HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
American Fiction
Poor Things
Thunderclap
Zeiram
Legend of the Bat
Party Line
Night Fright
Pacha, Le
Kimi
Assemble Insert
Venus Tear Diamond, The
Promare
Beauty's Evil Roses, The
Free Guy
Huck and Tom's Mississippi Adventure
Rejuvenator, The
Who Fears the Devil?
Guignolo, Le
Batman, The
Land of Many Perfumes
Cat vs. Rat
Tom & Jerry: The Movie
Naked Violence
Joyeuses Pacques
Strangeness, The
How I Became a Superhero
Golden Nun
Incident at Phantom Hill
Winterhawk
Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City
Maigret Sets a Trap
B.N.A.
Hell's Wind Staff, The
Topo Gigio and the Missile War
Battant, Le
Penguin Highway
Cazadore de Demonios
Snatchers
Imperial Swordsman
Foxtrap
   
 
Newest Articles
3 From Arrow Player: Sweet Sugar, Girls Nite Out and Manhattan Baby
Little Cat Feat: Stephen King's Cat's Eye on 4K UHD
La Violence: Dobermann at 25
Serious Comedy: The Wrong Arm of the Law on Blu-ray
DC Showcase: Constantine - The House of Mystery and More on Blu-ray
Monster Fun: Three Monster Tales of Sci-Fi Terror on Blu-ray
State of the 70s: Play for Today Volume 3 on Blu-ray
The Movie Damned: Cursed Films II on Shudder
The Dead of Night: In Cold Blood on Blu-ray
Suave and Sophisticated: The Persuaders! Take 50 on Blu-ray
Your Rules are Really Beginning to Annoy Me: Escape from L.A. on 4K UHD
A Woman's Viewfinder: The Camera is Ours on DVD
Chaplin's Silent Pursuit: Modern Times on Blu-ray
The Ecstasy of Cosmic Boredom: Dark Star on Arrow
A Frosty Reception: South and The Great White Silence on Blu-ray
You'll Never Guess Which is Sammo: Skinny Tiger and Fatty Dragon on Blu-ray
Two Christopher Miles Shorts: The Six-Sided Triangle/Rhythm 'n' Greens on Blu-ray
Not So Permissive: The Lovers! on Blu-ray
Uncomfortable Truths: Three Shorts by Andrea Arnold on MUBI
The Call of Nostalgia: Ghostbusters Afterlife on Blu-ray
Moon Night - Space 1999: Super Space Theater on Blu-ray
Super Sammo: Warriors Two and The Prodigal Son on Blu-ray
Sex vs Violence: In the Realm of the Senses on Blu-ray
What's So Funny About Brit Horror? Vampira and Bloodbath at the House of Death on Arrow
Keeping the Beatles Alive: Get Back
   
 
  Strangeness, The What lurks beneath
Year: 1985
Director: Melanie Anne Phillips
Stars: Dan Lunham, Terri Berland, Rolf Thieson, Keith Hurt, Mark Sawicki, Chris Huntley, Diane Borcyckowski, Robin Sortman, Arlene Buchmann
Genre: HorrorBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: Looking for a good story geeky bespectacled novelist Dan Flanders (Mark Sawicki) and his hot blonde photographer wife Cindy (Terri Berland) join a group of explorers hired to survey an abandoned underground goldmine. Led by stuffy employer Hemmings (Rolf Thieson) the team include lady geologist Angela (Diane Borcyckowski), grizzled inexplicably British old miner Morgan (Keith Hurt) and reluctant cavern guides Geoff Calvert (Dan Lunham) and Tony Ruggles (Chris Huntley). The latter two spend all their time grumbling or else blatantly hitting on the married Cindy no matter how often she insists she is not interested. In the midst of so much tomfoolery rising from the depths a mysterious tentacle monster attacks the interlopers, one by one, turning the expedition into a nightmare.

An Eighties horror obscurity that never amassed a following big enough to become a true cult film, The Strangeness prefigures but does not match the claustrophobic terror of Neil Marshall's more celebrated The Descent (2005). It is a low-budget affair, sluggish for the most part yet enlivened by moments of ingenuity and B-movie charm: i.e. neat opening credits that run over still shots of the screaming cast, an effective John Carpenter style synth score from producer/co-writer/special effects supervisor/supporting actor Chris Huntley, clever character P.O.V. shots during monster attacks lit by Cindy's flashbulb or Geoff’s headlamp. Most notably the claymation creature (whose origins are hinted at though never entirely explained) that evokes warm Ray Harryhausen vibes.

That said the film's shock and suspense credentials remain scant with too much screen-time devoted to pointless wandering in murky, under-lit caverns, inane chatter and goofy humour that suggests it was at least partly intended as a parody. Keith Hurt's Morgan, who looks like Slim Pickens but talks like Les Dawson, is especially prone to dumb jokes and worse songs. While performances walk a thin line between naturalistic and cartoonish, the eccentric characters are at the very least more vivid than the usual blandly disposable teenagers that populate most Eighties horror flicks. Dan, while established initially as jittery and inept, nonetheless proves level headed enough to calm down the few hot-heads and keep the group together. Similarly macho moustachioed Geoff emerges an interestingly flawed hero. At one point reduced to a sniveling wreck he has to be coaxed by Cindy and Morgan into upping his hero game. Director David Michael Hillman, who later transitioned to become Melanie Anne Phillips (their only other directing credit is children's adventure Brothers of the Wilderness (1984)), lets the comedy drag on way past the point of being funny but still makes good use of the cramped and eerie locale. The last third kicks the suspense up a notch with more intense performances from the ensemble players even if the deaths grow increasingly random. Huntley is credited with directing additional scenes that were most likely the Alien (1979)-inspired death scenes wherein the creature melts victims with an enzyme of sorts that nets impressively gloopy, maggot-ridden results. Dumb, certainly no genre classic, but kind of fun.

Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam

 

This review has been viewed 5355 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Enoch Sneed
  Louise Hackett
Darren Jones
Mark Le Surf-hall
Andrew Pragasam
Mary Sibley
Graeme Clark
  Desbris M
   

 

Last Updated: