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80 of 82 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic TV horror from the 1970's
I saw this series when it first came out and if there have been any re-runs I have missed them. There are only 6 episodes, plus an extra "Murrain" from another series. The first one, 'Baby' is the one I most remember and one particular image from this episode has stayed with me ever since. A vet and his pregnant wife move into a new home in the countryside. They find an...
Published on 30 Jun 2006 by I. R. Kerr

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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not an unqualified success, but well worth a look
1976 anthology series Beasts isn't one of the great Nigel Kneale's finest achievements despite some typically strong dialogue ("Misunderstanding can be so much more dangerous than ignorance," "One's offspring are a distorting mirror: they mock one with themselves, I have to remember I am not THAT"), but it does show there were more strings to his bow than just...
Published on 14 Oct 2009 by Trevor Willsmer


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21 of 33 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not very inspiring I'm afraid., 14 Jun 2007
By 
All of them Witches (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Beasts - The Complete Series [DVD] [1976] (DVD)
A rather disappointing anthology in my opinion. Six independent stories of varying quality with not enough substance to recommend purchasing.

The first story Baby has already been well described here and whilst good it ends rather abruptly for me. It is also not really clear what the 'thing' at the end actually is, it tells you in the production notes but there is no way you would have known otherwise so whilst leaving things to ones imagination is good, on occasion you have to be slightly more explicit about what you are attempting to portray if you want viewers to 'get it'

The second story 'Buddyboy' about the spirit of a vengeful dolphin is ok but seriously marred by an irritating female lead whose character and acting are unconvincing; on top of an unconvincing plot this does not make for entertaining viewing.

Number 3 is 'The Dummy' which I quite enjoyed concerning a depressed actor who becomes 'possessed' by the creature he is playing in a horror production. The scenes where the police are involved are ridiculous though. TWO coppers turn up in response to a 999 call that there is a wild animal loose on a film set that has killed someone. The sergeant insists (twice!) on confronting the 'creature'/rescuing someone ALONE whilst the PC is just seen feebly standing around and at one point half attempting (and failing) in letting a woman walk past him and confront the deranged actor from the other door. Very unrealistic but not too bad over all if you can ignore the massive plot holes.

Special Offer is next about a poltergeist in a supermarket. Pauline Quirke puts in a good performance but it's hard to convey terror with a series of scenes of baked bean tins falling off shelves and bags of flour exploding. Not bad.

What Big Eyes is rubbish. Very dull, unimaginative nothing actually happens in this. The writer and director forgot to insert anything actually taking place in this as they were too busy with the characterisation and dialogue. Very lame ending as well.

The last one is 'During Barty's Party' concerning a couple trapped in their house by a horde of (unseen) super rats! It's quite good but again seems to end prematurely when the ideas have been exhausted as to what to do next. A really annonying element I found through all of them was how volatile a lot of the relationships were. It was if the characters are perpetually in a rage over the slightest incident or comment; this really grates after a while and you wonder why in the stories the other person would put up with continually being spoken to like this.

Anyway, for your money you get 2 quite good, 3 tolerable and 1 rubbish. Even the 2 quite good aren't enough to justify this and having watched them once I have no desire to do so again.
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4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Deliciously dark offering from Kneale, 26 Sep 2007
By 
Mr. C. J. Iredale "juxtapose" (London Town) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Beasts - The Complete Series [DVD] [1976] (DVD)
Another wonderful series from the pen of Nigel Kneale, Beasts was initially shown back in 1976, and made by ATV in Birmingahm. The series deals with the macabre, each using the relationship between man and differing animals, or if you will, Beasts. They range from the bizaar (a haunted Swimming Pool) to the fear of rats, this sets a standard of excellence and keeps it. There is not a single duffer here, and to top it, there is an extra, also penned by Nigel Kneale about witchcraft.

All filmed on videotape rather than film, the colours are sometimes a bit gaudy (what can one expect after such a long period of time), but the acting is always excellent (Pauline Quirk especially), resulting in an outstanding series and a dvd certainly worth owning if this genre is your thing.

Nigel Kneale (for those not in the know) wrote some of the most outstanding, challenging and entertaining television in the last 50 years, and can be argued the father of British Sci Fi (due to his not unconsiderable tales of Professor Quatermass). This is another classic and deserves to be seen by one and all, especially if you like a little terror and psycho-drama.

Stop messing about; this sbould be bought on a daily basis! go on. this is a work of a brain who will be viewed as a litiary classic in future. Cheers!
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4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Has two outstanding episodes, 9 Sep 2007
This review is from: Beasts - The Complete Series [DVD] [1976] (DVD)
As other reviewers have pointed out, not all the episodes on this DVD set are of the same high quality. However, I feel that two of them - BABY and DURING BARTY'S PARTY - are brilliant. Both rely on suggestion rather than special effects, using the viewer's imagination (if he/she has one) to conjure up terrors far more effective than cheap shocks shown on screen. BABY echoes Kneale's theme in QUATERMASS AND THE PIT to some extent, with a dead and buried artefact exerting a malign influence. BARTY is done almost like a radio play, using sound particularly effectively.

None of the other episodes comes close to these in "scariness". However, SPECIAL OFFER is also effective for an excellent performance from Pauline Quirke and its parallels with CARRIE in exploring the mind of a teenage misfit. Some others have enjoyed BUDDYBOY, WHAT BIG EYES and THE DUMMY but, for me, these episodes don't really come off. MURRAIN (a one-off play included in the set but not part of the BEASTS series) is undoubtedly clever and I plan to watch this again when I'm in a more receptive mood.

I reckon that the discs (which aren't expensive) are worthwhile even if only for the two episodes mentioned at the start. I would definitely recommend them.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Light chiller dramas, 4 Jan 2012
By 
Marcia "marcia" (england) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Beasts - The Complete Series [DVD] [1976] (DVD)
Beasts is an interesting DVD set of all of the episodes that made up this British TV series from 1976. The Set also includes another bonus story that had appeared in another series the year before by the same writer and with a similar style.
I had forgotten about this series. In fact I remembered the series Thriller from the mid 1970s very well and was convinced that one story in that series was about a mummified creature being found hidden in a wall of an old house. I bought the DVD set of Thriller and after watching every episode realised that that episode did not belong to that series. After a little research I found that it was in fact an episode from this series called Beasts.
I have now watched the entire series and although I had forgotten the existence of this series, I realised I did remember some of the other episodes as well.
The best thing about this series is the writing by Nigel Kneale. There are some excellent ideas here. I did feel that this series probably seemed better back in 1976. I found this series sadly dated in terms of the way the excellent stories were interpreted through limited sets and direction by Nicholas Palmer. All of which is the result of a poor budget.
Disc one begins with The Baby,(the story I had been looking for,) "The Baby" was by far the best story anyway. This still felt creepy today. However there a couple of other stories that were quite good.
In the second story the basic plot seems like an interesting idea. There is an old broken down pool that is being haunted by a Dolphin. Sadly I didn't care for this second story at all. In fact I found it quite boring. But the series is dated and this episode proved this point with limited sets and endless dialogue. The plot moved slowly and even the acting skills of Martin Shaw couldn't make up for the poor dialogue and gloomy set.
Episode three seems to have been popular with some reviewers. I felt that this story about an actor who becomes possessed by the character he is playing as he goes through a breakdown had some very good drama in the script. But again the poor direction in terms of camera angles, sets and effects let the story down a little, However I liked the way there was a deliberate mockery of the sort of Hammer Horror stories with the guy in the monster suit, even if it was embarrassingly silly.
Disc two was not so bad. The first story stars Pauline Quirke in a story where a poltergeist haunts a small supermarket. This story had a limited set two, but since a lot of supermarkets really were that small in 1976 and all the action takes place in it, the story still works. Then the second story about a scientist who tries to turn himself into a wolf was good in terms of concept but I felt its production was dated again. I also would have liked a more developed ending. The final story where a couple are trapped in the house by a horde of rats did work well despite the fact we never see the rats.
The extra story called Murrain was actually quite good too.
Generally if you view this series as if you were living in 1976 it is very good indeed. However you may find it hard not to notice how dated the production is. But the whole series is worth watching at least once.
There are some strong ideas and good writing. It is also interesting to look at the series as an example of the sort of things that was around in the mid 1970s. There are some famous faces and there is a lot of light entertainment here.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great christmas present, 18 Nov 2012
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This review is from: Beasts - The Complete Series [DVD] [1976] (DVD)
Bought this for my Step Dad as a christmas present and he loved it. Great for someone who loves a bit of really bad classic horror. It's all their and it will scare the little ones but crack up the older ones.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Absolute tosh, 7 Jun 2014
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This review is from: Beasts - The Complete Series [DVD] [1976] (DVD)
TV in the seventies must have been dire if we sat down to watch this stuff.
The dialogue is terrible enough but in the hands of wooden acting and ham-fisted directing this becomes almost funny (almost but not quite)
Where there is a good idea buried in the plot (such as in Baby) the writer just cannot get the mileage out of the idea and the rotten acting just completely defeats a potentially great story.
As a museum piece, entertaining bt six in a row is too much, even for a rainy afternoon.
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8 of 18 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars hit and miss horror series., 3 Sep 2006
By 
Mr. A. E. Ward Davies (Canterbury , England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Beasts - The Complete Series [DVD] [1976] (DVD)
the idea of horrific incidents being only suggested rather shown, is all very well but it doesn't always work unless it is done properly.

in this instance, the results are mixed. there isn't enough in the way of brooding menace or a creepy atmosphere. the pace of each programme is too slow.

however, at least there is more concentration on the script and characterization. i always welcome those qualities. an interesting cast pull out all the stops to bring the dialogue to life, but more incident is sorely needed.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow, great horror UK TV, 16 Sep 2010
By 
Terence Tan Co "tetsuo79" (Vancouver) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Beasts - The Complete Series [DVD] [1976] (DVD)
Great stuff, as the title says, also has an extra ep by Nigel Kneale from a different show(which escapes me as I write). Great DVD.
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4 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Sadly disappointing., 20 Aug 2007
By 
M. P. OKeefe "martinphilipokeefe" (London, England.) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Beasts - The Complete Series [DVD] [1976] (DVD)
I was expecting a lot more from 'Beasts' after its generally good reviews and cult following but I think a lot of people but must be remembering it from when they were young in the 1970s. Sometimes it's good to leave things to the imagination but personally I feel that far too much is left to the imagination. Unfortunately I think the pay offs at the end of the episode aren't big enough, and the explanations left in the air for the viewer to interpret to an extent. For me this just wasn't enough.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 70s drama, 2 Oct 2013
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This review is from: Beasts - The Complete Series [DVD] [1976] (DVD)
cant believe it 27 years since it was first shown it seam tame this time round but still great viewing a future star in Pauline quirk has great acting skills back then too
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Beasts - The Complete Series [DVD] [1976]
Beasts - The Complete Series [DVD] [1976] by Pamela Moiseiwitsch (DVD - 2006)
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