Beast from Haunted Cave / Ski Troop Attack (Film Masters) Blu-ray Review + Screenshots + Packaging Shots

Film Masters gives us a very different double feature with this awesome blu-ray release.

Studio: Film Masters
Release Date: October 30th, 1959 (theatrical) (Beast from Haunted Cave) / April 8th, 1960 (Ski Troop Attack) / October 24th, 2023 (blu-ray)
Run Time: 1 hour 5 minutes 27 seconds (theatrical) (Beast of Haunted Cave), 1 hour 11 minutes 56 seconds (tv version) (Beast of Haunted Cave) / 1 hour 13 minutes 43 seconds (Ski Troop Attack)
Region Code: FREE
Disc Count: 2 (BD-50)
Picture: 1080p (1.85:1 aspect ratio) (theatrical) (Beast of Haunted Cave), 1080p (1.37:1 aspect ratio) (tv version) (Beast of Haunted Cave) / 1080p (1.37:1 aspect ratio) (Ski Troop Attack)
Sound: English DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0, English Dolby Digital 2.0 (both films)
Subtitles: English (film), English (commentary track) (both films)
Slipcover: No
Digital Copy: No
Starring: Michael Forest, Sheila Noonan, Frank Wolff, Wally Campo, Richard Sinatra (Beast of Haunted Cave) / Michael Forest, Frank Wolff, Wally Campo, Richard Sinatra, James Hoffman (Ski Troop Attack)
Written by Charles B. Griffith (both films)
Directed by Monte Hellman (Beast from Haunted Cave) / Roger Corman (Ski Troop Attack)
Rating: Not Rated (creature violence) (Beast from Haunted Cave) / Not Rated (violence) (Ski Troop Attack)




What's It About?

Gangster Alexander Ward, his girl friend, Gypsy Boulet, and two henchmen come to Deadwood, South Dakota with the idea of stealing a few gold bars. They enlist the aid of a local ski instructor, Gil Jackson, and plan to use him as a guide out of the territory after the robbery. However, a blizzard forces them to take refuge in Jackson's cabin, where Gypsy lowers the inside temperature by giving the cold shoulder to Ward, her former sweetie until she saw Jackson. Ward doesn't care, as he plans to kill Jackson after they have no further use of him. But they had used an explosion in a cave to serve as a distraction during the heist, and this explosion had irritated the big spider that lived there and, sure enough, all hands have to seek refuge in the cave from the fury of the storm. All but two of them would have been better off facing the South Dakota elements. (Beast of Haunted Cave)

An American patrol has to cross behind enemy lines by skis in order to blow up an important railroad bridge. The task is made harder by conflicts between the platoon's veteran sergeant and its inexperienced lieutenant and by constant attacks by pursuing German troops. (Ski Troop Attack)


When it comes to BEAST FROM HAUNTED CAVE, we get the "newly restored 4K scan from 35mm archival materials". This transfer is pretty damn nice. We get film grain throughout with it being surprisingly heavy at times along with some nice depth. Blacks are deep and the grayscale is nicely balanced. Detail can be very high at times. There are some imperfections that show up from time to time including lines that run through the whole frame from top to bottom. The TV version of BEAST is taken from, what appears to be two different sources. There is the 4K scan that was done for the theatrical version and then there are some SD inserts for the TV scenes. 

SKI TROOP ATTACK fares far worse than BEAST in terms of picture quality. All the box says about the film is it is an "HD Print' so there is no information about where the HD print came from but it's not very good. There is a darkness that hangs over some scenes (mostly the stock footage but a few freshly shot footage too) and it acts really weird. There is a scene where a guy is talking to some other people and it looks like they darkened just his face on his solo footage. Its very bizarre. The rest of the footage looks like it was taken from a cousin to a cousin of the film's original camera negative. There are some nice shots with a bit of detail here and here but overall it doesn't look all that great.


Disc 1: Beast from Haunted Cave

Commentary for Beast of Haunted Cave (Theatrical Version Only) (found in setup menu) Tom Weaver is the go to guy when it comes to audio commentary tracks for classic 50's monster movies. His tracks are always informative and fun. 
Original Trailer for Beast of Haunted Cave (1m 38s, HD, 1.33:1)
2023 Re-Cut Trailer for Beast of Haunted Cave (1m 38s, HD, 1.85:1) 
Behind-the-Scenes Beast Still Gallery (52 images) This one autoplays but you can also use the chapter select keys to advance the gallery.

Disc 2: Ski Troop Attack

Commentary for Ski Troop Attacks (found in Setup Menu) Another great track from two guys who really know how to deliver the goods without resorting to describing what is on screen as their main commentary angle. 
Hollywood Intruders: The Filmgroup Story: Part One documentary (16m 22s, HD, 1.78:1) This is an interview with C. Courtney Joyner covering the history of the film production company Filmgroup, run by Roger and Gene Corman. I just realized they share the same first names with Siskel & Ebert. Weird. Joyner covers the company's first few years.
2023 Re-Cut Trailer for Ski Troop Attack (1m 56s, HD, 1.33:1)

Film Masters has done another fine job with their packaging here. The cover features the film's original poster art along with a smaller blub about the second film in the set (SKI TROOP ATTACK) only this time Film Masters didn't include anything from that film's poster (other than the title font) like they did with THE GIANT GILA MONSTER but the two films included here are from vastly different genres so their posters would have conflicted with each other. The SKI TROOP ATTACK poster is really cool looking. 

We also get 22-page booklet with an essay about SKI TROOP ATTACK (by C. Courtney Joyner) and an interview with Chris Robinson (done by Tom Weaver) for BEAST FROM HAUNTED CAVE

The two blu-rays (one for each film) features that film's poster art giving us the only inclusion of SKI TROOP ATTACK's awesome poster art along with a list of what is included on said disc. 

Both discs are REGION FREE


CREATURE FROM HAUNTED CAVE is a good film that offers some genuinely creepy moment with the monster. The human drama stuff is ok but the monster stuff is good. 

SKI TROOP ATTACK is a surprisingly violent film. There is a shot of a guy slitting another guy's throat (no blood gushes out or anything like that) and then wipes the blood off the knife with his pant leg and then hostlers it. Then there is another scene where the soldiers beat a bunch of enemy soldiers to death with their rifle butts. Even though this violence is tame by today's standards but it would have been violent for that time. It just took me my surprise given the time period it was made and released. The film is ok but nothing too special.

Film Masters has another winner on their hands with this double feature. While the selection of films is kind of odd (they were both made by the same people sudring the same time frame) but both of the films have their pros and cons and they fit together when you realize how. The picture quality on 




Beast from Haunted Cave

Ski Troop Attack



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