Uh, It Attacks During the Day Too

Credit to the stranger who wrote Nightbeast’s plot description on IMDB. “A creature from outer space crash lands in a small town and starts killing people.” That’s… it. That’s the entire story. There is nothing else to tell.

Nightbeast doesn’t have grand aspirations. A ship crashes, the alien is loosed, and yes, begins killing people. For what reason isn’t known. Maybe because its mouth is stuck open, or because small town locals look delicious. Whatever the cause, numerous nobodies meet their end in a furious opening chapter. Before anyone has a name, a disintegration gun vaporizes the poor suckers. For almost 15-minutes, Nightbeast doesn’t bother with story or plot. Just guns. Laser guns, shotguns, handguns.

Nightbeast doesn’t bother with story or plot. Just guns

There’s nowhere to go afterward. At one point, Nightbeast turns into a hairy, late ‘70s softcore flick. Pointless nudity kills time between, well, kills. Subplots pile on, from a dopey local official running for reelection and a crude biker who beats women. Then the alien comes back, shuffling in shadows, gutting a few victims. That’s no-budget exploitation supreme, and its crummy, low-rent way, delightfully dorky.

Notable primarily for giving JJ Abrams his first on-screen movie credit, Nightbeast exists in that forgotten video store void. Shelf-filler, nothing more. Streaming services took those reigns, but hardly with the surly, ludicrous absurdity of a Nightbeast. It’s so raw and off-the-cuff, someone’s basement becomes a film set. Characters don’t matter. Acting is inessential. Plot depth is negated. For 80-minutes, Nightbeast just splatters blood with whatever footage the crew was able to capture.

In its own way, that’s good enough.

Nightbeast Blu-ray screen shot

Video

Shot on 16mm in 4:3, best guess is this master comes from a 35mm blow-up, now cropped to a 1.85:1 ratio. That doesn’t help things, leaving everything murky and hazy. There’s barely definition to speak of. Compression isn’t great either, barely above a DVD, making this a marginal boost from SD.

At the print level, dust and dirt persist, but fitting to the cheap grindhouse feel. Grain poorly resolves, but the source isn’t helping matters.

For what it is, decent color saturation pops out. Strong primaries load up the environments and clothing, even through a dusty haze. Laser beams and optical effects produce a steady glow. The best part of this transfer? Contrast and black levels. Both look full, giving dimension to Nightbeast.

Audio

Set expectations low. Real low. In Dolby Digital, the wandering clarity sounds every bit its budget (or lack thereof). Tin can-like dialog is intelligible, the best element of this soundtrack – which isn’t much credit. Music muffles treble, while the loose bass chugs along.

At least Nightbeast doesn’t suffer any significant damage, short of those caused by choppy edits.

Extras

John Ellis, VFX artist who worked on the opening miniatures, speaks about his work for 14-minutes. Lloyd Kaufman’s original DVD intro (and a new one for this Blu-ray) are included. Six minutes of outtakes follow. Actor/cinematographer Richard Geiwitz chats about his involvement for nearly 19-minutes. Afterward, archival interviews run 24-minutes. Director Don Dohler and actor George Stover pop in for a commentary too.

Full disclosure: This Blu-ray was provided to us for review. This has not affected the editorial process. For information on how we handle review material, please visit our about us page to learn more.

Nightbeast
  • Video
  • Audio
  • Extras
2

Movie

A space alien disembowels people throughout Nightbeast, which is the closest this one comes to a storyline.

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