With more and more streaming sites becoming the norm, it is always fun to see what titles are available on these sites. One of my favorite sites that I stumbled across is Shout Factory TV. My first experience with them was years ago when they were doing a Godzilla marathon, which most of you reading this should know is a great way to get my attention. Since then, I have gone on there and watched episodes of MST3K, Elvira’s Movie Macabre, and other movies that you don’t normally see on the bigger sites. So for the month of March, I decided to watch and review several movies that are on this site, and what a doozy did I pick for you guys. When I first watched today’s movie, I honestly thought that I was watching another Roger Corman movie, as it was similar to Corman’s Creature From The Haunted Sea. Imagine my surprise when I learned that it was actually produced by his brother Gene. So let’s have some fun with today’s movie, Beast From Haunted Cave.
The plot: In the mountains of Deadwood, South Dakota, businessman Alexander (Alex) Wolf and his secretary Gypsy Boulet are taking some ski lessons from local guide Gil Jackson. As Gypsy flirts with Gil, the group are joined by Alex’s two underlings, Marty Jones and Byron Smith, who tell Alex about the pictures they took while looking through the town. Saying he will look at them later, Alex leaves the two of them to take some lessons from Gil while he leaves with Gypsy, chastising her for he antics with Gil when they are away from the others. That night, Alex tells Marty and Byron that their plan is still on, telling Marty to go place a timed explosive in a nearby mine to lure the authorities away while they rob the nearby bank in the morning. They will then have Gil lead them to his cabin, where Alex has arranged for a plane to show up and pick them up. As they finish their plans, Gil shows up to get some money for the supplies they will need and tries to convince Alex and the others not to go on the cross country trek but Alex insists on going. A short time later, Alex and the others head to the local bar for some drinks, where Gypsy tells Alex that she is getting tired of his plans and is considering wanting out. Seeing Gil at the bar, Gypsy decides to go dance with him, making Alex jealous. Meanwhile, Marty hooks up with Natalie, the barmaid, and they drive off to the mine. Natalie has some reservations about being there, saying that there was a cougar around the area, but Marty pulls out a gun, telling her that Gil had warned him about the cougar, and convinces her to go with him. The two go inside and Marty leaves her alone for a few minutes so he can plant the bomb without her seeing it. As he rejoins her and they go to leave, they are attacked by a strange, spider-like creature, which grabs Natalie but Marty manages to get away. Marty makes his way back to the bar in a state of shock and when Alex asks him what happened, he is furious about Marty taking Natalie with him and getting her killed. The next morning, Gil meets Gypsy and Alex in the lobby of the lodge, with Alex feigning not being ready and Marty and Byron not showing up yet. Noticing the state patrol outside, Alex asks Gil about them and after Gil tells him about Natalie having disappeared last night, Alex tells Gil to go ahead and take Gypsy up the ski lift while he wakes up the others and says they will join them after they eat breakfast. At 9 a.m., the bomb goes off, killing a worker that was in the mine searching for Natalie, and as the police head off towards the mine, Alex, Marty, and Byron head to the bank and rob it, stealing 6 gold bars that were held inside the vault, as Alex says they wouldn’t be able to handle carrying more cross country. Alex, Marty, and Byron head up the ski lift and meet with Gil and Gypsy, and, after making sure they are ready, Gil leads them on the cross country trek. After making their way across the snow covered mountain, Gil finds a place for them to make camp that night. As Marty takes a turn at keeping watch, he hears some strange noises coming from the woods and goes to investigate, only to find Natalie tied up to a tree by some web. As Natalie opens her eyes, the creature appears and Marty fires at it before running back to camp, telling everyone that nothing is wrong when they ask what happened. In the morning, Gil sees some strange tracks in the snow and questions Marty on if he saw anything but Marty swears he didn’t see anything. The group finally arrive at Gil’s cabin and Gil wants to go ahead and head back but Alex convinces him that they should stay the night and leave in the morning. After introducing them to his housekeeper, a Native American woman named “Small Dog”(?), they get ready to stay the night in the cabin. As they listen to the radio during dinner, they hear a news report about the bank robbery and the watchman’s death and Alex and the others feign surprise about the events. When the weather mentions a snowstorm heading towards town, Alex asks Gil if it will hit the cabin and Gil says it probably will, causing Alex to worry about their plans. Later that night, Gypsy continues flirting with Gil and ends up kissing him, causing Alex to break them up and punch Gil. Gil ends up fighting with Alex and then Marty when he tries to stab him, but is forced to stop when Byron holds a gun on him. Alex apologizes for his temper, then slaps Gypsy for causing problems and after she storms off, Gil reminds Alex that they are guests in his cabin and tells Alex to leave Gypsy alone before he heads off after her. Later that night, Byron is fixing a late night snack when he hears a strange noise outside and goes to investigate, with Small Dog accompanying him. As they walk outside, they see Marty, who had also heard the noise, race outside and begin firing into the nearby woods, as he knows it is the creature. Racing into the woods, Marty is attacked by the creature but Byron manages to rescue him and get him back into the cabin, where Gypsy tends to his wounds. The next day, Marty decides to head out into the woods and search for the creature. Meanwhile, Gypsy is watching Gil chop some firewood and tells him that Alex and the others are planning to kill him. Gil doesn’t act surprised and as Gypsy explains what their plan was and how she wants out, he tells her that he plans on sending Small Dog back to her tribe while he goes back into town and says that if she is serious about staying with him, to meet him on the ridge. At the cabin, Alex is talking to Byron about killing Gil, Small Dog, and Marty, who he feels has become to unhinged and dangerous, when Marty returns and says that he found the beast’s lair. Early the next morning, Gypsy and Alex get into an argument and Gypsy decides to leave and go with Gil, who had already left under the pretense of going hunting. Alex tells Byron to follow her but he is held up by Small Dog and as he finally gets free from her, the creature appears and attacks them and Byron manages to chase it off by throwing a shovel full of hot coals at it but it takes Small Dog with it. Meanwhile, Gypsy meets up with Gil and after they share a kiss, they head towards town but as the storm starts to build up around them, they are forced to take shelter in a nearby cave. Back at the cabin, Byron tells Alex and Marty about what happened and Alex decides to wait out the storm, as the creature hasn’t tried to get into the cabin after them, but Byron decides to head out and try to save Small Dog. Byron makes his way to the cave and finds Small Dog and Natalie tied up in webs inside and tries to save Small Dog but he is captured by the creature, who proceeds to kill the three of them. Back at the cabin, Marty finds some very pistols and convinces Alex that they should go after the creature before it comes after them. Gil and Gypsy reach the cave and Gil tells Gypsy to stay back while he looks inside. He sees the creature killing Byron and the others and shoots at it but his bullets have no effect on the creature. When Gypsy tries to distract the creature, Gil yells at her to get away and she runs off, only to be grabbed by Alex and Marty. Alex tells Gypsy to lead them to where Gil is and she reluctantly does so but when Alex goes to shoot Gil, she warns him and Gil is able to avoid being shot. The creature attacks and kills Alex, then goes after Marty, who manages to shoot it with the flare gun before he dies and as the creature succumbs to the flames, Gil and Gypsy quickly move towards each other and make their way out of the cave.
I guess it doesn’t matter which brother it is, if your last name is Corman than you will have a certain style to your movie. Seriously, if you didn’t know it was Gene Corman, you would swear that this was a Roger Corman movie. With all that being said, this was a pretty entertaining movie all around. The acting was ok, with Michael Forest (Gil), Frank Wolff (Alex), and Sheila Noonan (Gypsy) doing good jobs in their roles. I also liked Wally Campo (Byron) as he made for some entertaining comedy relief at times. The basic plot of the story was kind of interesting, with the bank robbers accidentally waking a monster and it following after them when they destroyed it’s home. I also thought that the crime thriller aspect of the movie was a lot better than the horror aspect of the movie. However, there were several scenes that really didn’t seem to go with the movie and honestly felt like they were nothing more than some filler material to pad out the movie length, such as Marty’s talking to Gil’s sister Jill at the lodge or Marty and Gil’s conversation at the cabin. The special effects were practically non existent, while the monster itself looked rather cheap, somewhat transparent at times which did not add to the scare factor at all. Still, this was the type of B-movie that is great for killing time with some mindless vegging.
Rating: 3 out of 5