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…
There 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!
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.
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