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on July 25, 2009
Years ago, when I was watching the 2AM Late Show this movie came on and somehow gripped with a haunting interest. I was never more fascinated. While the characters are stereotyped (the company man looking for keep his gold, the young expedition scout, the old timer with the tales of a haunted mine and "It lives" warnings, the writer, and the girl, as well as a few other extra victims) the creature is real original. Looking like something from a Lovecraft tale, this tentacled stop motion monster was around when the Indians had the land before white men found the Golden Spike Mine and died by it's hands 100 years before. After all this time, our heroes decide to enter the mine on a company inspection and are greeted by the creature. The movie is a cross between "Alien" and "The Boogens", the latter being the closest and being released within a year or so. But this one is better. The victims run through old mine tunnels, find skeletons and bodies, living victims glued to the roofs of the mine chambers, assault each other, find remains of the miners who died in the mine, hear a strange "hellwinds" and find the dwelling of the beast and end it all with an old stack of gunpowder, blasting caps and flares. The filming is dark, sometimes a strain to see what is going on, and slow, but when the creature shows up (having been hidden or glimpsed in areas of the picture) it is interesting to see this stop motion marvel eat the company man and chase the last two survivors in it's lair.

While there have been several bootleg VHS and DVD versions of this horror film, the real Trans World oversized clamshell packaging was my most prized and collectable item. CODE RED has FINALLY done an official overdue DVD release and we can hope to be treated with as much bonus behind the scenes material as has survived from 1985. Based on the official website at thestrangeness.net from one of the actors/crew it looks like we have it. Take a peek. They have the miniature mine sets, the stop motion models and behind the scenes shooting, plus more.

At print, VHS copies were going anywhere from $35-70 dollars. That is how rare this gem has been over the years. It took me almost 10 years and an email to Fred Olen Ray, the famous B-movie Retromedia mogul, to kindly respond and finally give me the title so it could be located. I bought my VHS copies off of Amazon due to tape wear before the DVD-R transfer revolution. So now we have the official DVD. No horror fan of classic 80s obscure horror would go without seeing this marvel at least three times.
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on December 4, 2009
Thank you Code Red for making it possible for a little horror flick like this to be placed onto dvd! It's time to get rid of that big clamshell vhs box once again. Alot of folks compare this flick to 'The Boogens', another forgotten creature flick, and I can kinda see why. But this creature in 'The Strangeness' is creepier, in my opinion. It's a simple story; it's about a group of people wanting to explore a cave that has been considered cursed, says the locals. You see, miners have died in that cave and it's a mystery in what caused their deaths! Indians for years have been saying the cave is inhabited by a ancient being and that no one should enter "Golden Spike", name of the cave. Will these new explorers make it out alive!? You'll just have to see for yourself! The special effects are practical but you go into watching a horror flick like this just to enjoy how simple it is, and that you love creature flicks no matter how dated they are compared to todays standards. Warning!...this flick is a little slow moving.
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on December 2, 2013
A mixed romp through the early eighties horror genre. A group of people decide to explore an old mine, "Golden Spike", each of them has a different interest. One wants to write a book about it, another is a photographer, there's also a geologist and finally, a couple of guys working for the person heading the expedition, their objective is to see if it's worth investing half a million dollars to re-open the mine. One by one they encounter the monster and to make matters worse all the possible exits appear to be blocked. "Winds of hell" mysteriously start blowing, fear sets in, the only lights are the ones from the helmets. The guy in charge snaps, thinking that the rest of the people want to rob his firm's gold, there's no place to hide.

The monster reminded me of Lovecraft's monsters, I'm a fan of this sort of clay monsters, the tentacles, how it moved, etc. Even though the movie takes place in a mine, it should have had better lighting, at times all you can see is the light on their helmets, which is the same as saying, you can't see nothing at all. The acting deserves mixed reviews, some actors were OK, others not so much.

Overall it's an average story that could have become a good movie if there was a bigger budget.
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A corporately-funded prospector leads a group of explorers into an abandoned gold mine. They're trying to find out if there's enough gold left to warrant further investment. Unbeknownst to them, a young couple was recently attacked by something in the mine. Not to mention the team of miners that was attacked years earlier! Of course, this doesn't bode well for our heroes! THE STRANGENESS sort of reminds me of BEAST FROM HAUNTED CAVE, only this time, the monster is done w/ stop-motion. It kills its human prey in grisly fashion, leaving nothing but a mutilated heap behind. It looks like a huge, oozing orifice on top of a tentacle-waving brain. Though we don't get to see much of it, when we do it's fairly impressive. Recommended for the monster fanatic...
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on June 29, 2011
I won't go into detail on this movie except to say that it's in the old-fashioned vein of the fify thrillers: decent characters, a slow build-up, and finally the revelation of the creature or creatures.

If you like this kind of old-fashioned film this one is for you. If you want a huge
amount of CGIs them you'll be disappointed. Things like the highly touted remake of
Day the Earth Stood Still stink when compared to the original as almost all of them
do.

In fact, the best reason to watch this is for when the creature is finally revealed
in its Harryhausen glory: stop-motion. The thing has a fine time with the film's main grouch also. Scenes like this make you realize just how good the old style of animation was.

I hope the producers of this do more: I'll certainly buy them.
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on February 20, 2011
This one is for lovers of c movies, low budget movies shot by people who have never made a movie before. BUt they did a pretty good job for what they had. The story is similiar to the b movie that came out a few years later "the boogens' with a mine with a monster in it storyline only that one is a solid b movie and this is not.
The dvd looks ok but they print needed some dirt cleaned from it, still it could have been a lost movie easily with such a llmited release. The stop motion work is good here and at that time this technique was fading away for good but audiences would have enjoyed it in 1980 as not to 'strange'. Like I said if you are a horror fan who loves these older type of c movies then you'll like this one. If you are a snob who complains about older effects then don't go here. The acting is acceptable but not up to the levels of a b movie probably. They did some work on this print it's not perfect , I always wish that even movies I don't like would have cleaned up every blemish. This is a pretty decent flick in that regard. This is cheesy c movie stuff but I like that stuff so it's ok for what it is.
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on July 13, 2009
I really like this film and I'm thrilled to see it coming out on DVD. It's about some engineers investigating a cave being preyed on by this awesome tentacle monster. It's certainly some strangeness. The vibe of the film is pretty eerie even though it's a cheesy 80s horror film. The cave settings are always dark and the viewer, like the characters, can't see everything that's going on in the tiny passage ways. This would make a great double or triple feature with any of the other cave/mine-themed horror movies like The Boogens, The Descent, My Bloody Valentine, etc. The VHS picture quality on my personal copy is atrocious, so I can't wait to see a digital version of this film.
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on March 7, 2006
Years ago, when I was watching the 2AM Late Show this movie came on and somehow gripped with a haunting interest. While the characters are stereotyped (the company man looking for keep his gold, the young expedition scout, the old timer with the tales of a haunted mine and "It lives" warnings, the writer, and the girl, as well as a few other extra victims) the creature is real original. Looking like something from a Lovecraft tale, this tentacled stop motion monster was around when the Indians had the land before white men found the Golden Spike Mine and died by it's hands 100 years before. After all this time, our heroes decide to enter the mine on a company inspection and are greeted by the creature. The movie is a cross between "Alien" and "The Boogens", the latter being the closest and being released within a year or so. But this one is better. The victims run through old mine tunnels, find skeletons and bodies, living victims glued to the roofs of the mine chambers, assault each other, find remains of the miners who died in the mine, hear a strange "hellwinds" and find the dwelling of the beast and end it all with an old stack of gunpowder, blasting caps and flares. The filming is dark, sometimes a strain to see what is going on, and slow, but when the creature shows up (having been hidden or glimpsed in areas of the picture) it is interesting to see this stop motion marvel eat the company man and chase the last two survivors in it's lair.

While there are many bootleg VHS and DVD version of this horror film, the Trans World oversized clamshell packaging is the most prized and collectable item. When someone does an official DVD release we can hope to be treated with as much bonus material as has survived from 1985. It took me almost 10 years and an email to Fred Olen Ray, the famous B-movie Retromedia mogul, to kindly respond and finally give me the title so it could be located. I bought my copy off of Amazon. No horror buff would go without seeing it least three times.
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on July 12, 2009
A mixed romp through the early eighties horror genre. A group of people decide to explore an old mine, "Golden Spike", each of them has a different interest. One wants to write a book about it, another is a photographer, there's also a geologist and finally, a couple of guys working for the person heading the expedition, their objective is to see if it's worth investing half a million dollars to re-open the mine. One by one they encounter the monster and to make matters worse all the possible exits appear to be blocked. "Winds of hell" mysteriously start blowing, fear sets in, the only lights are the ones from the helmets. The guy in charge snaps, thinking that the rest of the people want to rob his firm's gold, there's no place to hide.

The monster reminded me of Lovecraft's monsters, I'm a fan of this sort of clay monsters, the tentacles, how it moved, etc. Even though the movie takes place in a mine, it should have had better lighting, at times all you can see is the light on their helmets, which is the same as saying, you can't see nothing at all. The acting deserves mixed reviews, some actors were OK, others not so much.

Overall it's an average story that could have become a good movie if there was a bigger budget.
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on September 4, 2009
A lot budget US horror movie made by novices and filmed on sets built in garages. There are weakenesses - the script is too wordy, for example, and some people might find their attention span wandering - but for an ultra low budget film it's atmospheric with a stop motion monster that is used sparingly in the same way the alien was used in alien. The setting looks good, and unlike a lot of low budget horrors, there's a genuine attempt to create characters the audience can sympathise.

Simple story: a bunch of people go down a deserted mine in order to survey it before a planned reopening. As they travel deeper into the mind, strange winds occur, and one by one the explorers are picked off by whatever is lurking in the tunnels... A HP Lovecraftian flesh eating monster.

An effective, well made, low budget horror - whilst it does dazzle like, say, The Evil Dead, with creative camerawork and directing, it is well worth watching just to see how well something can be done on a low budget. Far outclasses most of the low budget horrors from the period in that respect.
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