Not Just Gold in that Mine – Beast From the Haunted Cave (1959)

Beast From the Haunted Cave sounds like it would be an incredible film. Sadly, though it would have a haunted cave and a beast that lives within it, there would be little to thrill much less scare the audience. Perhaps it was due to the fact that the entire affair was made on a nothing budget or the poor script or the actors which were not as good as one might have hoped. Whatever the reason, this movie did not live up to the promise of its name.

Produced by Gene Corman, brother of Roger, that should tell the audience everything they actually need to know about this film and what, at the very least, they might be in store for and in that respect, it did not disappoint. There is in fact a giant beast that lives in a cave, a spider purportedly of some immense size and it probably would have been best to keep most of it off-screen as they did during its first appearance but whatever the case might have been, the makers of this picture decided to show the full monte making it lose most of the horror that was present. The creature itself looked ridiculous and there was no getting around that. At first, it looked like it might have been some sort of weird old lady with a gigantic head until later when it looked like it might have been a dog in a costume. As it is, it might not have been scary and it might have been absurd but it had a bit of charm about it that all old monster movies tend to have which was the only saving grace of the entire affair.

As for the story that surrounded the creature, it would involve a bank heist by a group of criminals looking to abscond with some gold bars, most likely from the gold mine that sits not too far away. Said mine is also where the giant spider resides and who makes short work of those that wander too closely. It is not the worst of plots but it is all poorly acted and one finds themselves losing interest fairly quickly whenever the creature is not on-screen. For a film that only runs just over an hour, it seemed interminably long which is not a good thing when looking for a little success.

When all is said and done, Beast From the Haunted Cave is silly and poor and boring and yet there is just enough there for horror afficionados to latch onto, some sort of allure that no matter how bad it all is, keeps one sitting there. Terrible for sure but not the worst one will ever see.

1.5 out of 5

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