review for The Being on AllMovie

The Being (1983)
by Donald Guarisco review

There were plenty of memorable rip-offs of Alien, but The Being is surely one of the most eccentric. It is further notable for being a total mess: the film lacks focus, has monster effects that are often downright goofy, and it is packed with subplots that never resolve themselves in a satisfying way. The Being also suffers from clumsy, ham-fisted pacing by director Jackie Kong and a leaden, noncharismatic lead performance by Rexx Coltrane (actually producer Bill Osco hiding behind a pseudonym). Thus, The Being can't really be recommended to the average viewer, but it has a few elements that are worthy of note for cinematic trash-fiends. The first is its surprisingly celeb-packed supporting cast: Martin Landau and Ruth Buzzi turn in agreeably hammy performances as obnoxious city pillars and José Ferrer is a real scene-stealer with his deadpan turn as the town's alcoholic mayor. It also boasts some deliberate flourishes of odd humor here and there, like the bizarrely trashy monster-movie footage shown during a drive-in sequence or a perplexing black-and-white nightmare that the hero has. These elements don't add up to consistently memorable or engaging schlock-movie experience, but The Being is memorable in its own brain-damaged sort of way. Ultimately, The Being is likely to baffle most viewers but B-movie fans might enjoy its oddball qualities.