This week on the B movie docket is The Cave
B movies are the glue stuck in between all the other genres, oftentimes refusing to conform to any particular genre presets. Some but not all of the hallmarks of a B movie include scripts that read like they were written by a room full of eighth-graders, poor visual effects, cringe-inducing dialogue, low budget production design, and zany plot contrivances. You’re aware of the hallmarks, right? B-movies often reek of amateur flair. Thought you were about to watch a great white shark hunted in dramatic fashion like only Steven Spielberg can deliver? Nope, this is Sharknado.
Why do we love B movies? I think B movies are comforting. You know what you’re about to watch is bad. If you’re fortunate it may be so bad that it’s good. You’ll often scratch your head trying to work out the plot. Out of the many good films you’ve seen, I bet you can talk with more vigor about the worst ones you’ve seen. They’re unforgettable. There’s something comforting about that I think. Besides they’ve been around just as long as the movie industry.
Believe it or not, chances are there’s a B movie for you. So I compiled a list of 50 B movies you must see before you die. No decade is off-limits. No rating is too taboo. For the next 49 weeks, I will introduce and recommend a B movie for your viewing pleasure. Yes, these are exciting times indeed my fanatical friends.
WEEK 24 – The Cave
One more week and we hit twenty-five on the 50 B Movies To See Before You Die list. This week’s twenty-fourth entry is the 2005 action horror movie The Cave. Directed by Bruce Hunt. His work prior to The Cave consisted of directing second unit on The Matrix franchise. He also worked doing something on Dark City. I can’t find out what specifically, but his online bio does confirm it was something.
There is a definite linear path for Bruce Hunt to go from the director of second unit to full-on director of The Cave. Unfortunately for Hunt, The Cave was not received so well. Produced by Lakeshore Entertainment in 2005. Made on a budget of $33 million, The Cave’s opening weekend gross in the United States was a paltry $6.1 million. As a result, Hunt has never directed a movie since then. So anyone, like myself holding out hopes for a sequel’s hopes may be dashed against the rocks.
If you are in the majority, then you won’t be missing anything. But if you happen to be a real homegrown honest to god B movie-loving cinephile, which I know you are because you’re reading this. Then you know the world is worst off without a sequel to The Cave.
According to the monologue opening the film, there was once a monastery somewhere in an ancient Carpathian mountain region. A landslide buries the monastery for centuries. That is until some local plunderers come along to loot the cave.
After breaching the cave, they see some cave art depicting demons battling nights within the monastery. They also are quick to figure out that the explosives used to breach the monastery have triggered a landslide trapping the men inside. Their fates are literally sealed.
The main story kicks in once a new group of cave explorers made up of our main cast decide to breach the cave again. Little do they know of the horrors that await them inside the belly of the monastery.
The Cave stars Pitch Black’s Cole Hauser, and Boyz n the Hood star Morris Chestnut. Cole Hauser is no stranger to B movies, but he is also a fine supporting cast member in a major blockbuster. The same can be said for Morris Chestnut. That guy has been in everything from Girls Trip to Ladder 49. But my personal favorite on his resume must be the entry for Under Siege 2: Dark Territory, a very fine ’90s movie if you ask me.
The monsters in The Cave are serviceable plot devices at best. They sound a lot better in the description. The execution works better when left up to the imagination. In theory, what is not cool about an ancient virus that has been turning men into demons since the Knights Templar days? The monsters are built up well. It is the reveal that helps cement this film as a B movie.
There was a movie released in 1997 by the name of The Relic. That film was a horror thriller. It featured a monster whose on-screen presence matched the in movie mythos built up prior to its full reveal. That movies monstrous mutation was scary and downright evil. The Cave’s monsters don’t really ever get a name. But it’s clear someone took inspiration from The Relic’s creature design when crafting these parasitic cave-dwelling demons.
Regardless of the similarities, the two movies are as night and day as The Matrix and The Cave.
Caves – The Sequel to The Cave
The ending is left wide open for a sequel. I mean the ending is doing more than that. Most movies leave one potential door open for a sequel. The Cave, being the B movie, it is saying f$% it, and gives us two doors wide open for potential sequels.
One door is a Hellboy like sequel delving into the fate of cave looter turned demon Caul Hauser. The other door features a sequel like The Strain where the survivors must destroy two monsters. It’s akin to The Matrix not only giving you Neo trash-talking machines before pulling a Superman fly to the camera, but also showing Cypher still alive somehow being reinserted into The Matrix.
So, support The Cave. Let us galvanize some support to get a #makethecavesequel hashtag going. We can do it. It’s 2020 and anything is possible.
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