Beasties – USA, 1989 – reviews

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Beasties is a 1989 American science fiction horror feature film, originally titled Bionaut, written, produced and directed by Steven Paul Contreras.

The film, which was shot on Super 8mm, was bought by David DeCoteau (director of Creepozoids, Sorority Babes in the Slimeball Bowl-O-Rama; Evil Exhumed) for a Cinema Home Video release in 1991. Distributed minus 20 minutes to pick up the pace, only 200 VHS copies were sold before it was withdrawn due to poor sales.

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In 2005, director Contreras reinserted the missing 20 minutes and sold it on DVD-R on eBay. It was subsequently re-released on DVD-R in October 2014.

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Nelson Croft, a college nerd, is forced to go on a date, where he meets the girl of his dreams – suddenly, he finds himself hurled through a series of events like finding an alien spacecraft stuffed full of aliens… runs into into a gang of psychotic punkers… then is captured by a demonic high priest with designs for world domination… and finally discovers a strange creature called a Bionaut. Nelson soon learns that everything adds up to one big picture and only he can stop future disasters that await the world…

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Reviews:

“The creatures are mostly absent from a film that was supposed to be all about them and even when they were onscreen they don’t do much until the very end. It’s also filmed so dark that it’s hard to see what’s happening with the little guys. It feels like Contreras was trying to make two movies in the span of 80 minutes and failed at both of them.” Damon Swindall, Horror’s Not Dead

“It contains nudity and blood, but the girls are butt-ugly and the gore is of the grade school variety. The sets are threadbare and the acting is beyond the point of being surreal. The action scenes, including one of the worst knife fights ever committed to film are pathetic. The music sounds like it was recorded on a Yamaha synthesizer…” Fred Adelman, Critical Condition

“The ambient spacecraft foley sounds like my alarm clock, the dying alien’s bleating sounds like a kazoo played over one of those “groan tube” things. The movie takes an extended break from being an alien invasion film to be a Satanic gang film. Favorite shot: a crowd of punks rushes forward to pummel a frat boy, while one extra forgets to move, just standing in place lighting a cigarette.” Gregory Joseph, Letterboxd.com

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“This movie is crammed with things that we never see coming. It’s also crammed with poor lighting, claustrophobic close-ups, repetitive monologues, and one-fingered synthesizer arpeggios. But thanks to the sincerity of the filmmakers, these elements provide charming diversions while we anticipate the joy of another ferocious Beastie attack.”Joseph A. Ziemba, Bleeding Skull!

“The aliens/monsters/whatever are very much of their time, but actually not too bad. Everything is filmed in low light, so a lot of the movie is really dark. Very forgiving for props and effects. If for no other reason, this thing is worth watching for a damn good, deep down belly laugh.” Rio, HorrorNews.net

Choice dialogue:

“My God this is happening like it does in the movies!”

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Filming locations:

Fresno, California

Wikipedia

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