Beast from Haunted Cave (1959)

beast from haunted cave poster 1959 movie
5.0 Overall Score
Story: 5/10
Acting: 5/10
Visuals: 5/10

The plot has some potential

Largely cardboard cast, undeveloped storyline

Movie Info

Movie Name: Beast from Haunted Cave

Studio: Gene Corman Productions

Genre(s): Horror/B-Movie

Release Date(s): October 30, 1959

MPAA Rating: Not Rated

beast from haunted cave linne ahistrand

I had dreams…and then I met a blood sucking hairball from hell

Bank robbers led by Alexander Ward (Frank Wolff) plot to rob a ski-town bank in South Dakota.  Ward and his crew have enlisted ski guide Gil Jackson (Michael Forest) help lead them to their pick-up site without Jackson’s knowledge of their criminal intent.  As Gil falls for Ward’s abused girl Gypsy Boulet (Sheila Noonan), something from a nearby mine is hunting and stalking the robbers…and it’s hunger is relentless!

Directed by Monte Hellman, Beast from Haunted Cave is a low-budget horror movie produced by Gene Corman (and an uncredited Roger Corman).  The film was released with The Wasp Woman as a double feature and received average reviews.  A longer version of the movie was edited for television broadcast.

beast from haunted cave monster attacks woman

Skiing always ends up like this

Beast from Haunted Cave is a regular of multi-movie packs and that is where I found it.  Despite owning it in a pack, the convenience of the internet actually led me to watch it (and at a better quality than the pack version).  The movie does have a few moments, but largely it falls into B-Movie schlock.

The film is actually best when it is a horror survival film.  The convoluted robbery and weak romance story feel typical, but there is something kind of fun about these criminal being picked off one-by-one as they try to reach safety with their stolen goods.  The people around the criminals are collateral damage and there is no explanation for the monster (or why it has never been seen)…but that’s ok.

The cast is bland.  Michael Forest is about as generic as you can get as the rugged ski-instructor lead, and Sheila Noonan’s “Gypsy” is also a poor version of a mob moll.  Instead of electrifying, the romance is tedious and obvious.  I do kind of like Frank Wolff who plays an unapologetic jerk as leader of the criminals.

beast from haunted cave monster michael forest

A giant hairball is attacking me!!!

The film was shot in and around Deadwood, South Dakota (Gene and Roger Corman wanted something different from their California based films).  In classic B-Movie fashion it was shot in days and the locations were reused for other films.  The monster itself is kind of interesting as a hybrid spider, ghost-like wraith that wraps up and drinks its victims.  It starts out hardly seen but then becomes much more visible by the final “battle” (and that isn’t necessarily a good thing).  The black-and-white nature of the movie makes it just look like a big yakked-up cat hairball.

Beast from Haunted Cave is not the worst of the worst B-Movies, but it is a B-Movie nonetheless.  As far as monster movies go, the film is alright and fans of schlock will enjoy it.  The short runtime and the readily available nature of the movie make it worth seeking out.  I also could see this movie being remade into a much harder and dangerous movie (along the lines of From Dusk Till Dawn which oddly has a similar plot)…and I think it could work.  The film had considered a sequel, but the sequel never materialized.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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