The Beast
October 2, 2001 1:15 PM   Subscribe

The Beast '88 movie about a tank commander and his crew during the Russian occupation of Afghanistan. Has anyone else seen it?
posted by mutagen (16 comments total)
I saw it on TV or HBO a few years back, was interested enough to watch it and didn't think it was too bad. Gives a Hollywood take on Afghanistan, which I trust about as far as I can throw. Still, a new perspective and one that illustrates what everyone was saying about a long land war there.

I'm surprised I couldn't find this on MeFi, maybe cause search is timing out and I had to use Google? Still, I've been watching for it and hadn't seen it go by so had to hunt down the title and link it myself.
posted by mutagen at 1:20 PM on October 2, 2001

Not a very interesting movie other than the always good George Dzundza.
posted by ljromanoff at 1:31 PM on October 2, 2001

I saw this rather recently, in fact, clicking through the various STARZ channels. I actually kinda dug it.
posted by solistrato at 1:38 PM on October 2, 2001

I actually thought it was a fairly strong drama that gave some insight into how people can fight for generation after generation.
posted by Phaedrus at 1:39 PM on October 2, 2001

I haven't seen The Beast but every time I hear 'northern Afghan rebels' I think of one of my favorite Bond flicks 'The Living Daylights'. In part of the movie Bond is in Soviet occupied Afghanistan and meets up with Afghan rebels. They even weave in the opium we have been hearing about lately.
posted by jasonshellen at 2:05 PM on October 2, 2001

Great soundtrack by Mark Isham. The soundtrack was available very briefly and went to the cutout bins almost immediately. I found a cassette of it in the 1-dollar bin a number of years ago. Good stuff! Any other Isham fans out there?
posted by Fley Mingmasc at 2:07 PM on October 2, 2001

Hollywood's take: Dirty Afganis fight dirty Soviet Tank creww led by dirty "Tankboy" over dirty desert landscape. One good part was how the Hind-D that was to pick them up instead ended up poisoned by the very same tankcrew. All in all not any good characters I gave a darn about. I was hoping for a killer sandstorm to cleans the film. I hope that the Afgans are more human that they were portraid in that film. I know the russians are. Thats Hollywood for you.

Three kings got the feel of a desert war right.
posted by Elim at 2:25 PM on October 2, 2001

i have foggy memories of it being an ok film...better russian-fights-with-the-people flick than that Red Scorpian with Dolf...and the part where the stranded by his commander russian lets the grenade fall to kill the wolves waiting to get him [he is tied up] was cool.
posted by th3ph17 at 2:47 PM on October 2, 2001

Is this the one where they light a fire under the stalled tank to get the crew to come out?
posted by OneBallJay at 2:51 PM on October 2, 2001

I think "The Siege" with Danziel was spookier after 9.11.01, the background data was pretty dead on, just a little too hollywood with bruce willis' character.
posted by malmec at 3:12 PM on October 2, 2001

Rambo was also in Afghanisatan, wasn't he? Rambo III maybe?
posted by cell divide at 3:44 PM on October 2, 2001

the reference to three kings should be taken a step further - the largely overlooked subplot of the iraqi resistance fighters is a clue as to what lies ahead for us. we cannot make the same mistake in afghanistan we made in iraq - the no fly zones do nothing for the innocents who rose up against saddam beneath them. they did nothing to stop their slaughter, and the sanctions surely starve them more than baghdad. the afghan people must know this - they will not be so quick to rise up against the taliban if they fear the same fate. we must go further this time, down the highways littered with burning vehicles to the heart of kabul.
posted by dzigavertov at 5:29 PM on October 2, 2001

The movie is available on DVD...I picked it up in China for about USD 4. It took a brave production company to make this years ago given that it revolves around a Russian Tank crew in a war few Americans at the time knew or understood clearly.

Seems pretty chilling to watch it now since the crew never seems very Russian given that they always speak English.

Afghanis are loyal to the their God, their clan, their tribe and then to their government in that order.

I sort of think Dune is a much better psychological profile of mujahadiin/Feydakin and Freman/ Afgani warriors.
posted by AsiaInsider at 6:50 PM on October 2, 2001


There is NO WAY I would travel over the road to Basra again, and trust me you wouldn't want to either.

FIFTY (50) Miles of dismembered bodies, If you would have saw it you'd either feel like me and every one I know who was there .. "disgust and shame", or you'd have to be psycotic. Don't wish us to be monsters.

Gulf War had nothing to do with freedom and democracy --and everything to do with the our military imposing its will with total brutality and no regard for other humans. even the pilots flying us out there were sickened by what we as a nation did.

Dune was based according to Herbert on the Bedouin, more nomatic than the majority of Mujahadin, not that it would invalidate any of your statment.
posted by Elim at 8:29 PM on October 2, 2001

Saw "The Beast" a number of years ago and always thought it was a pretty good film. The scenes of the tank as it slowly trundles through the otherwordly desert have always stuck with me.
posted by spinifex at 1:45 AM on October 3, 2001

Jung (War): In the Land of the Mujaheddin (2000) is making the film festival rounds this year (Vancouver Oct 4 and Oct 8; both sold out; try for rush tix).
posted by sylloge at 2:25 AM on October 3, 2001

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