Disappointingly, neither of these turn out to be the case Killer Mountain merely turns out to be the description of a mountain that is dangerous to climb and is regarded as forbidden by the locals. In fact, more than half of the film does not even register as a science-fiction film and falls into the genre of the mountaineering drama. Much of this is centred around the usual tensions that occur in mountaineering films people struggling to make the ascent, members of the party falling to their deaths, their dealing with storms, avalanches and so on. Produced on one of Syfys economy budgets, the film has been cheaply made in British Columbia where the shots of the cast members traversing the mountain are all medium angles rather than panoramic ones as you might expect, while the handful of scenery shots we get have all been recycled from Vertical Limit (2000).
It is only in its latter half that Killer Mountain transpires into a genre film. There are some monsters lurking around the mountainside. What they are and where they come from is not very well explained. Dramatically, these are not particularly well tied to the story and seem there just to provide a resident menace. Moreover, the films colour scheme is all greys or dark colours and it is often difficult to see the creatures or get a clear glimpse of what they look like. There are also some slugs although it is not clear if these are embryonic versions of the monsters or different creatures altogether.
Certainly, once the film reaches the mountaintop, it gets more interesting well not so much interesting as filled with some weird and randomly attached ideas. The mountaintop turns out to be Shangri-La. Although often believed to be a mythical place that originated out of Tibetan culture, it was actually created by British writer James Hilton in the novel Lost Horizon (1933) filmed as Lost Horizon (1937) and Lost Horizon (1973) depicting a hidden mountain valley paradise discovered by Westerners who find they can live for hundreds of years away from the stresses of civilisation. When it comes to Killer Mountains Shangri-La however, there are no hidden valleys or serenely placid Buddhist monks, merely the idea of an immortality serum that can be distilled from the blood of the slugs. There is not even a lost valley, just a series of mountaintop caves. Even more random is the insertion of a series of cave drawings at the end, which we are told are evidence of Ancient Astronauts thus plunging Killer Mountain into the arena of the works of Erich von Daniken and his view that all of the ancient marvels and mysteries were created by visiting aliens for which see the documentary Chariots of the Gods (1970).
Sheldon Wilson has been a regular director low-budget and cable genre fare with the likes of Shallow Ground (2004), Kaw (2007), Carny (2009), Screamers: The Hunting (2009), Mothman (2010), Red: Werewolf Hunter (2010), Mega Cyclone (2011), Snowmageddon (2011), Cold Spring (2013), Scarecrow (2013), The Hollow (2015), Shark Killer (2015), The Unspoken (2015), The Night Before Halloween (2016) and Stickman (2017).