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Beast from Haunted Cave

Beast from Haunted Cave (1959) Movie Poster
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USA  •    •  72m  •    •  Directed by: Monte Hellman.  •  Starring: Michael Forest, Sheila Noonan, Frank Wolff, Wally Campo, Richard Sinatra, Linné Ahlstrand, Chris Robinson, Kay Jennings.  •  Music by: Alexander Laszlo.
        In a skiing station in Dakota, a gang of criminals leaded by Alexander "Alex" Ward plans the heist of golden bars from a small bank. While the lover of Alex, Gypsy Boulet goes to an isolated cabin with the ski instructor Gil Jackson, a time bomb explodes a cave to divert the attention of the locals and the gangsters steal the gold. But the explosion releases a spider-like monster and due to a storm, the group becomes trapped in Gil's cabin and threatened by the creepy beast.


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Image from: Beast from Haunted Cave (1959)
Image from: Beast from Haunted Cave (1959)
Image from: Beast from Haunted Cave (1959)
Image from: Beast from Haunted Cave (1959)
One of the better Corman-stable creature features that emerged from the fifties, with sturdy Mike Forest playing a ski instructor and model citizen who unknowingly chaperone's a quartet of thieves on their getaway following a bank heist, under the pretense of a wilderness adventure. Bad guy Frank Wolff and his 'secretary' moll (Sheila Carol) bicker constantly about their crumbling criminal relationship, Carol wanting a better life, Wolff content to milk the cow for all it's worth. Amid all the intrigue, a blood-sucking snow beast is on the loose, looking for sauce bottles for its cave pantry.

I thought Charles B.Griffith's dialogue was particularly good, with the film noir like metaphorical banter servicing the picture well. While something of a poor-man's Lizabeth Scott, Sheila Carol does a reasonable job as the near-wasted jezebel whose boredom is barely contained by her lust for liquor, seeing the opportunity for a clean future with conservative salt of the earth type Mike Forest - the antithesis of Frank Wolff's ruthless, selfish stand-over man. Forest and Wolff are both very good and manage to make a lot out of a little.

Hellman's direction style is slow paced and detailed even at 75 minutes, but he still manages to land the hooks when it matters - the beast's 'stocked' pantry and the climax (though brief) offer some genuine thrills (relative to the B-scale). It needs to be kept in the context of a Corman 50's monster movie, and if you view it in that lens then it should entertain.

Review by Chris. from the Internet Movie Database.