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Movie Review: Beast Within

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Beast Within is a cheap horror film from Germany that was made with American audiences in mind. Why do I say that? All of the characters are speaking in English when it is clearly not their first language. This likely indicates this wasn't targeted at the native population, but specifically for export to English-speaking countries with America being one of the big ones. I guess it doesn't much matter as I do not think speaking in their native language could save this movie.

Zombie movies are a dime a dozen these days. You can't go anywhere near the horror section at your local store or rental chain and not be inundated with all manner of zombie flicks both known and unknown. If you are discriminating with your zombie dollar, you will not want to bother with this one. On the other hand, if you have burned through everything else, this will fill the need although it is not necessarily a zombie film. It is more like an "infected" movie where the result could be described as zombie-like.

Alright, if you ignore the low budget production values, poor script, and poor acting, this movie is not all that bad. Of course, it is not all that good either. As I sat there watching it, I kept waiting for it to take that turn into either unbelievably bad territory or that realm of potentially good if they had more time and a better budget. Instead Beast Within moved along on autopilot.

It opens with a car crash, followed by some voiceover about a doctor and a controversial vaccine for H5N1, a.k.a. bird flu. We see the old man attacked by birds and killed. Jump ahead a little bit and we pick up with Robert (Philipp Danne), the doctor's grandson and a doctor himself. He is traveling to his grandfather's remote mansion with a few of his friends to take care of remaining business and perhaps party a little bit.

No sooner has he gotten back to town than he bumps into an old nemesis, a tattooed hot dog delivery guy. Not only that, he also runs into his old flame. Of course, one thing leads to another and the girls are invited out to the mansion for a little partying.

Fast forward to that night. The guys are drinking and looking around the place. The girls show up, there is a little more drinking and fooling around (of course). However, their fun cannot last long. Apparently there are still infected birds around and they get to pecking at the tattooed nemesis, turning him into a bird flu-infected zombie thing.

Infected guy heads to the mansion and mayhem ensues. Before you know it, the group of friends are barricaded indoors, one of their own infected, and more on the outside. Will they be able to survive the encounter? Only the night knows the answer!

That is about all there is to it. The biggest addition to the genre is the infection being a mutation of H5N1. If only they had thought a head a little bit they could have cashed in on H1N1. But who knew?

There really is nothing all that special here. The acting is poor, the screenplay is poor, there is no real depth to the story. Basically, only watch this if you have nothing else. It is not the worst film I have seen — heck, it isn't the worst I have seen in the past few days. That does not mean it should rank highly on anyone's list.

Bottom line. Directed by Wolf Wolff and written by Wolf Jahnke (that's a lot of Wolfs!), this movie fails to take flight while never imploding under ineptitude. It's just sort of there. I am sure if you wait long enough, it will pop up on the Syfy Channel.

Not Recommended.

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