneck and his girlfriend. Next, it moves to another car and screws with the two pot-heads inside. One stoner is pulled out the window, never to be seen again, while the other stares in fright. This time, when Detective Lutz arrives, he sits in the smoochers' car without looking first. Mortimer immediately stands back up, his butt covered with dark, thick slime.

If I ever have to track down a killer mutant, I just hope it does not produce gobs of slime. Wicked claws are fine (like it's not going to have those), unexpected abilities like jumping or burrowing I can handle, I am even game for something that is poisonous. I will fight the beast with no complaints. What I do not want is to be covered with slime and goo after the monster is finally dead. The only way to remove viscous mutant slime from clothing is to wipe most of it off with a rag, then run everything through the wash several times. I hate doing laundry.

In all honesty, I am not sure about the whole "poisonous is no problem" claim that I made. Poison is worrisome stuff. Killing the thing in manly me-versus-the-mutant combat, then noticing that it bit me once is my main fear. "Oh, it's just a scratch." I tell the buxom blonde who is my love interest, before I promptly keel over dead or, even worse, am wracked by gruesome spasms as my blood vessels hemorrhage. Meanwhile, Mrs. Big Ta-Tas just stands there and screams until I stop twitching. Not my idea of a happy ending.

Poor Mort (he hates being called that) has it even worse. He finally goes home to get some rest and finds his bed covered with mutant mucus. The Being chases the detective down the road. Only by jumping across the railroad crossing, right before a train arrives, is the frightened hero able to get away. Viewers should note that, one minute Mortimer is running down a road in the dead of night, but after he jumps across the train tracks it is well after dawn.

As the film continues, the Being attacks Laurie and Mort. Well, "attacks" is a misnomer; somebody throws a stuffed animal that has been covered with Vaseline into Laurie's car. Detective Lutz slams the car's door shut and they run away, again encountering the monster when they try to sneak out the back door of the diner. The pair finally traps it in the diner's freezer, but it turns to ooze and escapes. Moving on, the mutant sneaks up on three community activists who had decided that the best solution to urban decay is arson. This monster sure does get around. It must be able to tunnel faster than an Olympic sprinter can run.

Across town, the Mayor and his wife are having a dinner party. I would like to go on record as saying that parties in Idaho SUCK, and old person parties in Idaho REALLY SUCK. They also seem to go on for a long time. We see the party start, the movie follows other events for a bit, the sun starts to rise, and then we cut back to the party - which has moved into the after dinner entertainment. To make this even more ludicrous, later on the Being sneaks into the garage and attacks the Mayor's wife, while the party is still going on, yet after the sun has gone down again. How long is this rotten party?

Make me go to a party with boring people, which lasts that long, and I will certainly go insane.

Called to the nuclear waste dump by Dr. Jones, Mort and Laurie encounter the Being yet again. It grabs Garson with its tremendously long tongue, but learns a harsh lesson: frogs can grab insects with a sticky tongue, because grasshoppers do not use hatchets. Laurie chops the mutant's tongue off! Having proved that she is the most dangerous member of the trio, the waitress is furious when Detective Lutz locks her in a jail cell (they travel back to town after escaping from the monster). The two men arm themselves with rifles and shotguns before returning to the dump. It can turn into a liquid, yet these two brainiacs think that they can shoot it to death. I suppose that will work, if the Being forgets to turn into a liquid when the lead starts flying.

Grab some friends to watch this, because you do not want to attempt it alone. Just make sure that your fellow bad movie watchers are the forgiving sort.

Things I Learned From This Movie: 

  • Picketers are an endangered species.
  • Any car in a junkyard, selected at random, will be in perfect operating order and have its keys in the ignition.
  • Wrist watches are radioactive death traps.
  • Girls like to paint their toenails in the nude and in front of open windows.
  • Monsters excrete axle grease.
  • Using your bare hand to throw manure against someone's house is pretty dumb.
  • A pair of stainless steel egg whisks makes a great windchime.
  • Nuclear waste dumps are usually located on top of public aquifers.
  • For those looking to roast a large family, Ford also produced a barbeque that seated six: the Bronco.
  • Potato farmers shall inherit the Earth.

Stuff To Watch For: 

  • Opening Credits - Who the heck names their kid "Kinky?"
  • 5 mins - It ripped his head off! No, it's still there! Continuity!
  • 16 mins - I know that guy. He paints "happy trees" on PBS.
  • 22 mins - Did Mort just jump across the train tracks into morning?
  • 28 mins - Camera dude, you are not interviewing his tie. Pan up! Good, steady.
  • 30 mins - Instinct guides that kid to take cover in the bushes, where his hair acts as a natural camoflage.
  • 52 mins - No, yer gonna get et.
  • 68 mins - Yoda says: "Sylvester Stallone, you are not."
  • 71 mins - Now for the dismount, and Lutz nails the landing! The U.S. wins the gold medal! Hooray! (Okay, that was a bad pun taken too far. Stop throwing stuff at me.)
  • Ending Credits - There are quite a few folks with the last name of "Osco" listed...

 Audio clips in wav formatSOUNDSStarving actors speak out 

Green Music Note thebeing1.wav Announcer: "In the distance, the town of Pottsville, Idaho. A small town, not much different from any other mainstreet USA. Strange and unexplained events are occurring."
Green Music Note thebeing2.wav Garson does his best to confuse a reporter.
Green Music Note thebeing3.wav Lutz: "You say your friend was pulled out of the car, by some guy in a monster suit."
Green Music Note thebeing4.wav Laurie: "But if this thing is actually killing people, then why is the mayor trying to keep it quiet?"
Mort: "Potatoes."
Laurie: "Potatoes?"
Mort: "Around here that means big money."
Green Music NoteTheme Song Listen to a clip from the soundtrack.

 Click for a larger imageIMAGESScenes from the movie 


 Watch a sceneVIDEOMPEG video files 

Video Clipthebeing1.mpg - 2.4m
Don't tell a monster to "f**k off."

Just don't.

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