Sound of Horror

Director: Jose Antonio Nieves Conde

Reviewed by Paghat the Ratgirl

The b/w cinematography for Sound of Horror (El Sonido Prehistorico, 1964) makes it look like it was made ten years earlier, like a 1950s Drive-in movie cheapie of the cheapest cheap-cheap kind, but it's definitely from Spain.

A cave explorer team consists of an archeologist, a treasure hunter, & some others equally inconsequential. They explore caves by dynamiting their way from one cavernous chamber to the next then kicking the rubble about to see if there's anything in it.

They soon find a petrified egg which they take to their nearby rental & put on the mantel. Left behind was another petrified egg which no one noticed. It hatches & grows at super-speed though the one they took home didn't.

Sound of HorrorLater they dynamite their way into another chamber & find a large weirdly dressed mummy in a state of perfect preservation. This is a cooler prop than encountered anywhere else in the film & probably borrowed from someone otherwise not associated with this movie.

They declare the mummy to be a Neanderthal man (which it in no way resembles). Although the archeologist states that it is a more important find than any treasure, they proceed to just leave it laying in the rubble of the cave.

We are given every reason to suppose the mummy will come to life at some point but the treasure hunter is more interested in finding the treasure, & there is no follow up with the improbably preserved so-called Neanderthal.

After a half an hour of nothing making sense, we are treated to a screechy "sound" in the cave & at last the one thing that does make sense is that this unfortunately is the titular Sound of Horror.

The thing that crawled out of the prehistoric egg is invisible which saves on FX costs, as does having it make some noise before it kills someone. Its first victim jumps around screaming, bleeds, then falls dead. It wasn't supposed to look like the sound itself killed him.

Apparently the invisible prehistoric monster (& perhaps the Neanderthal mummy though we're not updated on that) was in the cave as guardian of the ancient Greek treasure. What it might've been guarding for the million years before that we're not informed. The Id monster from Forbidden Planet (1956) seems to be the inspiration for this monster, but there's none of the panache of the original.

Meanwhile the other prehistoric egg on the mantel hatches but is immediately killed with a fireplace poker & mashed beyond recognition. The bigger invisible whatever starts leaving footprints as it travels back & forth between the cave & the house. Its footprints give the general impression of a fat-footed chicken or a cassowary.

Sound of HorrorThe "best" effect in the whole movie: Two hatchets are tossed at the invisible monster & the axes are momentarily seen floating in the air. Ooooo.

The treasure hunter finally realizes the treasure just ain't worth it & blows up the whole cave with himself & the invisible beast therein.

One would think that blowing up the cavern was what was supposed to pass for a climax, since the horrible "sound" is squelched & the cave sealed forever. But while everyone is packing up to leave, it turns out the car doesn't work, & the monster starts screaming again.

So everyone runs back in the house, but so does the monster, so they run back to the car, which starts this time, they drive away, but the invisible monster is on top of the car tearing up the cloth roof, so everyone gets out of the car except the guy with the injured leg, & he sets the car, himself, & the invisible monster on fire, which apparently kills it though dynamiting the whole cave didn't, & the survivors stand around congratulating the dead burnt guy for how brave he was.

I think there should've been one more climax after that. After their means of transportation is lit afire, there's a sudden snowstorm & they're trapped in the mountain wilderness & have to eat each other. There. Now it's a good film.

copyright by Paghat the Ratgirl

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