Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Overlooked Movies: The Beast of Hollow Mountain

As I've mentioned numerous times before, I was a big fan of 3-D movies when I was a youngster.  When The Beast of Hollow Mountain was announced as a forthcoming 3-D feature, I was eager to see it.  Unfortunately, somebody got cold feet, or maybe the budget couldn't handle it.  Or maybe 3-D was dying.  For whatever reason, the movie was released in the old flat-screen format.  In something called Regiscope.  I have no idea what that is.  Maybe Mr. Philbin could help us out.  

As you can see on the poster to the left, the movie was based on a story by Willis O'Brien of King Kong fame.  This movie is no King Kong, but it is the first movie to feature cowboys and dinosaurs (or a dinosaur), so there's that.  There's also the key ingredient necessary to make any movie successful -- quicksand.  Or a tar pit, but it's still quicksand to me.

The star is Guy Madison, who was just about always good in westerns and did make one in 3-D, The Charge at Feather River, in which the famous "Wilhelm scream" originated.  Madison was also the star of TV's Wild Bill Hickok.  Too bad they didn't get Jingles to be in The Beast from Hollow Mountain, too.  They did get Patricia Medina, and that was a great decision.  You can't go wrong with Patricia Medina.

Madison is in Mexico to start a cattle ranch, and the locals don't want him there.   They think he should go back where he came from.  He doesn't, even though there are mysterious doings.  Something is eating the local ranchers' cattle.  There's romance between Madison and Medina, who's already pledged to one of the locals.  Naturally there's conflict, but it's mostly boring because we're all waiting for the beast to show up.  It takes a long time.  It's not a bad beast by '50s standards, though it's laughable by today's.  And it's not a realistic dinosaur, not unless dinosaurs had really, really long tongues.  Maybe they did.  Anyway, the method by which Madison disposes of the beast is pretty clever.

I'm not exactly recommending this movie.  It's a good example of how little it took to make us happy back in the old days, however, so it's worth a look for historical purposes.


Anonymous said...

Man, I can't believe I never saw this one but is not familiar at all. Can't believe I missed a "cowboys and dinosaurs" movie from that era.


Unknown said...

I can't believe it, either.

Dan said...

Saw it at the movies as a kid and it instilled in me my future career choice: Cowboy Hero.