Beast from Haunted Cave (1959)

Filmed at the same time as Ski Troop Attack and released on a double bill with The Wasp Woman, this Monte Hellman movie would mark the first of his many projects with Roger Corman.

Hellman would say, “What interested me about it was that it really wasn’t a monster movie. Roger liked Key Largo very much. I think that was one of his favorite movies. He kept making Key Largo just different versions of it. In this case he added a monster to it.

As for the titular beast, Hellman would say, “They literally spent two dollars at the dime store. It was mostly angel hair and paper mache monster.” The crew nicknamed the beast Humphrass. It was created and operated by Chris Robinson, who would go on to play the lead in William Grefé’s Stanley.

Basically, a gang gets together and tries to steal some gold, but ends up waking this monster and, well, bad things happen.

Linné Ahlstrand, who plays the doomed barmaid Natalie, was Playboy’s Playmate of the Month for July 1958 and Richard Sinatra, who plays Marty, was a cousin of Ol’ Blue Eyes. It’s things like that that sell a movie, you know.

There was a sequel planned — that’s why this ends like it does — but it never happened. However, Corman would pretty much make the movie all over again in 1961 and call it Creature from Haunted Sea.

You can watch this on Amazon Prime and Tubi.

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