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Tom Phillips | Holmdel, New Jersey USA | 04/05/2001
(1 out of 5 stars)
"I can not stress how dissapointed I was with the qaulity of this DVD. It looked like the company used a VHS tape recorded in the EP mode for mastering. This compnay should realize that consumers are not stupid. We know what DVDs should look like. Most of us who like these old films already have a poor quality VHS copy at home. I would be happy to pay twenty dollars for either of these titles (as opposed to ten for two),but please don't insult us. If only all DVD older films would look like the Blob that was recently released by Criterion. Most people watch these old movies to remember yesterday. There worth the price if done right.Tom Phillips"
Madacy Should Be Ashamed
Steve Latshaw | Chatsworth, California USA | 04/16/2001
(1 out of 5 stars)
"Some of the titles in Madacy's new Drive-In double feature series are decent-enough quality. This disc, however, is unwatchable. The "Beast" transfer is washed out, with video and black levels far out of spec. The transfer itself appears to have come from a bad 3rd generation VHS. "Brain" is equally horrific... out of focus most of the time, with the framing too tight and off center, as if the producers simply set up a video camera and shot the image off of a television set. The TRAILERS included for both films are actually much better quality than the features. Save your money."
Entertaining Movies and the Horrors They Endure
TastyBabySyndrome | "Daddy Dagon's Daycare" - Proud Sponsor of the Lit | 02/05/2003
(2 out of 5 stars)
"While looking for Creature From Haunted Cave, a Corman movie listed in the annals of my movie-watching past as something akin to a giant insect feature, I happened upon this double set of it and The Brain That Wouldn't Die, an absolute classic. Now, both of these movies are something worth watching, The Brain that Wouldn't Die a bit more than the almost monster-devoid Beast From, and both rank right up there in the cinema hall of fame that sprouted from the B-movie halls of shame. Still, since both movies have been covered in depth here and on there separate movie pages, I'll focus my attention on the DVD at hand (Killer Creature Combo) and the utter lack of quality it has so you'll perhaps go and buy a better version of both.Its truly a shame to see these movies cast in the green haze of Killer Creature films as it eats away at the black and white and makes certain scenes wretched and vacant. The darker aspects of the screen sometimes disappear altogether and sometimes the brighter scenes seem to be overcast, ruining the effects of many a movie that would have otherwise been a lot better and killing the moods when monsters decide to drop in and wreak havoc. Added to this is the sound quality of the most abysmal variety, where voices fade in and out and sometimes become so low that one can't hear them, and the fact that the menu to this DVD is an utter annoyance. If you decide to buy these films, which are both worth a watch, you should definitely spend a little more and go for a transfer that has been remastered. Otherwise, you'll be disappointed when scenes disappear along with your patience!"
A Corman produced quickie and the great "Jan in the Pan"
Lawrance M. Bernabo | The Zenith City, Duluth, Minnesota | 07/20/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I rarely comment on the print quality of a film, so that when I tell you "Beast From Haunted Cave" is in sad shape, you need to know that it is pretty bad if I am actually inspired to complain. The audio track bothered me even more than the picture quality, because I was having a hard time understanding what the characters were saying for most of the film, but since I did not especially care it was not a great loss. This 1959 film is a quickie produced by Roger Corman and is the first credit for Monte Hellman ("Two-Lane Blacktop") as a director. Filmed during winter at a ski resort in South Dakota, the story is about a group of thieves whose big plan is to cover their robbery of gold with a bomb exploding in the mine, but end up tangling with a monster.
Frank Wolff is Alex, the head of the gang, with Sheila Carol as his hard drinking moll Gyspy, and Wally Campo as Byron and Richard Sinatra as Marty, the dimwitted henchmen. Michael Forest, who will go on to some small measure of fame as the god Apollo on the original "Star Trek," is Gil Jackson, the local ski instructor who is hired by the gang to take them on a cross-country ski trip to an isolated cabin where a ski plane will show up and fly the gang and the gold to Canada. But the plan gets off track when Marty takes Natalie (Linné Ahlstrand) the barmaid to a cave (in winter) for some hot action while he sets up the bomb (otherwise he could find a more comfortable place for the desired hot action). Marty discovers a strange egg and then Natalie is attacked and killed by a strange beast. Is it an insect? Is it an octopus on dry land? What IS that thing? Driven from its cave by the explosion, the Beast (now "Formerly from Haunted Cave") trails the gang on their trek and starts picking them off.
You will have no problem figuring out which two people will be left alive at the end of this one, although you might be surprised when suddenly the movie is over. The acting is not bad for this kind of film, and if they did a better job of blending together the disparate types of music in this one it probably would not seem as tacky. It would still be nice not to have a problem understanding what everybody is saying and maybe there are better prints of "Beast" out there that would justify giving it higher marks.
When it comes to gloriously bad movies you are not going to find anything besides Ed Wood's "Plan 9 From Outer Space" that is on the same level with "The Brain That Wouldn't Die" (a.k.a. "The Head That Wouldn't Die", which is the better title because we are talking an entire head not just a brain). Dr. Bill Cortner (Jason call me Herb Evers) is unhappy with the outdated surgery practice by his father, Dr. Cortner (Bruce Brighton), who warns him about higher laws and other nonsense. Bill has a fiancé, Jan Compton (Virginia Leith), who keeps talking about how she cannot wait for them to get married. So when they are in a car accident he rescues Jan's head and takes it back to his private laboratory. There his assistant, Kurt (Leslie Daniels), who has a transplanted arm that has not exactly taken from one of Bill's earlier experiments and who also rails against the doctor's plan to find his fiancé (now the infamous "Jan in a Pan") the perfect body. Bill only has 48-50 hours (you have to love the specificity) to come up with a new body and heads for the nearest strip club. When that does not pan out (hehehehe) he starts stalking women on the street and finds his way to a Beautiful Body contest. But Bill will accept nothing less than the best for Jan and that ends up being Marilyn Hanold, Playboy Playmate of the Month for June 1959.
Meanwhile, Jan would rather be dead than just be a detached head; besides, she has some questions about the soundness of the whole procedure, which she discusses with Kurt. The rest of the time she carries on a one sided conversation with whatever is on the other side of the bolted door in the basement (Kurt will not let the cat out of the bag, but we know it is pretty bad and that it is another result of Bill's insane desire to play god). In the bloody climax of this film, the situation comes to a head...
Oh, you just cannot have too much fun at the expense of this film. Director Joseph Green and producer Rex Carlton came up with the story, and you have to admit that any movie that combines a talking disembodied head, a monster behind a locked door, and exotic dancers is a movie that is going to be made. The dialogue and the strong sexual subtext are what really stand out in this film. It is amazing that the actors could say some of these lines with straight faces. It is very easy to read this film being all about lust: Jan is ready to make Bill very happy and when he is left with just her head he insists on getting what is clearly an even better body so that they can consummate their destiny.
Also included on this double-featured DVD are trailers for both of the films plus Corman's "The Little Shop of Horrors," with a Popeye cartoon for intermission. Obviously I think everybody should experience "Jan in the Pan" at least once and while it is out there in lots of versions, as part of a double feature is not a bad way to go. We are not talking a stellar print, but it is much better than "Beast.""
Bad movie vs. good movie
S. Carpenter | Chicago, IL United States | 10/11/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The Beast from the Haunted Cave is a terrible movie. Besides the film being all washed out, the plot is long and drawn out. I could hardly stay awake for this snoozer. The beast is seen for a total of about maybe 10 seconds the entire film, and is genuinely scary looking; but not good enough to redeem the movie.The Brain that Wouldn't Die, on the other hand is a perfect B-movie horror flick. It's just so bad, it's good. You've got to see this one! A mad scientist-type loses his main-squeeze in a firey auto accident, but manages to salvage her head from the wreckage! He keeps the head alive, while scouting out the babes for a suitable body to attatch the head to! Hilarious! Although the sound quality is pretty poor, this is one classic that you CAN'T afford to miss. Skip the Beast, and buy this just for the Brain!"