posted by @HeyItsKamo
Screaming young girls sucked into a labyrinth of horror by a blood-starved ghoul from Hell!
“I watched Beast from Haunted Cave last night,” is something that I wish I didn’t have to type just now. I have to admit, I’m not a big fan of old movies (this one’s from 1959) and this would normally fall under the category of MOVIES I’D NEVER FUCKING WATCH EVER but something drew me in… the title alone would lead one to believe they’re in store for a pretty cheesy flick.
Beast from Haunted Cave is actually a great story, but only on paper. I could see myself reading this in a book of short horror stories or something like that, but the transition from script to film really let everyone down. Basically, there are four bandits visiting a ski resort in South Dakota -Deadwood, to be exact-, who end up conning a ski instructor in to taking them to his secluded cabin in the guise of a cross-country ski tour. Before the trip, three of the bandits rob a gold bank (? no clue what it was that they robbed, it was a room full of gold bars…) while simultaneously setting off a bomb in an old mine as a distraction for the police. The fourth bandit, a pretty girl named Gypsy Boulet (1950s pretty, so kind of attractive I guess), distracts the ski instructor with her good looks apparently.
The five meet up and head off on a two-day journey to the ski instructors cabin, who unbeknownst to Gil (that’s the ski instructors name, Gil. Gil was a very popular 1950s name according to all movies made during that time) will be the makeshift landing pad for the escape plane the bandits have meeting them.
It’s revealed that one of the bandits, Marty, saw something when he went to plant the bomb in the diversion cave- a giant fucking spider that ate the girl he was with. He’s not sure if it hatched from a giant egg or was found when the miners were blasting out the cave, but one thing is certain- he doesn’t want to talk about it. That 50s pride sets in; you know, where you keep all your emotions inside and deny being scared even after you saw a 15 foot tentacle/spider monster?
So the gang gets to the cabin and predictably the girl and Gil end up falling in love. She tells him the plan the bandits are hatching, and he decides that he’s going to go back to town and get the cops before the plane can come (there’s a storm or some other plot cheat). She wants to go with him, they get caught in the storm all while being pursued by the other three, they all end up in HAUNTED CAVE and have a showdown with the beast. Everyone dies but Gil and the girl, who just kind of leave. The End.
What the heck did this movie do right? Despite the cheesy acting and all the bad things I just mentioned above, I’d say that the cast did a relatively good job with the story. The main bandit, Alex, is a real asshole and his character really builds around that idea (at one point, he just open palm slaps the fuck out of Gypsy. I’m talking four or five real good slaps). One of the other bandits, Smith I think, is kind of the fuck up in the group- he can’t ski well, he’s always getting nervous and making weird 50s style jokes. Gil is the hero, obviously, a real mountain man. He makes us like him both through his dialogue and actions and I can appreciate that. I also thought the camera work was pretty good quality. There are a lot of great landscape shots, showing the five during their ski trip; the location is beautiful, especially the cave at the end. The soundtrack was pretty top notch as well.
What the heck did this movie do wrong? Literally everything else. This is supposed to be a horror movie and, even for 1950s standards, I can’t imagine a single person would have been the least bit frightened. We don’t see the beast clearly until the very end, we just see a weird hairy arm/tentacle wrap around characters shoulders and then pull them away (any normal person could have easily escaped this, by the way). They kill the monster (which as you can see is just a dude in a hair suit with weird tentacle things for arms) by fucking shooting it with a normal bullet, which then sets it on fire. This really confused me, because Gil shot the fuck out of it (at least 10 times) and along comes Marty and, after getting destroyed by a hair-tentacle, fires one last shot (the kill shot) before dying. Then the movie ends and nothing is resolved.
I just couldn’t believe how disappointing the monster was. I would have been happy with a giant spider, I was actually hoping to see how the 1950s would depict a weird spider beast.
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