tisdag 22 maj 2012
Back in the days long before dvd I (like so many others before and after me) I used to hang around the local videostore, browsing the horrorsection and staring at the wonderful covers of all these movies that probably were the scariest movies in the world. As I grew up and began collecting movies I finally got to see all of the movies I had drooled over but there was one that eluded me. It was a movie called Strangeness about a monster in a cave but the cover had a picture from the Cormanproduced Alien clone Forbidden world, which added to the confusion. For some reason I never rented the damn thing and I spent a lot of years wondering if this really was an existing movie (this was before you could find everything online and this movie didnt pop up in any horrormoviebooks I had) or if my mind had deluded me over the years. Thankfully I found a scan of this very cover online so my mind could finally be at ease. Even better, Code Red released it on a nice special edition dvd and I finally got the chance to see what all the fuzz in my mind was all about.
The story is simple and effective. A group of people gather at the entrance of a cave that shares its tunnels with an old mine that was hastily closed down for uknown reasons a century ago. The reason for their spelunking is to evaluate if there is any gold left but we all know that they will be entombed and hunted by a tentacled stopmotion monster. It always goes down like that in California, I've seen this in lots of movies.
Strangeness was made by a group of first time filmmakers on a very low budget which shows really well from time to time, especially when it comes to the cave itself which sometimes is obviously fake. This is on the other hand redeemed by a decent enough script, some uneven but enthusiastic acting and a really fun monster. The atmosphere in the cave is good enough to sustain a fun feeling of lowbudget monster mayhem and the cinematography works really well, especially considering that the movie is almost entirely lit by torches and flares. Strangeness has a general sense of good fun with its cheesy but fun characters and an excellent tentacled stopmotion monster. Yes, the animation may be crude compared to Harryhausen but what the hell, how often do you get to see a tentaclebeast that looks like a huge vagina?
Strangeness is not the best monstermovie of all time, is has it share of flaws mostly related to it's budget but it was made with the best intentions and some of it comes off clearly when you watch it. It is entertaining enough and has a bit of good tension, the lovable monster and even some slime. If you are like me, a big fan of the low budget monster movies of that very era, you will adore it. Thanks to Code Red for an excellent dvd.