DVD Review: Don't Let The Riverbeast Get You!

When I was little, I watched an endless parade of highly unbelievable but engrossing horror and monster movies. The list was endless and questionable: Toxic Avenger, Swamp Thing, King Kong vs. Godzilla, Rodan, Konga... What this said about my parents' propensity for using the television for extended babysitting sessions was one thing, the other important aspect of all this was the eventual sharpening of my instincts and ability to spot quality kitsch. I spent the better half of my weekend watching and dissecting Brain Damage Films' Don't Let the Riverbeast Get You! and I'm certainly glad I did.

The Riverbeast is like the strange but warmly familiar hybrid of your cast-off Return Of The Jedi Admiral Ackbar Halloween costume from 1983 and the Creature From The Black Lagoon. He appears only after (and a kindly narrator warns you of this previous to the movie's start) two quick bright red flashes on screen that could potentially send anyone prone to fits of epilepsy into a bit of a spiral.

You have your usual horror movie archetypes: the man that returns to his hometown after a long exile, his group of lifelong friends that will help him along during his journey, a woman who seemingly appears out of nowhere like a deus ex machina to help him locate a creature that is doling out destruction and terror in heaping tablespoons, and a final showdown that made us all cheer while scarfing down the last bowl of Orville Redenbacher.

Sure, I had a few complaints. The Riverbeast, while deadly to the townspeople, actually grew on us and we found ourselves cheering for him to decimate the entire population or at least most of the cast. The women were a bit too hypercritical, a few plot lines seemed to go nowhere, etc. But who the hell cares? The Riverbeast was afoot and he was getting ready to use his somewhat odd but still effective brand of movie monster terror to slow-walk his way right over your ass and own this movie.

I don't want to give away too many plot points, because honestly there aren't that many of them, but if you love goofy horror flicks and a good solid menace rising from your local waters, Don't Let The Riverbeast Get You! is worth a watch.

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