WINTERBEAST (1991) – The Dungeon Review!

There were several movies from 1991 that were bad beyond belief; Black Demons, Xtro II: The Second Encounter, Brain Twisters and Voodoo Dawn to name a few. Sometimes there is a movie that is so incompetently made in every respect it has to be seen to be believed. An utterly nonsense plot, poorly filmed, inane dialog, clumsy continuity and hilariously hammy effects. Winterbeast is one such shoddily made film. Winterbeast would have very little redeeming value at all if it wasn’t for its poorly, although hysterically funny stop-motion animated creature segments. The film was allegedly shot in two days, which doesn’t surprise me at all. This film looks like it was shot in two days. Fans of badder than bad celluloid rejoice…Winterbeast roars amoung the worst!!

Sergeant Bill Whitman takes a post in a mountain town and has sent his rangers out to mark a safe hiking trail. One of the rangers disappears and Whitman asks for the assistance of Dave Sheldon owner of the Wild Goose Lodge. Sheldon laughs at the request to shut the lodge down or even warn his guests. The body count grows and everything points to a local Indian legend of the Chikura (I am guessing at the spelling). Apparently the area is built on a gateway to hell.

So if the area is built on the gateway to hell one would expect demons although only one of them actually looked like a demon. There is no rhyme or reason to these creatures! I did not include a picture of every beast but this will give you some idea of what to expect…

winterbeast9The Rangers find this totem pole that is holding someone’s skeletal remains. A sacrifice perhaps? A bad omen as it turns out.

winterbeast4There is just one shot of nudity but they make it count. A topless woman stands screaming making no attempt to move. Eventually this giant Tiki Monster finally picks her up and pulls her through the window and her ragdoll likeness is fully clothed. Continuity? We don’t need no stinking continuity!

winterbeast7Mutant Ewok!

winterbeast5Giant Chicken Monster!

winterbeast1Dinosaur?! Looks like a dinosaur to me and he bites this rangers head off.

winterbeast3This is Winterbeast…I think. He is the only creature in the film that actually looks like a demon.

Perspective shots were clearly a challenge. The creatures were supposed to be huge and most of the scenes that feature the monsters attacking use floppy rag dolls that really looked like hell! Every last one of these shots was a serious source of amusement!

There are so many continuity gaffs I couldn’t possibly point them all out. The lighting changes several times in a single scene. The acting is god-awful; particularly Sergeant Bill Whitman who has a habit of chuckling after the vast majority of his lines and is dry as a soda cracker otherwise. I am going to give Dave Sheldon the lodge owner an exemption. I certainly would not say Bob Harlow who plays Dave Sheldon is a good actor but at least he puts a little panache into it. I was almost shocked to see Winterbeast listed as his only film. The man was born to play B-movie weirdos! The scene where he puts on an old record and a clown mask and flits about a rotted corpse lounging in a chair is something else! I have no idea what this scene was about. We don’t know a thing about this character other than he wears ugly jackets and owns the lodge that his father and his father’s father owned. Turns out he is quite mental.

winterbeast6Dave Sheldon, owner of the Wild Goose Lodge having one of several unfriendly conversations with Sergeant Bill Whitman.

winterbeast2Dave Sheldon as it turns out is coo-coo.

winterbeast8Dave Sheldon in his clown mask. Lalalalala!

Winterbeast is a bad movie in every sense of the word; I really can not stress that enough. This film is not billed as a comedy and I don’t think it was intended as one. That said, unintentional or not, Winterbeast made me laugh several times and sometimes bloody hard too! There have been several 90s flicks that are no laughing matter, and have been unbearable to sit through. Winterbeast on the other hand thoroughly amused me with its crappiness and clunky campy creatures and that earns it a pass.

Dungeon Rating: 2.5/5

Directed By: Christopher Thies

Starring: Tim R. Morgan, Mike Magri, Charles Majka, Bob Harlow, Lissa Breer, Dori May Kelly, David Mica, Bill MacLeod, Chris Lenge

17 Responses to “WINTERBEAST (1991) – The Dungeon Review!”

  1. I think director Christopher Thies watched Equinox a few too many times.

  2. This is regularly on The Horror Channel in the UK. One time when I was bored I had a look brief watch and wanted quickly came to the same conclusion that you did: it is inept.

    • Really?!!! Wow! I can’t believe they show this anywhere never mind on a UK Horror channel!! I never heard of Winterbeast until I compiled my 1991 list!

      • They probably show it because it’s so cheap! There’s all sorts of rubbish on there but there is also the occasional gem like Pulse. The only thing that ruins it are the adverts!

  3. Good God almighty,I had forgotten all about this one! I remember a friend sending me a SLP dub of Winterbeast towards the end of my VHS tape trading mania. Your review perfectly captures the sense of fun crap this movie,which I think began filming in the 1970’s,is! The kind of cool yet sad stop motion effects make those in Crater Lake Monster look Oscar worthy by comparison. Ewwwww,Black Demons? Truly awful and directed by Umberto Lenzi!(Umberto,what happened?) Brain Twisters put me to sleep. I give you endless kudos for watching some of these gaggers from the 1990’s! Not fun,not fun at all! However,your reviews are!

    • Winterbeast’s crazy creatures tickled me with their poor execution. I have to give the film maker some credit though…I mean hey…they sure do provide a wide array of beasts! Lenzi made a few movies after Black Demons but this was his last horror. Granted Lenzi made all sorts of mediocre and outright awful films through the 80s, although I still have a few to see. Nonetheless…Black Demons was not the best horror title to end with! The 90s were all about sequels, sequels and more sequels!! Ever seen Violent Shit? I haven’t actually seen Violent Shit…but I did see Violent Shit 2. Talk about movies I wish I could unwatch!

      • I’m with you on Winterbeast’s line-up of creatures. Their heart was in the right place,but didn’t have the budget to match. Yep,poor Umberto,Black Demons was not the high point of his long career,and things sure started downhill for him in the 1980’s after making some darn enjoyable films in the ’60’s and ’70’s. I haven’t seen either of the Violent Shit films,and will steer clear of the second one now. Sounds like the only interesting thing is the title! Xtro 2 was as bad as they come. I kept thinking “I will never get that 90 or so minutes of my life back.” ; )

        • I don’t know if I should be admitting this but I actually liked XTRO so I was sort of looking forward to Part 2… 😦

          • Same here with Xtro,I liked it,too. Like you,it brought me to Xtro 2 with certain expectations. I thought probably a least a decent sequel. Sigh,afterwards I uttered those words which would become my mantra more often than not in the decade, “What happened?”

  4. Damn, that Tiki monster is awesome! and so is the bug-eyed bigfoot looking thing. I may have to watch this – I will keep my finger poised on the FF button and just watch the monsters.

    • If you have an appreciation for this sort of thing…dive right in! It sure did give me some hearty laughs!!

  5. Okay GG you gave this movie a 2.5 out of 5….Why not lower? Curious minds wanna know..what makes a 1 in your book…thanks…I also cannot believe the stop animation was made in just two days…(that seems like you said to be the only redeeming thing about the movie)

    • Anything that makes me laugh this hard gets a pass from me. Heck, most comedies don’t make me laugh like this film did. Sure it is inept but it is hilariously inept. I think the stop motion animation was from a school project or something…it was just the filler that was filmed in two days. I don’t really know the story thouh…I might have dreamed it. Movies I would give a ONE to…Violent Shit 2, The Hidden 2, Xtro 2 better yet…here is a slideshow of a whole bunch of horror films I failed…

  6. Sounds promising is a bad movie sort of way. Looks like they pull in parts of bad monster films from previous decades as well.

    • On a so bad it is good scale it is sort of epic. They spread the monster appearances out pretty evenly so you don’t get too restless during the talky bits. I am awfully fond of that tiki monster!

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