Wisconsin Mine Syndrome. With Cher.
“There’s evil underground.”
Director/Writer: Leszek Burzynski / Writer: Julian Weaver / Cast: Randolph Powell, Sullivan Hester, Mark Witsken, Laura Kalison, Alex Kubik, Elizabeth Kent, Cameron Mitchell, Michael Nash.
Body Count: 9
Laughter Lines: “Do you realise that just five miles down the road a horde of beautiful and horny young men are panting for our bodies?”
Thank you to @AFinalBoy for making me aware of this… intriguing… product… of film.
Shot in Wisconsin in 1988 and shelved until ’93, the cover image was clearly sought from some adult video store section as the hair styles of the two leading ladies would fool nobody in thinking it was shot anywhere near the 90s.
Three prisoners break out of jail on a snowy night before Christmas and end up car-jacking two poodle-haired party gals on a backroad. Police checkpoints send them careening off the road and literally falling down a shaft at the largely abandoned Forever Mine.
A deputy later shows up to investigate and almost immediately has sex with the clearly desperate wife of the sleeping mine caretaker, who looks like a regional Cher tribute act if ever there was:
Down in the mine, the lead prisoner – Face – makes one of the girls do a striptease for him, while locking the other girl in some dark room, and the requisite almost-reformed young inmate tries to get an old generator running. They’ve failed to notice a few human skulls lying around and when the muscle is found with his face chewed off, they grow suspicious. The deputy then enters the cave system and is trapped with them when somebody cuts the rope.
Mucho talking occurs until – almost an hour in – a murder finally happens. A largely goreless, ridiculous slaying, where the victim sounds more like he’s yodelling than shrieking in pain. Deputy guy takes charge, makes almost-reformed bloke continue fixing stuff while he… does something else. Good girl Robin holds a flashlight for the guy and uses the time to fall madly in love with him.
The cannibal mutant thingy returns and grabs the other girl, forcing almost-reformed to shoot her dead before a worse fate can unfold. The remaining three try to escape, Robin strips to her bra and panties to dive through a flooded shaft (it’s snowing above, so how cold is this water likely to be?), kills the monster, then Cher rocks up, back-fills the story that the monster is her papa and blows up the mine with deputy dude inside, allowing Robin and almost-reformed to escape, then kiss loads.
As the countdown on my VLC player refused ever to tell me there was anything less than 17 hours of the movie remaining, I felt trapped alive by Trapped Alive, a film so terminally boring they toss in a scene where Cameron Mitchell talks to a photograph for about nineteen minutes just in case you might still be awake. The monster only kills two people and is defeated at first strike and there’s very little grue. However, my main question at the end was did Cher’s husband actually sleep through all of this??
Blurbs-of-interest: Cameron Mitchell was also in The Demon, Jack-O, Valley of Death, Toolbox Murders, and Silent Scream.