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Bad Movie Tuesday: Winterbeast (1986 or 1992, who knows?), a wacktastic, very low budget B-movie loaded with stop-motion monsters.

August 3, 2021

MY CALL: If you love really bad b-movies with stop-motion monsters, then this nonsense is for you!  MORE MOVIES LIKE Winterbeast: The Alien Factor (1978) feels similarly bad and diverse in its creatures. The Strangeness (1985) likewise features some great stop-motion monster fare.

From IMDB: “People are being killed off near a popular mountain lodge, with a legend claiming that the mountain is haunted by a deadly Native American demonic curse.”

Hoooooly shit. Okay, so “scene 1” of this clunky B-movie lets you know from its first line reading that it’s terrible. But it also lets you know from its first creature effects that it’s deliciously terrible as some sort of stop-motion skinless tentacle monster flails about while some possessed mutant peels away a bleeding chunk of flesh from his ribcage. Why does this all happen, you may ask? Haven’t a clue. Next scene! Now a diminutive wheezing skull is chest-bursting out of some guy for about 10 seconds. Why? Screw it! Next scene! Okay now a few dialogue scenes incoherently spewing exposition that doesn’t seem to be leading anywhere. Yeah, this movie is special and I already like it! This is the most wonderful kind of bad.

I’ve got to admit, I love the bad movie charm of some wonky stop-motion critters. A stop-motion giant tree-man stalks some topless woman, then grabs her (she’s now a poorly rendered clay woman) through the window like King Kong and slams her against the house. Then a bug-eyed troglodyte-sasquatch bursts from the ground and drags two women away to their presumed rape-y demise. And a giant four-armed stop-motion alien(?) grabs a man (now another laughable clay figure) and rips off his little clay head. Oh, and a “mummy” rises from a “grave” in the middle of the woods somewhere in the United States. So a lot of sense is being made, for sure.

I’m not complaining or anything, but this movie just keeps giving us little vignettes of stop-motion monsters killing and abducting people interspersed with relatively meaningless lumbering scenes of a few park rangers searching for the missing people. Apparently these are all Native American Gods, totems or monsters of sort punishing people through a curse. The plot is inane, and the delivery is beyond incomprehensible. At one point we see what I can only describe as a spastic Dungeons & Dragons “ogre mage.”

The editing is atrocious and, as warned before the film started, portions of this movie were filmed years apart (and in some cases, with different actors playing the same character or the same actor with very different haircuts cutting back and forth mid-dialogue!). Mid-conservation you’ll see someone walk outside in daylight, then turn around and continue their conversation but the next cut… it’s clearly at night! Ed Wood would proud of the scrappy dedication it took to cobble this Frankensteinian set of 1986 and 1989 shots into a marginally passable B-movie, which even features what I can only describe as an awkwardly long, melancholy-slow, macabre dance number.

If you wanted so bad it’s good, you’ve positively found it. This is solid gold bad movie fodder. Strongly recommended especially to fans of stop-motion monsters.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. August 6, 2021 10:24 pm

    You sold me with your opening sentence.

    • John Leavengood permalink
      August 6, 2021 10:29 pm

      Even if you couldn’t read, the image stills and gif are priceless.

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