Exclusive images/info: new “BEAST WITHIN” Blu-ray/documentary
Fans all over the world love Philippe Mora’s THE BEAST WITHIN, and we just got the full intel on a new Blu-ray of the transformational cult favorite coming out overseas, with exclusive screen shots from the extras.
The disc will be released August 2 in Japan, and Edwin Samuelson, who produced and directed the half-hour documentary supplement “Within THE BEAST WITHIN: An Oral History,” tells us, “It will be region-free, so it can be viewed anywhere, and will have a new HD transfer with English and Japanese-language options. The extras include a trailer, radio spots, a comprehensive still gallery that runs 15 minutes with over 150 images, including star Paul Clemens’ personal behind-the-scenes photos, Mora’s original storyboards and numerous other rare promotional materials.” Samuelson’s docu, created exclusively for this release, features interviews with Mora (1st photo below), Clemens (2nd photo), screenwriter Tom Holland (3rd photo) and makeup FX artist Tom Burman (4th photo).
“This is the first project from my new production company Samuelson Studios,” says the filmmaker, who has been shooting interviews for various video labels for nearly a decade, including Brian De Palma for Shout! Factory’s upcoming PHANTOM OF THE PARADISE, Alejandro Jodorowsky for Severin Films’ SANTA SANGRE, Jeff Bridges for the UK release of HEAVEN’S GATE and Jean Reno for the Brit edition of LEON: THE PROFESSIONAL. “I was really excited to work on BEAST, as I’m a big fan of Tom Holland’s work and was familiar with the movie from seeing it on TV in my youth. I remember being surprised by how graphic and violent it was, especially for a major-studio film. And how often do you see so many excellent and respected character actors—Ronny Cox, L.Q. Jones, Don Gordon, R.G. Armstrong, etc.—in a film where a woman is raped by a giant cicada-man…and that’s just in the first few minutes!”
Brought onto the project fairly late in the game, Samuelson shot and edited “Within THE BEAST WITHIN” in just two weeks. “My goal was to make an informative, respectful and well-rounded piece that addressed everything from the writing of the script to the shoot to the release,” he says. “I’m not really a fan of making-of pieces produced during the filming or release, due to the participants being too close to the production and having to be careful what they say. As time passes, and there is more distance, you can usually get more honest observations. Holland and Burman were very up-front about their feelings on Mora’s handling of the transformation scenes, while Mora, on the other hand, is quite happy with how they turned out. I’m extremely pleased with the results, and Holland, Clemens and Mora have been very kind with their praise of the final outcome.”
So, apparently, have the Japanese producers, who have commissioned Samuelson to work on more upcoming genre special editions. “I can’t announce any titles yet, but there are several great ones I hope to pack with new extras,” he says. “As a fan of these movies, I’m proud to be able to get their creators on the record. The people who made the flicks I grew up on are getting older, and if their stories aren’t archived, we will lose them forever.” The Japanese BEAST WITHIN Blu-ray can be pre-ordered here.