Saturday, September 1, 2012

Monster Crap Inductee 100: Beast of Hollow Mountain (1956)

(Thanks to punkrockguy for the drawing)

Monster Crap 100: Beast of Hollow Mountain
Making Fun Of Even My Own Childhood Memories

1956

Well here we are folks. It is 100 inductions for this site that has surprisingly lasted as long as it has. I mean, it seems very strange that in all my years, I would gain even some small recognition for writing pages upon pages of my thoughts on these films (if you ever see my stuff at Microsoft Word,  having more than 10 pages per induction was average for me. I say it is very strange because going into school, one of my least favorite things to do was to write essays or summaries. Book Reports were two words that I honestly dreaded when coming to school. To get an idea of how bad it was, I would worry if you had to write a single page of an essay. Now, I can do a page of this stuff in my sleep. So I guess it is time to talk about why I picked this 1956 film that I am sure many of you have never heard of……..as my 100th induction.

Well, for that…….we may have to go further in my life; right up to the year of 1993. I was I believe nine years old and I had never seen a monster movie, despite the fact that I was fascinated by dinosaurs and for some reason, mythological beasts. So because of all of this and the fact that in 1992, I bought a Godzilla action figure despite having never seen one of those films (I liked the name King of the Monsters), I was told by someone that TNT was going to be airing this new show on some nights called MonsterVision, which would play several movies. To say that I wanted to see these movies was an understatement. But something else came up so I would miss it. So because I begged so much, my parents used blank VHS tapes to record four of the movies, which probably may have been the first movies on the show, but I’m not sure. One of those movies was one I inducted and I’ll be honest my favorite of the four….

Yes, At One Time………..My Favorite Movie Was The Bird Puppet That Was As Big As A Battleship.

The others are two movies that may see their day on Monster Crap, but most likely not in The Giant Behemoth and The Monster That Challenged The World. But before all of them aired, the first one that I saw was The Beast of Hollow Mountain. To say that this film increased my love for monster movies is quite an understatement. Heck, I remember one time in third grade that while our school was teaching us about Mexico………I asked and was allowed to play this movie for class (in my defense, the film is supposed to be in Mexico so for a young guy like me, that was good enough reason for me).

Now fast forward to 2005, when I had first gotten the news that I had multiple sclerosis. I was well, a miserable and moody kid who thought that my life may as well have been over (once again in my defense, the only thing I knew about MS at that time was Richard Pryor was diagnosed with it at the end of his life and let’s just say…….it was truly sad to see him suffering the way he did). So after one weeks of me just sleeping through stuff because the pain medication made me to the point that I am not sure that even a bomb blowing up nearby would faze me, the Movie Channel was playing the Beast of Hollow Mountain and since it was part of my childhood, I watched it again. Oh boy, did I ever laughed and my parents then told me about the other movies I watched on MonsterVision and how well, cheesy they were…….even bringing up that you could easily see the strings on the Giant Claw. I was cheered up and decided that as a side project (my main goal was being a radio broadcaster), I would talk about my feelings on movies like this. Of course, my main influence was RD Reynolds and Wrestle Crap, but I used to watch X-Play on TechTV (and then G4)….and got some ideas from their random character appearances of famous people. By the way, I would like to add that this

By The Way, I Would Like To Add That I Used To Watch This Show…………When The Channel It Was On, Was Focused On Video Games And Not What The Hell Ever.

I would get more influences later on, but for now……….all you have to know is that without The Beast Of Hollow Mountain, there may have never been a Monster Crap and I most likely would have done something incredibly stupid since I was at the point of madness. So what better way to celebrate 100 inductions then to induct this movie.

By the way, before you ask…….I’m sure you would expect cameos in this induction, but I think the cameo idea has been done to death so instead I will do the movie myself instead. However, I will thank those who have helped me with either suggestions or collaborations on inductions. So thanks to RD Reynolds, Raymond Gallant (Forgotten Sin), Robert Seidelman (Sigma), the good folks at the Superfriends Universe, the good folks at the Angry Marks Podcast Network, Shawn DC (ChikaraJobber), and more recently, the folks at the Wide Weird World of Cult Films. Your help has allowed me to be able to get to 100 inductions.

Now before I review this film, I have to give what little back-story to this film that is available. This film was based off of a story idea called The Valley of the Mist from effects legend Willis O’Brien. He was a stop motions effects animator who made some of the most well known films of the early 20th Century. Films like The Lost World and of course,

1933’s King Kong

Now one of the things I will say about the downfall of stop motion effects is they took years to do enough for a whole movie so there would be years between films and later on, he would be succeeded as the guy to go to for stop motion effects by his own protégé, Ray Harryhausen. Anyway, for this film………he co-wrote the script as a pseudonym El Toro Estrella and was supposed to do the effects for the film, but for some reason………did not. Instead the effects were done using replacement stop motion for wide shots of the monster and for close ups, they used an articulated puppet. This film has several things that they did first like being the first to feature cowboys and dinosaurs; and being the first film with stop motion effects shot in wide screen and in color. So let’s finally get into inducting this film.

But before I get into watching the film, I have to mention a few things. One is of course, the very crappy DVD that I got from this film from Amazon.com.

I’m Left Guessing Two Options: That Amazon Sells Bootleg DVDs or This Is The Worst Official Release For A DVD That I Have Ever Seen

Another thing is to look at the DVD menu.

Yep, You Get To Choose Between The Film & Visiting The Snack Bar.

And what do you get for visiting the snack bar?

Commercials From What Seem To Be Taken From A Drive Thru.

Well, now that I have probably made you hungry. You may want to stop here to get a snack.

If you don’t or if you have gotten your snack, then let’s watch and destroy this childhood memory of mine.

Ah Yes, Knowing What Film You Are Watching Immediately…………..Those Were The Good Ol’ Days.

We begin this film with three men searching for their cattle that just so happened to have run away. Meanwhile a narration tells us of Hollow Mountain, surrounded by an almost impassable swamp, and the rumors of a terrifying beast living there.

Two Of Them Are Jimmy Ryan (Played By Guy Madison (While He Was Still Starring As “Wild” Bill Hickok In The Seven Year Long 50s TV Series “The Adventures Of Wild Bill Hickok”)) And Felipe Sanchez (Played By Carlos Rivas)

The third man is a helper, who is of no consequence.

 
Felipe has to get saved from quicksand and afterwards, we learn the fate of the cattle that ran off.

Killed By Quicksand

They of course blame the cattle running off on rustlers employed by their rival, Enrique Rios. When the three get into town, they are met by bratty kids who throw firecrackers in an attempt to scare the horses.

Kids Needing To Get Their Ass Kicked……………Check

Outside of the cantina, a kid named Panchito is waiting for his dad Pancho to get leave and come home. As if you have not guessed, Pancho is a drunk.

 
Pancho tries to explain to his son that he is not a drunk, but he drinks to forget that Panchito’s mom is in heaven. Pancho thinks about going back into the cantina and get drunk some more, but Panchito is able to convince him to come home. While heading home, those asshole kids throw firecrackers and actually scare the horse, nearly getting Pancho and Panchito killed, before they are saved by Jimmy.


A woman who knows the two scolds Pancho for not thinking of his son when he goes out to drink.

The Woman’s Name Is Sarita (Played By Patricia Medina, Who Was Type Casted Into Period Melodramas Because Of Her Looks)

The two leave and Sarita thanks Jimmy for helping them, and the music plays which probably means these two will be getting together in the end. Sarita tells Jimmy about the situation that has caused Pancho to be drunk and Jimmy reveals that Sarita is the daughter of Don Pedro, who is kind of the head of this town. Sarita says she will lead him to her father.

 
Jimmy tells him that three times in the last month, they have had cattle either stolen or gone missing. He says they have only found one and that one was drowned in the swamps or as it is…….quicksand. Don Pedro tries to say it’s probably the swamp, but Jimmy believes that his rival Enrique is responsible.

This Brings Enrique (Played By Eduardo Noriega, Who In The 1940s Was The Lead In Scores Of Mexican Films) Into Our Film.

Enrique does not appreciate being accused of something that he says he did not do. In fact, Enrique wishes Jimmy would just go back to Texas period. Jimmy and Enrique almost get into a fight, but Don Pedro stops them and says that he will not have this in his house. Jimmy apologizes for his part and leaves, which leaves Pedro and Enrique to stare at each other before Enrique leaves.

The next day, Jimmy learns that all of his helpers have left, with only a note explaining that they fear the mountain. He tells Felipe about this and both believe that Enrique is behind the helpers leaving. However, while they are contemplating what to do, Pancho and Panchito come to work for them as thanks for helping them yesterday.

How Convenient…..

Later on, Sarita is out looking for Pancho and Panchito. She finds them helping out Jimmy with the cattle and is not happy. She believes that he stole Pancho and Panchito from their house and Jimmy says that is not what happened, they came and asked for the jobs and since no one else is around to help, he accepted. Sarita tries to get the two to come back, but they both refuse. They say that they will only leave if the men who left came back, and explained that someone told them something bad would happen if they stayed and to blame the mountain for their departure. Sarita is of course, unhappy to hear that someone had told the workers to leave.

Sarita then goes to talk with Jimmy and apologizes for accusing him of stealing Pancho and Panchito. She also wishes he would be friends with Enrique, but Jimmy says that he doesn’t think his rival wants him to be his friend. She explains that he may not know Enrique as well as she does as she and her father owe everything to Enrique. She then says that Enrique and she are to be married in a few weeks. Sarita says it is late and she better go, while Jimmy goes to walk her to her horse. Of course, her horse is gone so Jimmy decides to have her ride with him back to town.

Better Hope Enrique Doesn’t See This Or He Might Take This The Wrong Way..

Uh Oh…………He Saw It

After Sarita leaves, Enrique confronts Jimmy and the two get into a fight because of Enrique’s jealousy. After a few minutes, Jimmy is able to walk away from the fight and picks up the telegram that informs him that he has been chosen by the government to have his cattle because his price is agreeable.

Later on, Don Pedro is admonishing Jimmy for the fight. He also says that Enrique wants to buy his ranch and buy it before they make their cattle shipment. Jimmy refuses this offer, but Don Pedro tells him that Enrique has great influence over this town so they might find trouble.

Afterwards, we see Enrique and Sarita arguing over Enrique’s overreaction to what he saw. He asks her to forgive him because as he says, when a man falls in love….he is not himself. Sarita wants Enrique to be friends with Jimmy, and while he talks like he agrees with her, he has the look that he is not going to be friends with Jimmy.

Pancho and Panchito take Jimmy and Felipe to an abandoned house where Pancho says the owner disappeared the last time the swamp went dry. Rumors are the mountain swallowed him up, but Pancho doesn’t believe that and thinks he probably drowned in the quicksand. There they find the body of another member of the herd that drowned. Pancho says he wants to check on the mountain, but Jimmy and Felipe refuse since the mountain is surrounded by quicksand. Jimmy decides that he wants to get a loan from the bank so he can hire men with guns to scour the mountain.

Unfortunately for Jimmy and Felipe, they are not helped in anyway by the town thanks to Enrique’s influence, which means they can’t get their loan. Sarita is the only one who will even talk to the two, who says that she is sorry for what happened and she spoke to Enrique so there will be no more misunderstandings. Of course Enrique sees this with Don Pedro and says that he doesn’t like the way Jimmy looks at her, but Don Pedro says that he is seeing things and not to worry. Enrique says that he is not worried because he believes Jimmy will be leaving them soon. Enrique tells two of his men to pretend to work for Jimmy so he can cause a huge cattle stampede and make Jimmy lose his cattle. Back at the ranch, Jimmy is given a letter that Sarita wants to meet with him.

Back at what was the deserted house, Pancho tells his son to wait for him there as he goes to the mountain to investigate. Panchito doesn’t want his father to do this, but he is told that if he does not return by the time his shadow hits this rock, to tell Jimmy what Pancho has done.

 
Jimmy meets with Sarita at a graveyard. Sarita asks why Jimmy did not accept the offer given by Enrique for his property as he was given a fair offer. Sarita tries to get him to accept the offer saying that there are a lot of other ranches that he can use. She is more worried about him getting hurt than anything else and because of this; Jimmy says he will consider it. However, he says that if he leaves, he wants Enrique to leave Felipe alone.

Pancho goes up the mountain and sadly for him, he meets the beast. But we don’t see him as we only hear roars and Pancho try to shoot the thing before screaming and we go to the next scene.

Alas Poor Pancho……I Knew Thee Well

When the shadow gets to the rock and no Pancho to be seen, Panchito goes to tell Jimmy what his father has done.

Back at the ranch, Jimmy tells Felipe that he is going to leave because he believes that being an American, he is the only reason Enrique is causing trouble. Felipe then says to him that he hopes he will be around for the burial because it will be Enrique’s gun or his. Jimmy tries to calm him down, but Panchito comes in, telling them what Pancho has done. Jimmy and Felipe go to find Pancho, but all they find is his hat so they assume that the quicksand got him. They then decide it would be best not to tell Panchito about the fate of his dad and to leave him with Sarita. He also tells Don Pedro that after they get the cattle on the train, he will be leaving on the promise that Enrique will leave Felipe alone. Panchito is not happy about any of this and wants to find his father, but everyone refuse. Of course, everyone else is celebrating the upcoming wedding of Enrique and Sarita, don’t know which one.

 
Also, we see that Enrique is going to break his promise as he still plans to cause the cattle stampede and ruin his rivals. One of the two men who say they work for Jimmy, but really work for Enrique, want to start the stampede now……but the other says not until Enrique says so and to calm the other one down, he has a bottle of tequila.

Don Pedro goes to meet Enrique and afterwards, Panchito tries once more to find his father, but in an attempt to stop him, the maid blurts out that Pancho was killed by the swamp. Panchito doesn’t believe her and runs away to find his dad. The maid tells Sarita about this and Sarita decides to look for Panchito.

Back at the herd with the two double crossers, the stampede does happen……..but it is not because of them as something else has plans.

So I See You Boys Were Going To Frame Me, Too Bad, Because I Was Going To Do It Myself

The two traitors are killed by the stampede as one of the herd is eaten by the beast.


While trying to rustle up the cattle that has now involved Enrique’s cattle, Jimmy learns that Panchito has gone to the swamp and Sarita has gone after him. He decides to go after them as well. The cows stampede into town and Don Pedro learns of Enrique’s deceit and is disappointed. The maid also tells the two about the Panchito chase and because Enrique still harbors jealousy, he goes after them….intending on taking care of Jimmy.

Panchito is at the swamp looking for his dad, but finds something else instead.

Oh Boy, More Food

The beast chases after Jimmy, who runs into Sarita. The beast chases them both and traps them in the abandoned house. Breaking through the roof, the beast tries to grab them.

 
Sarita tries to use a long stick, but the beast breaks it. Finally, Jimmy shows up and shoots the beast a few times in between the eyes, causing merely a cut.

 
Of course, it does cause the beast to be a bit pissed off so he goes after Jimmy and leaves Panchito & Sarita alone. While running, Jimmy runs into Enrique. Enrique first tries to shoot Jimmy, but runs like hell as well after seeing the beast. Jimmy then decides to help Enrique because you know, bigger problems and all. The two are trapped in a cave and sadly, the beast’s arms are able to reach and kill Enrique.

 
The cavalry comes in as men from the village come in and shoot the dinosaur, merely annoying it. Yeah, if you haven’t noticed by now……….it’s an Allosaurus.  They were in the Jurassic Period and while it might look like the Tyrannosaurus Rex (which came afterwards in the Cretaceous Period), the Allosaurus actually has longer arms. Anyway, enough with that history lesson and let’s get back to the film.

Felipe helps Jimmy go to the swamp, where they lure the beast. Using himself as bait via his rope, Jimmy is able to get the beast to fall into the quicksand and die.

Yeah, Dinosaurs Weren’t Exactly The Smartest Creatures.

But I know what you are going to ask, “If the beast fell in the quicksand, why wasn’t it there for Jimmy?” And my answer is……I don’t know. Bit of a continuity error there.

Anyway, the beast is dead and everyone lives happily ever after.

 The End

Now before we get my final thoughts on the film, we have to talk about the aftermath of this film and since there are no box office numbers, I don’t know how well it did financially.  Of the main cast, two cast members are still alive (or so I assume since IMDB doesn’t have them as dead). Those two are Mario Navarro (who played Panchito) and Pascual Garcia Pena (who played Pancho). I say assume because Pascual was born in 1910 so that would make him 102 today. However, everyone else has sadly passed on (the latest being Patricia Medina (who played Sarita), who passed on April 28, 2012).

Now I guess it is time for my opinion. Looking back……..yeah, this movie is pretty bad, however I still enjoy it and even my three year old nephew enjoyed it. It’s got stock clichés and characters you would expect to see in this story, but the film still holds some charm. Even with how not well the stop motion is, I would still kind of take this over some of today’s CGI effects. Maybe I need to take off my nostalgia glasses, but I really can’t with this film that so happened to be the very first movie with a monster that I saw and was the film that got me into the idea of Monster Crap. So yeah, not a good film, but I can still pop it in every now and again.

Now……….since the Randomizer is never going to work again, I guess I will have to….

Not So Fast…..

Who the hell are you?????

I am you…..well, sort of. You see, during your induction of The Thing prequel, you let off some red steam. That smoke has since been able to create its own body, the body you see before you. I have decided to be your villain so I destroyed your Randomizer because I am taking over in deciding what film you induct next. I mean after all, this whole Randomizer crap was just you asking the audience what they wanted to induct and the one with the most votes won.  

Damn you for ruining the Randomizer. Now as for you picking………..give me your best shot.

Oh I intend to……………..let’s see………..here you go.

You Son Of A Bitch!!!!

1 comment:

  1. Nice I am intrigued by the Beast film, might try and find it. Look forward to the Clash remake review.

    Joker from the FAN forum.

    ReplyDelete