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Beast From Haunted Cave

Far too few films manage to mix cross-country skiing, criminals, and giant spider-like creatures that thirst for human blood. Thankfully, "Beast From Haunted Cave" (1959) does just that.

Alex Ward is a ruthless robber with a plan to steal some gold and flee to Canada by way of a little trek through snow-covered mountains. Tangled in his plot are his henchmen, his jaded girlfriend Gypsy, and the handsome mountain guide Gil whom he's hired--ostensibly for a cross-country ski weekend, but really to help Alex and the gang make their big getaway. Unfortunately for Alex, the locale he's picked for his heist has been the hunting ground of what locals believe to be a hungry cougar but is actually a beast the likes of which even the streetwise gangsters have never seen before.

You may remember the actress playing Gypsy as none other than Sheila Noonan (a.k.a. Sheila Carol), one of the leads in "The Incredible Petrified World" (1957), which has also been featured on UEN SciFi Friday. Gil is played by Michael Forest, an actor with a long string of credits, including the god Apollo in a 1967 episode of "Star Trek." Director Monte Hellman served as an executive producer of Quentin Tarantino's "Reservoir Dogs" (1992) and is credited with saying, "I think any work of art, not just a film, is a mystery."

The Science

Craig Gordon

Craig GordonAvalanche forecaster Craig Gordon of the Utah Forest Service discusses outdoor safety and the film “The Beast From Haunted Cave.”

 

More Science to go with the Show

Related Resources

Utah Forest Service Avalanche Center

The Avalanche Encyclopedia

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