Years ago, when I was watching the 2AM Late Show this movie came on and somehow gripped with a haunting interest. I was never more fascinated. While the characters are stereotyped (the company man looking for keep his gold, the young expedition scout, the old timer with the tales of a haunted mine and "It lives" warnings, the writer, and the girl, as well as a few other extra victims) the creature is real original. Looking like something from a Lovecraft tale, this tentacled stop motion monster was around when the Indians had the land before white men found the Golden Spike Mine and died by it's hands 100 years before. After all this time, our heroes decide to enter the mine on a company inspection and are greeted by the creature. The movie is a cross between "Alien" and "The Boogens", the latter being the closest and being released within a year or so. But this one is better. The victims run through old mine tunnels, find skeletons and bodies, living victims glued to the roofs of the mine chambers, assault each other, find remains of the miners who died in the mine, hear a strange "hellwinds" and find the dwelling of the beast and end it all with an old stack of gunpowder, blasting caps and flares. The filming is dark, sometimes a strain to see what is going on, and slow, but when the creature shows up (having been hidden or glimpsed in areas of the picture) it is interesting to see this stop motion marvel eat the company man and chase the last two survivors in it's lair.
While there have been several bootleg VHS and DVD versions of this horror film, the real Trans World oversized clamshell packaging was my most prized and collectable item. CODE RED has FINALLY done an official overdue DVD release and we can hope to be treated with as much bonus behind the scenes material as has survived from 1985. Based on the official website at thestrangeness.net from one of the actors/crew it looks like we have it. Take a peek. They have the miniature mine sets, the stop motion models and behind the scenes shooting, plus more.
At print, VHS copies were going anywhere from $35-70 dollars. That is how rare this gem has been over the years. It took me almost 10 years and an email to Fred Olen Ray, the famous B-movie Retromedia mogul, to kindly respond and finally give me the title so it could be located. I bought my VHS copies off of Amazon due to tape wear before the DVD-R transfer revolution. So now we have the official DVD. No horror fan of classic 80s obscure horror would go without seeing this marvel at least three times.