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Nightbeast (1982) - Blu-ray Review

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Nightbeast (1982)

Emerging from deep space, an alien craft skims and skips across the night sky.  The campers below see it burst into flames as it comes crashing into the woods nearby.  Startled, they grab their shotguns and go out to see what the hell it was that crashed.  Only the alien, armed with a deadly disintegrator, has the upper hand and starts blasting away, wiping the poor men out of existence itself.  So much for the weekend getaway!

"Everything about Nightbeast is badass.  From the faux Jaws-like “everybody out of the water!” scene (here, it is a pool) to the arm-ripping attacks"


Don Dohler’s regional films, as amateurish as they are, are damn cool lo-fi productions full of passion and imagination.  Nightbeast, being a sequel or a remake of Dohler’s own The Alien Factor is now available on blu-ray thanks to the fine folks at Vinegar Syndrome.  In it, one small town sheriff must save local residents from an alien intruder who is armed with a deadly ray gun that erases men, women, kids, and cars from total existence.  It’s an all-out war for the residents of Perry Hall, Maryland!  Will things ever be the same again?! {googleads}

If Lloyd Kauffman can claim writer/director James Gunn for giving him his start, then Dohler gets the credit for giving J.J. Abrams his start.  After all, Abrams, after being an avid fan of Dohler’s Cinemagic magazine, got the chance to score this film for the director and, as we already know, the rest is history.  But, yeah, just like Corman before him, Dohler had his mentees and Nightbeast, appearing in 1982, greatly benefits from the tapes that Abrams, living in Los Angeles at the age of 16, sent Dohler to use as the film's soundtrack.

Written by Dohler and featuring performances from his Alien Factor go-to crew of Tom Griffith, Jamie Zemarel, Karin Kardian, George Stover, and Don Leifert, Nightbeast is made memorable thanks to the disintegrating effects of the alien’s gun AND the actual design of the alien itself by John Dods (who would later go on to do effects for X-Files, Ghostbusters II, and Alien Resurrection). Wet and slimy, the alien’s thick skin is tough to pierce and those rows and rows of sharp teeth are definitely threatening.  The gore effects, with lots of scenes of gushing effects, are quite gnarly, making this science fiction treatment of horror all sorts of cool for bone-hungry gorehounds.Nightbeast (1982)

Of course, Nightbeast was ridiculed upon its release.  No critic could appreciate its shoddy B-movie marvel and alien sheen.  The B-grade (or C or D) film; however, is having the last laugh, being featured in Panos Cosmatos' 2018 film Mandy and earning a dynamic cult following due to Dohler’s growing fanbase in the recent years.  His influence in independent filmmaking is only growing; too bad he’s not around to witness it.

Everything about Nightbeast is badass.  From the faux Jaws-like “everybody out of the water!” scene (here, it is a pool) to the arm-ripping attacks, Nightbeast continues to deliver a solid flick of beer-guzzling fun!  The film is now available with a special limited edition embossed slipcover that is designed by Earl Kessler Jr. and, unfortunately, the release is limited to 3,000 units.  It is only available for purchase at

Get yours NOW before it is too late!

5/5 beers

Nightbeast (1982)


Blu-ray Details:

Special limited edition embossed slipcover (designed by Earl Kessler Jr.) limited to 3,000 units

Home Video Distributor: Vinegar Syndrome Exclusive
Available on Blu-ray
- May 23, 2019
Screen Formats: 1.33:1
: English SDH
English: DTS-HD Master Audio Mono
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; two-disc set; DVD
Region Encoding: Locked to Region A

Armed with a brand new 2k restoration of its 16mm camera original, Nightbeast looks all sorts of crisp and crackling-like.  The film is thing of lo-fi beauty.  The region free Blu-ray/DVD combo looks incredible.  Black levels are consistent and so, too, are the colors.  The new 1080p transfer is crisp with defined edges. Colors are vivid and fine details are noticeable. Skin tones are warm. Occasionally, the red tones overcompensate in some areas, but a sharp-looking release nonetheless. This was filmed in the daylight, so keep that in mind as the detail in the woods is nice.  The faithful English DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 track is an incredible accompaniment to the feature.



  • Included with the release is an audio commentary from writer/director Don Dohler & actor George Stover.

Special Features:

Featuring an interview with visual effects artist John Ellis, this release is indeed a treat for fans of regional filmmaking.  This release has a showcase of bloopers and outtakes, a visual effects gallery, and the original trailer.  Also included is an interview with actor Jamie Zemarel, cinematographer Richard Geiwitz, and archival interviews with the cast and the crew. 

  • An Electric Performance
  • Crashing the Set
  • Shooting the Nightbeast
  • Nightbeast Returns
  • Outtakes & Bloopers
  • Visual FX Gallery
  • Original Theatrical Trailer

Blu-ray Rating:

  Movie 5/5 stars
  Video  4/5 stars
  Audio 3/5 stars
  Extras 4/5 stars

Overall Blu-ray Experience

4/5 stars


Nightbeast (1982) Blu-ray

MPAA Rating: R.
80 mins
: Don Dohler
Don Dohler
Tom Griffith, Jamie Zemarel, Karin Kardian
: Horror
His Hands Tear Through Flesh and Bone!
Memorable Movie Quote: "Don't call me Bertie."
Theatrical Distributor:
Amazing Film Productions
Official Site:
Release Date:
November 1982
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
May 23, 2019
Synopsis: Amidst a dazzling meteor shower, the Nightbeast lands near a small East Coast town, armed with his vaporizing ray gun and a goal of killing everyone who crosses his path. As area residents are blasted to smithereens, the local sheriff and an ever dwindling group of survivors become determined to figure out a way to defeat this fearsome alien before their entire community is wiped out.


Nightbeast (1982) Blu-ray

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