Friday, November 26, 2010

The Strangeness

Often thought to be a rip off of The Boogens, The Strangeness actually predates the film by a year, even though it wasn't released to cable until about 4 years after its completion. It makes a nice entry into the monster in a mine genre and is a great book end with the former movie.

Might like the other film, The Strangeness involves the re-opening of a mine that has been long closed (gold in this case where in the Boogens it was silver) due to deaths that had been occurring to the miners. Eventually, after the body count got racked up and nobody wanted to go back in, they shut it down. Well, the price of gold is skyrocketing so some people want to open it back up to take advantage of its stash. Unfortunately for them, whatever killed the miners long ago is still in there, waiting for a new meal.

It's a motley crew that goes into the mine. We have the company man, two miners, a guide, a geologist, and oddly enough, a writer and his photographer wife (hot) who are documenting the legend and the new attempt to open it. Not long after they arrive, the entrance collapses and they realize that finding a way out may be the least of their problems after one of them is picked off and they find the body dissolving in an odd fluid.

The movie is low budget, but comes across as a solid production. The actors are pretty good and the story is tight and makes sense and for the most part the characters don't do anything supremely stupid to bring about their downfall. The creature, which is done in all stop motion, is very excellent too, and is shown rather often, which puts The Boogens to shame with its rather lackluster creations. This thing, on the other hand, is a fucking beast, kind of like what might happen if a otuygh mated with the Creeping Terror and a triffid. A lot of the mine scenes is supposed to be filmed in someones basement too. If so, kudos, because it doesn't look like one.

I know it gets a lot of comparisons to The Boogens, but one film it really resembles more is one that came out years later, in The Descent. In both, being trapped in a cave takes more precedence and the monster comes secondary, which gives a great feeling of claustrophobia.

I got to check it out on an old vhs, but there's a dvd from Code Red with all the fixins that I recommend. I know I'll be checking that out next, as I am really impressed by this film.

Check it out.

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