Guest Review-Thomas Berdinski-Don’t Let the Riverbeast Get You!


Thomas Berdinski-il diretto, writer and producer of low budget indies “The Italian Zombie Movie”, “The Giant Rubber Monster Movie” and “Noirmageddon – A Mark Anvil Thriller”


I have to start this review of “Don’t Let the Riverbeast Get You” with a couple of confessions:

1) I like to go into movies without a lot of background, so I had no idea that the “Riverbeast” was by the makers of “Freaky Farley” until I started to recognize the cast about 10 minutes in, and;

2) I didn’t know what to make of “Freaky Farley” when I saw it a year or so ago. I wasn’t sure what the filmmakers were going for in that one. Was it supposed to be funny, scary, both, neither? The sensibilities of the script were too childlike to be scary, and it wasn’t funny enough to be a comedy. I just had no idea what experience the filmmakers were going for. Sadly, when it was over I felt like it just wasn’t very good.

So, last week as I watched “Riverbeast”, I was initially concerned when I started to recognize the “Freaky Farley” cast but that QUICKLY changed. “Riverbeast” was clearly tongue-in-cheek from the very get-go. The title alone lets you know you’re entering b-movie territory. You see the appropriately cheesy monster right off the bat and you know this isn’t something to take seriously. There is no confusion this time. You’re ready for something funny in a b-movie world. (Hopefully, when you put the movie in that’s what you’re in the mood for. If not, put it away until you are.)

A parade of unusually quirky characters follows, played by a range of actors; some pretty good, some not good but cast that way on purpose, I believe. Given surreal plot situations and inane dialog to deliver that makes you think it was written by a junior high kid, the actors play it as straight as anyone could. This gives the movie the tone of that classic homage to 50’s sci-fi “The Lost Skeleton of Cadavara” (and if you haven’t seen that one by Larry Blamire, you’re really missing out!) I’m not saying “Riverbeast” as quite good as that one, but the filmmakers were channeling a similar muse, I think. And it worked. The humor starts off just mild but builds slowly and surely until that moment when the local prep school tutors have their band back together and they’re singing “We’re all havin’ fun doin’ the River Mud Shuffle”, and you find yourself laughing out loud (and playing it again and again!)

One good thing about “Riverbeast” is it has me wanting to go back and take another look at “Freaky Farley”. These two movies take place in the same surreal world. Now that the sensibilities of this world have been fleshed out for me, I might enjoy it. In any event, I did enjoy “Riverbeast” a lot and highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys Larry Blamire’s humorous homages. LET the Riverbeast get you – You won’t be sorry!


Be ready…coming soon