A group of gangsters plan the perfect crime. They plan on blowing up a gold mine to distract the authorities in a small town while they rob the local bank. Right after the crime they plan on taking a cross-country ski trip with a local guide to his isolated cabin, where they will meet up with a plane that is coming for them. While the heist goes off okay they run into a snag when the girl of the gang falls for the ski instructor, and they run into a mysterious monster! With a storm coming in and the plane delayed the gang has to avoid the monster and the instructor has to survive both the creature and the gang to make his escape.
This is a low budget movie
from executive producer Roger Corman that was written by his frequent
collaborator the late Charles B. Griffith. This movie is another
example of a cheaply and quickly shot movie that existed only to fill
the second half of a double bill. When I sat down to watch the
movie I expected something more from a script that was penned by Griffith
(Little Shop of Horrors, A Bucket of Blood). The story is very
thin, which is amazing considering the copy of the movie I have is just
a bit over an hour. There are many scenes of characters skiing
or sitting around the campfire that are there to stretch the runtime
of the movie out to feature length. Because of this there are
stretches of the movie that are painfully boring, so bring your favorite
caffeinated beverage when sitting down to watch this one. I would
also imagine that the cast didn’t have much time to prepare for their
roles. But then again since all of the performances are so damn
wooden I’m not sure there was that much talent there to begin with.
There are a few things that
the movie does well. In spite of being a low budget movie the
filmmakers managed to find some decent music for the film. The
“B” movie nerd in me recognized most of the music as being recycled
from other features, but still they took the time and spent the money
to get into someone’s catalog. Also the creature really never
makes an appearance on screen, which is probably for the best.
But the movie is shot in such a way that you really won’t notice the
lack of creature. I give the director, genre vet Monte Hellman
on his first picture, all the credit for this.
Unless you are a fan of Charles
B. Griffith or have an obsession to track down and watch all the “B”
movies from the 50s that you can get your hands on I would recommend
skipping this one. I’m hardcore into this stuff and even I found
watching the movie a chore.
Rating - *1/2
-John "El Juan" Shatzer