Beast from Haunted Cave (1959)
Title: Beast from Haunted Cave (1959)
Genre: Country | Crime | Genre | Horror | Thriller | USA |
Beast from Haunted Cave (1959)
|Genre||Crime | Horror | Thriller | USA ||
Gangster Alexander Ward, his girl friend, Gypsy Boulet, and two henchmen come to Deadwood, South Dakota with the idea of stealing a few gold bars. They enlist the aid of a local ski instructor, Gil Jackson, and plan to use him as a guide out of the territory after the robbery. However, a blizzard forces them to take refuge in Jackson’s cabin, where Gypsy lowers the inside temperature by giving the cold shoulder to Ward, her former sweetie until she saw Jackson. Ward don’t care, as he plans to kill Jackson after they have no further use of him. But they had used an explosion in a cave to serve as a distraction during the heist, and this explosion had irritated the big spider that lived there and, sure enough, all hands have to seek refuge in the cave from the fury of the storm. All but two of them would have been better off facing the South Dakota elements.
Les Adams <[email protected]>
The 50's are often fondly remembered by those growing up in them as a Golden age of SciFi & Horror movies. As a child of the 60's & 70's, I give grudging assertion to maybe a quarter of what came out. While this one pales in comparison to "The Thing" or "Them!," it certainly has it's own special quality. I first stumbled across it one quiet summer evening at my Uncle Billy's house in New Orleans. I caught it just after the opening credits, and thought I'd landed on "Peter Gunn" or one of the other B&W crime tales flooding the airwaves in '68. Silly me. I recently bought a DVD player and have begun amassing a collection. As as was my desire when I bought my first VCR, I am collecting these rare old gems. I got this one on a double-feature disk with "The Brain that Wouldn't Die!" Cool!
Plot wise, the film does a lot of character building in a short time, mainly by sticking with the basics: Scowling guy is the villain; he has two dorky henchmen (one of them a would-be Sid Melton); the girl is a tarnished angel-type; and our hero is a square-jawed manly man. I half expected his name to be Lance Manion (although Gil is pretty snazzy).
The locals of the town our villains flee to after a robbery are also cookie-cutters, the exception being the plump little barmaid the Sid Melton-ite bonds with. She shows some depth, and provides the ominous prophecy duties. The hottie bar-girl seemed to have been added as an after-thought(and she runs circles around fallen angel in the looks department). The villains decide to rob the town while they're there. The Beast pops up after the antagonists arrive in town. From barwench's tale, we learn that it is a local legend that no one ever proved existed, although some folk have disappeared over the years. The scenes of it acquiring victims are really creepy, and some of my older relatives have asserted this was a really scary flick back then. It's physical appearance leaves something to be desired, but this is a jaded child of the media talking. It's minimalism fits in fairly well with the production. I believe the intent was to portray it as a spider-monster, and the scene of it feeding on the hottie barmaid are really gruesome. The plot lurches a few times as it heads towards the final confrontation. Amazingly, square-jaw and fallen angel willingly go to the cave (the former laughingly mentioning the presence of the monster while the latter smiles admiringly at his virile countenance), soon followed by the ostensibly jealous scowler and henchman #2. Scowler, of course, is looking to off square-jaw (out of jealousy and common sense. It seems he has some connection to the local authorities). The monster appears, bad guys die, but not before Scowler sets the beast ablaze. The End. The wintry setting of the film adds to the isolated atmosphere, and with better production values and some dinero, a decent remake is possible (are you listening Charles Band?). If you get a chance, check it out. The DVD has the original theatrical trailer. too cool.
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