According to director Melanie Anne Phillips the opening scene was shot without permission at a real mine called "The Red Rover". About a month after shooting their scenes some real life miners hired to see if the mine was worth reopening entered and went further in than the film crew had, then died from poison gas exposure. See more »
Ah, Code Red, you have a tendency to release rarities to DVD that range from lost classics ("Soul Survivor" and the upcoming Messiah of Evil" SE) to terrible ("Don't Go In The Woods...Alone!") to watchable but mediocre ("The Unseen" and "The Dead Pit") and the truly mind boggling ("Boardinghouse") Well, "The Strangeness" falls into the third category. I've been wanting to see it since I read the entry on it in Stephen Thrower's essential 70's/80's Horror Tome "Nightmare USA," and lo and behold, Code Red gives it a DVD release.
The plot is nothing special: A group of people people surveying a abandoned mine end up trapped in a cave, and what do ya know, a slimy tentacled monster. So yeah, nothing new, and nothing spectacular. On the plus side, the creature itself is a pretty nifty creation-done using Stop-Motion animation, and looking like a mix of H.R Giger (it's pretty much looks like a combination of a phallus and a vagina) and Lovecraft. Also, the direction is competent, the low budget sets are convincing and the John Carpenter like score is a lot of fun.
On the other hand, the acting is terrible (it's pretty much amateur hour here) and this was done with a PG rating, so those expecting plenty of gore will be let down considerably, as the majority of the deaths occur off screen. Plus, the Stop-Motion creature certainly has it's charms, though the animation itself is a bit jerky.
So, is it worth it? Well, it's certainly no "The Descent" that's for sure. On the other hand, if you have fond memories for not yet on DVD cave creature flicks like "What Waits Below" and "The Boogens", then this might be worth it. It's no classic, but there's worse ways to spend your time.
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