Horrortoberfest ’18 Day 6 – The Strangeness (1985)

Any movie that takes place in a cave/mine, such as this one does, always runs the risk of being mostly just shots of incredibly badly lit people against a backdrop of grainy blackness. That risk is increased by a pretty wide margin when you’re talking about low-budget horror. Even so, it does mean you have a decent excuse for why your monster is obscured and you can do a lower budget costume without having to worry about the quality showing as much as it might in a well-lit environment. Now, unfortunately, The Strangeness opts for darkness until it is time to show the monster and then we get to see it in all of its glory. I think it might go down as one of my favorite shitty monsters ever.

Our plot is centered around an old gold mine called the Golden Spike that was shut down a hundred years ago when the miners refused to work anymore. Now a group is going in to see if it is viable to be reopened. This includes two cave experts, an old miner, the company rep, a writer and his wife, and a geologist. I briefly forgot the geologist was there since she was the first to die and never really interacted with anybody. The writer is there because the mine has a bunch of spoooooky old legends about it and he wants to write a book about it. The wife decides she hates the main caver guy for some reason and this just kind of becomes a theme in the movie. When they get trapped in the mine because of a cave-in, everyone ends up saying it’s his fault for some reason instead of, say, getting pissed at the company guy for sending them down in the first place.

The movie makes the classic mistake that pretty much every shitty horror movie makes which is lingering on scenes and characters for far too long when nothing new comes out of it. There is a point where the writer is interviewing the miner and the miner is just fucking with him and telling jokes instead of giving any real information. The scene continues to go on and on, with the miner doing the same basic gag at least 4 times before we finally move on. There is also an entire plot that gets introduced and then never explained or resolved where the company guy has a tiny gold bar and then they find another like it in the mine. He gets all weird about it and says it’s company property before going off and comparing the two. There is no further discussion of this nor does it come up again in the film.

Ok, now that I’ve gotten all that out of the way, it’s time to talk about the monster of the film. Firstly, it is a stop motion clay model and not just a rubber suit or costume. Second, it looks like if you made a flaccid penis out of raisins and then gave it a vagina for a face. Third, it attacks people by covering them in a viscous, white goo that it shoots out of its vagina-face. There is nothing that I don’t love about this monster. The IMDB trivia page for the movie says that the model designer swears the resemblance to a vagina was unintentional and I would only believe him in as much as I assume he trying to make it only be a tentacle penis monster. Did I forget to mention the wrinkly penis monster with a vagina-face has tentacles? Well it does.

The movie is pretty boring and we don’t really even get to see the monster until close to the end of the film but, honestly, I think I’m going to bump the score on this bad boy based on the design alone. I’ll give The Strangeness a solid 2.5 out of 5. Go ahead and google a picture up for yourself. Probably better than actually sitting through the movie.

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