Nightbeast (1982)

Written and directed by Don Dohler
Produced by Ted A. Bohus, Don Dohler, Dave Ellis, Pete Garey, Richard Geiwitz, Tom Griffith, Tony Malanowski, Larry Reichman, George Stover
Starring Tom Griffith, Jamie Zemarel, Karin Kardian, George Stover, Don Leifert, Anne Frith, Eleanor Herman, Richard Dyszel, Christopher Gummer, Dennis McGeehan, John Dods, Monica Neff, Richard Ruxton, Richard Geiwitz, Greg Dohler, Kim Dohler, Bumb Roberts, Glenn Barnes, Rose Wolfe, Don Dohler, David W. Donoho, Larry Reichman, Dace Parson, Richard Nelson

However one may adjudge Don Dohler, King Schlockmeister of Maryland, they can’t truthfully allege that any paucity of logic, talent, or competence ever stayed him from generating some of the most vigorously entertaining B-movies ever telecast in the wee hours and peddled by fourth-rate home video brands. His third feature hardly challenges the intellect by presenting how a hideous, bulletproof, bipedal extraterrestrial (Gummer, McGeehan, its designer Dods) attired in a disco jumpsuit crashes in a small town in New England, immediately seeks out humans to gorily eliminate, and defends itself against the municipality’s sheriff (Griffith), his deputies (Kardian, Zemarel, Geiwitz), and townsfolk with a ray gun that atomizes humans and automobiles. Dohler misdirected and overedited from his zany, childish, gratuitous script, which is acted horrendously by his regulars, investors, and family….but there’s no denying the raw energy and bracing sport that he educed from his crude story’s eccentricity and blistering impetus.


  • Dohler’s canoodling brother (Barnes) is disemboweled minutes before his kids (Greg and Kim) are disintegrated; as one son of a sharpshooting farmer (Roberts), the director’s also laid low by death rays shortly thereafter.
  • Locals aren’t deterred from shooting the impetuous alien with unlimited, unreloaded rounds before and after realizing that it’s impervious to gunfire.
  • Abovementioned exchange of fire is protracted by the inaccuracy of both the beast and its human combatants.
  • So to prevent confusion, medical examiners (Stover, Frith) wear their white lab coats more often than not, even outdoors when sifting human remains.
  • Unprovoked slaughter of his citizenry can’t postpone a pool party thrown by the town’s irresponsible mayor (Dyszel) and his senseless, sonsie secretary (Herman), to which the governor (Ruxton) is invited.
  • Neither Dohler nor anyone with whom he was associated could afford a broken door, so production assistants tossed cheap, splintered wood down a staircase to indicate that the creature’s smashing through one.
  • A subplot’s affair between Zemarel’s deputy and the mistress (Neff, accomplished cameraman Rick’s nubile wife) of contumacious biker Drago (Leifert) amounts only to her nudity (to the satisfaction of Dohler’s backers and distributor), and a fight between her boyfriends, who clobber each other into fresher duds in the midst of their scrap.
  • At the insistence of heinously permed Griffith, Dohler reluctantly shot a nude love scene starring the co-producer/financier/leading man and Kardian (hairdresser to Dohler’s aunt), which is nauseating for the faux lawman’s hair and physique.
  • Only the most peculiarly pestful perpetrator would grease his girlfriend and leave her carcass in his house hours after accosting her in concern of her infidelity, then wantonly attack a deputy before attempting to murder her sheriff. Drago is that perpetrator.
  • Abysmal SFX and foley, theatricals wooden and wild, and myriad, simple errors make every other shot desipiently diverting.


For those who enjoy their movies bad, brisk, and bloody, Dohler delivers with a slipshod, idiomatic lure. Some garbage can be relished.

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