Mar 16, 2008

Flesh for the Beast

Naked women are generally a given when it comes to most contemporary horror films. For a lot of horror films, success depends on their combination of nudity and gore. Flesh For the Beast, directed by Terry M. West, is no exception. What makes Flesh For the Beast different is its employment of shoddy childlike masks not even worthy of Wes Craven’s Swamp Thing.

Any hypnotic sexual appeal from these exposed harlots is lost as soon as they turn ghoulish and harness bargain bin Halloween masks. Terry M. West must be a fan of both R.L. Stine’s Goosebumps series and Lucio Fulci’s City of the Living Dead. Weak costumes and semi decent gore don’t really match. Twenty years ago Terry M. West may have been able to get away with it as a novelty. Now he just seems like another unimaginative fan boy hack.

A Ken Foree clone and Sergio Leone henchman(Aldo Sanbrel) attempt to sparkle but fail in bringing even the most slightly plausible performance. If either had done something interesting, it wouldn’t have rescued Flesh For the Beast from being the mediocre and banal bore-fest that it is. The film fails in all attempts to pay homage or even steal from other films. Terry M. West seems like the type of horror director who saw a couple of the great Lucio Fuci and Dario Argento films and thought he could recreate aspects of those films surely. Instead, he created a weak contemporary model for underground horror filmmakers to come.

Surprisingly, the films soundtrack courtesy of KFCphile Buckethead, compliments its frenetically flawed editing. When I started watching the film and saw that it featured music from Buckethead, it made my expectations for Flesh For the Beast to be low. After viewing the film, it was one of the very few redeeming qualities . It added a sort of comic element to the film that was in contrast to the films literal attempt at comic relief in the form of a weasely documentary film cameraman.

Overall, Flesh For the Beast is another passable disk. Filled with uninteresting films and even more uninteresting extra features, it makes you even more aware of the stagnant independent horror film world. Although excellent underground films are being produced, films like Flesh For the Beast seem to be the most promoted(it has been released in a special edition set and two other releases). Watch it so you don’t let your film turn out this way.

-Ty E

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