Monday, June 9, 2014

The Being, Always Check the Back Seat

Cardinal Rule #5 of avoiding a grisly death is "Always check the backseat before getting in the car."  In Idaho's most famous monster movie, a majority of the deaths could have been avoided by obedience to this piece of wisdom of the ages.  1983's "The Being" features a slimy humanoid creature, which used to be a young boy until a nuclear waste plant was put in Pottsville, Idaho.  As our cryptic narrator explains, "Ultimate terror has taken form and Pottsville, Idaho will never be the same."  This movie features Martin Landau, Jose Ferrer, Ruth Buzzi, and Dorothy Malone who have significant roles, not just cameos.
The plot: A young boy playing in a junk yard runs from some creature.  As he attempts to drive away, the Being emerges from the back seat and pulls the boy's head off.  Cut away to a drive-in.  Unbeknownst to an amorous teen-aged couple, the Being has sneaked into their car.  As they start displaying extreme affection toward each other, the Being emerges from the back seat and shreds them.  The Being also goes to a neighboring auto and rips the head off of a pot smoking redneck.  This is when our lazy hero shows up, Sheriff Lutz (Rexx Coltrane) and finds that a sticky green slime has been left at all of the crime scenes. Garson Jones (Landau), a government cover-up specialist arrives and assures everyone that dumping radioactive waste into the drinking water poses no threat to citizens.  He also diverts media attention to the dangers of pornography and urges everyone in town to join Ruth Buzzi's (the mayor's wife) campaign to keep smut out of Pottsville.
Sheriff Lutz, the boring, can't get the mayor (Jose Ferrer) to authorize an investigation into a radioactive-humanoid-slime-creature because the mayor does not want to jeopardize Pottsville's ability to export potatoes. Even after Lutz is almost killed by the Being in his own home, he still can't convince the mayor to buy off on a hunt.  Lutz then warns his main squeeze, a diner waitress named Laurie (Marianne Gordon) not to leave the diner before he gets there to walk her home.  She advises him that she gets off at 7:30 pm.  Unfortunately for Laurie, Lutz needs his beauty sleep and doesn't wake from his nap until midnight.  When he arrives, the two are then attacked by the Being  They both survive, and the Being escapes.  The Being then rips off Ruth Buzzi's head and shreds three anti-pornography protesters.  As Lutz joins forces with Jones, Laurie meets up with Marge (Dorothy Malone).  Marge tells Laurie that her son, who was reported missing after playing near the nuclear waste site, is the creature.
As Marge discovers the green slime in Marge's house, Lutz and Jones confront the Being, twice in the backseat of Lutz's vehicle.  The final confrontation is a bloody one with the big toothed Being always on the offense.  Will the lethargic and boring sheriff be able to generate enough oomph to fight this Being?  Is Garson Jones a metaphor for our government's desire to deceive and poison us?  Can the beautiful Laurie do any better than some bozo who shows up at a date almost five hours late?  "The Being" is fun, well acted, and the creature is cool.  Next time you eat a potato from Idaho, keep this flick in mind.  Remember, the U.S. Government claims the potatoes you eat are not radioactive.   


  1. How does one become a "government cover-up specialist?" Is there a formal application process and, if so, what is the GS level for such a thing?

  2. I rember this moive when it was first released. It was in the local movie theather for about two weeks before they pulled it. I think I rember some tv spots for it two. I did howver she a movie tariler for this moive in some DVD extras one time. I have not seen this movie as of yet.