Tuesday, March 4, 2008

"The Strangeness"(1985)d/David Michael Hillman

Strange indeed.
This one sure is aptly titled.A big box relic from the mom and pop days of video yesteryear,that somebody somewhere is selling in a yard sale for fifty cents.On Beta.The acting springboard for such household names as Dan Lunham and Terri Berland, who went on to work in...Yeah,your guess is as good as mine.It was gonna take a lot to blow the lid off the "mining horror" subgenre back in 1985,and the folks behind this low budget flick knew it.Just when you thought you were all mined out after "The Boogens"(1982)and "My Bloody Valentine"(1981),director and co-writer David Michael Hillman serves up this murky bit of weirdness,earning him a spot on the shelves next to "Suspiria"(1976),if only for alphabetical reasons.
They went into the mine's depths searching for gold,but found pussy instead.
Amy and Brian are hiking,at what looks to be around four in the morning(optimum hiking time),just outside the abandoned mine the Indians called "Golden Spike",which looks to be situated on a sandy hill,next to a beach(gold mines and beaches go hand-in-hand,don't they?).Brian checks out the mine's opening and soon wishes he hadn't.Whatever ruined Brian's day does the same for Amy moments later.Another larger group investigates the abandoned shaft,and each of our adventurers,who look to have been attacked with a Flowbee do-it-yourself hair feathering apparatus, has his or her own reasons for doing so.Money,photography,book-writing,thrill-seeking,all come into play in luring our heroes into the mine's shadowy depths.They realize they wouldn't get ten feet into the shaft without a grizzled guide,equipped with a heinous forced Cockney accent,and hokey Indian folklore knowledge,so they hire themselves one.Check.
Caw,'e's the blummin goide for this bloody tour,'e is.
The exploratory party's first obstacle occurs when the cavern they're in collapses behind them,sealing them in,save for Angela.Something strange slithers up to her and makes her forget all about getting separated from her group.On the other side of the cave-in,the explorers deal with the perils of their claustrophobic surroundings by talking a lot.A whole lot.Apparently,the Indians tell a tale of the Golden Spike being guarded by a spiritual beast,terrifying to behold.Nice time to relate the spooky campfire backstory,when everybody's trapped inside the mine in question.As they go deeper into the depths of the cavern,something strange with shadowy tentacles begins to stalk them one-by-one.By the time the group stumbles upon one of the creature's earlier dinner choices,covered in slime and various other gross liquids,it's already too late for them.Unwittingly they've come upon the underground grotto of the ferocious stop-motion cuntosaurus,with a long stalkish body,flailing tentacles,and vagina-head,eager to suck the next unlucky claymation miner into its slobbery labia/mouth.Evolution's dirty joke,pussy had been eaten by man for far too long and it was high time the tables had been turned on him.The cuntosaurus would have eaten them all too,if it weren't for some pesky dynamite and an ultra-cheap explosion sequence just in the nick of time.The survivors escape their earthy prison,into the safety of the waters outside.At least she got to dine on that annoying fake British guide before she met her untimely end.Roll credits.
I was never one for goulash myself.
Invoking thoughts of Ray Harryhausen scolding the film's producers via phone:
Harryhausen:Yeah,I'm the stop-motion king.What kind of monster are you looking for?
Producers(sound of bong hits in background):Some kind of tentacled cunt that sucks people into it,headfirst.
Harryhausen:A cunt?You mean like a pussy???
Producers(snickering):Yeah,man,wouldn't that be far out?
Harryhausen:Are you high?You want people to be scared of a giant panty purse?
Producers:What's wrong,dude?You can't make one?
Harryhausen:You fucking retards are wasting my time.
Producers:Harryhausen doesn't know what one looks like!He's totally gay!
Harryhausen:Did Forrest J. Ackerman print my home phone number in his magazine again?I'm gonna chin that bitch the next time I see him...(hangs up)
...So maybe that phone call never took place,but it'd have been funny if it did.Personally,I question the rationale behind vagina monsters in a world where most dorks are so inept with the ladies,they could jump into a bowlful of titties and come up sucking their own thumbs.They wouldn't run from it,they'd be trying to slip it GHB and get it back to their apartment.Moral of the story:Where there's gold to be found,there's usually an angry woman hoarding it for herself.
Cuntosaurus stalks her next helpless victim in the nether regions of the earth.

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