An alien spaceship is hit by a meteor. The ship crash lands on Earth near the small town of Perry Hall, Maryland. A hideous creature escapes from the ship before it explodes. Some nearby hunters see the explosion and go to check it out. Sheriff Cinder (Tom Griffith) is also notified of the explosion. He gathers some men and calls his deputy, Lisa Kent (Karin Kardian). They head out in the direction of the fireball. When the hunters reach the area, they are zapped by the alien’s laser style gun.
Shortly after that a man pulls over to take a leak. With him are his niece and nephew. The man gets mauled by the alien. The two kids run away. Nearby the alien comes to a house where a man and a woman are necking on the couch. The woman hears noises outside. When they check it out, they run into the alien and are killed. The two kids see this and run back to the car. The alien zaps the kids and the car, vaporizing all three.
By now the sheriff and his posse reach the area and the alien. They are one by one zapped by the alien’s ray gun. The men shoot back but bullets have no effect. By the end of the shootout only three people are left, Sheriff Cinder, Deputy Lisa and a man named Jamie Lambert (Jamie Zemarel).
The next day they regroup. Jamie brings in a sharpshooter that manages to shoot the ray gun out of the alien’s hand, but not before another person is vaporized. The alien takes off, but it is still dangerous. With sharp claws and teeth, it resorts to killing by disemboweling, tearing open arteries and ripping off heads.
Sheriff Griffith orders that the town be evacuated. Mayor Bert Wicker (Richard Dyszel) is expecting Governor Embry (Richard Ruxton) and is planning a reception for him. Bert ignores the sheriff’s order. Jamie manages to break up the festivities. Everyone leaves except Mayor Bert and his secretary Mary Jane (Eleanor Herman), much to their demise.
The alien manages to continue his rampage killing everyone he comes across. With the population of Perry Hall dwindling, Cinder and Jamie need to find a vulnerability in the alien that they can exploit to destroy the monster.
“Nightbeast” was released in 1982 and was written and directed by Don Dohler. It is a science fiction horror film and a sort of remake of his alien run amok movie “The Alien Factor” 1979. Many of the same actors reprised their roles from the original film, most of them friends and family.
Some of the special effects are surprisingly decent, especially considering the low budget. The acting still sucks but the mayhem is non-stop. The big draw to the film is some added nude scenes, a sex scene and a massive death count, much of it gory. At least 27 people were killed in one way or another. Most of these were additional scenes added to pad the film enough to make it a feature length movie and turning it into a cult favorite and enough for the film to make Britain’s video nasty list.
J. J. Abrams wrote the music for the film. He was fifteen or sixteen at the time. Abrams lived in Los Angeles at the time, so he mailed the tapes to Dohler in Maryland.