Film Review: Flesh for the Beast (2003)

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SYNOPSIS:

Six parapsychologists investigate a reputed haunted mansion and are set upon by three flesh-eating succubus ladies under the control of the sinister warlock owner bent on finding a mysterious amulet to give himself more power.

REVIEW:

The basic premise of Flesh for the Beast is fairly simple and straightforward. A group of parapsychologists (a.k.a. ghost hunters) show up at a spooky old house at the request of the owner, John Stoker. He wants them to discover whatever it is that is haunting his house, for which he will pay them top dollar. The team has just lost their funding and is more than happy to take on the new job. As the movie goes on, we quickly recognize a pattern; team member finds strange girl in the house, girl giggles and takes her clothes off, team member and strange girl have sex, strange girl turns into demon/monster/zombie creature and tears the team member apart. Over and over. For two-thirds of the movie.

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In case the title didn’t give it away, taking a closer look at the film would have surely tipped you off. Right there, under the listing for writer and director is the name Terry West. He is also the director of such classics as The Sexy Sixth Sense, Witchbabe: The Erotic Witch Project 3, and The Lord of the G-Strings: The Femaleship of the String. Now you have a better idea of what you’re in for with this clunker. Although, I will give West credit; it isn’t until right about the thirty minute mark that we get our first glimpse of gratuitous nudity. And up until then, it seems like there might be a salvageable story lying deep within the far reaches of Flesh for the Beast. It’s not all just naked girls, though. There is a story involved, it is just unfortunately too little, too late.

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According to the backstory that Mr. Stoker gives the team (which includes Clark Beasley Jr. in the role of the leader, Ted, as well as a character named Jack Ketchum and one named Martin Shelly, played by Michael Sinterniklaas, better known as Dean Venture of The Venture Bros.), the house used to belong to Albert Fisher. Back then, it was widely known as a brothel, with a little bit of pagan ritual on the side (which explains the later sex. Well, kind of?). We see Mr. Fisher (played by Aldo Sambrell of Sergio Leone/Italian Westerns fame in a nice cameo role) in a flashback as he attempts to buy an amulet from a gypsy (another great cameo, played by former Bond girl Caroline Munro, who also appeared in Jess Franco’s Faceless). He then kills her, unleashing who knows what upon himself and his home.

Since that murder, a handful of women, as well as a number of unexplained zombies, still reside in the house, causing enough of a disturbance to warrant a call in to the ghost hunters. The women appear to be mostly Terry West regulars, including Barbara Joyce as Irene and Ruby Larocca (who also starred in the underrated Porkchop) as Cassandra. They each have essentially the same role to play. They appear in a random room alongside one of the ghost hunting team and act quirky while seducing him, apparently using knowledge of the man’s fantasies in their lead-ups. They then turn into monsters (i.e. an ugly creature-type mask appears on their faces) and kill the man with whom they just shared an intimate moment. Of these, the most exciting is when Cassandra uses a voodoo doll on Klegg, squeezing the doll in her hand as his intestines choke up through his mouth. Oh, and we can’t forget the all-girl, all-naked, trippy blood orgy later on.

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It’s not that Flesh for the Beast is utterly horrible. It’s just that it isn’t very good. At the beginning, as they try and set the scene with a flashback, many viewers may giggle to themselves as I did while thinking that the whole thing looks a lot like Don’t, the (fake) movie for which Edgar Wright made a fake trailer and put between Death Proof and Planet Terror. I can always go for a good haunted house movie, but this one focuses less on the scares and more on the naked girls and gore. Speaking of which, the gore isn’t too bad. Lots of entrails torn from victims, as usual, and these ladies seem to enjoy the intestines as much as your typical Hollywood zombie would. A couple scenes of pure blood-drenched fun are snuck into the film. But much like the fact that the girls want to have sex with everyone, the blood and gore in Flesh for the Beast is often overdone seemingly for the sake of having more gore in there.

Flesh for the Beast (2003)

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About seanofthedead

Sean has had a few short stories published and a few punk records recorded. If you watch a horror movie with him, he'll drive you crazy connecting the actors to their other movies and dropping useless bits of trivia. He thinks the Exorcist III is by far the superior film of the franchise, and believes Braindead was more deserving of an Oscar than Lord of the Rings.

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