Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Corman Theater: Humanoids from the Deep (1980)

How did I forget to review this?  I bought this movie from Moviestop months ago- since the Roger Corman Cult Classics Collection is barely on Netflix- and watched it.  I liked it, but it is definitely-flawed.  More on that in the review though.  Somehow, I eventually watched the 1997 TV Remake and had to make up an excuse to review it.  It's at this point that I suddenly realized my error.  Fixing time!  This movie is New World Pictures at its best and worst- pure, pulp trash.  You'll either like this movie or hate it.  I, for one, embrace really ridiculous stuff like this.  It's everything you've come to expect as a cliche of what Roger Corman films are, even if it's not a fair assessment.  All you need to know is that fish monsters are here...and they want our women.  To find out how the original version is, read on...
A bunch of fisherman accidentally catch a creature in their net.  This leads to their deaths via the monster and an explosion caused by their own dumb-ass selves.

On top of that, dogs near the docks are being killed.  Obviously, the culprit is...
The only Indian in town!  Get him!  Get him!

This is, of course, all a distraction from the main story and just sets up a pair of character arcs.
The bulk of the film after this is just a bunch of scenes of people scheming or people being killed by the monsters.  Allow me to take time to focus on my favorite victims...

This guy is camping out on the beach- although the tent seems like a silly idea.  He's got a hot lady in his tent, so he naturally brings out...a puppet.
Amazingly, this actually works!  She gets completely-undressed (pulpy enough for you?) and looks at him lustfully.  How lucky can you get, guy?!?
Not very, unfortunately.  His chance at getting some puppet-loving tail is ruined as the Monster kills him and his lady (but only after she runs around naked for a bit).  Life was just a big tease for you, my friend.
The Monsters are the main draw here.  They're just guys in suits, but they look freaky.  Well, except in this one scene, where they look like one of those inflatable balloon guys used in Car Lots.
The big set-piece is at a local Carnival, since this film has to steal from Piranha somehow.  As the Special Features note, there were only three suits, but they make it look like more.  Kudos.
Did I mention that this film likes boobs?  Because Corman hired a new Director to film extra, salacious material like this...
In the film's only real, Feminist moment, our heroin kills one of the monsters as it randomly attacks her house to get at her.
The film doesn't end happily, however, as one of the survivors of fishman attack/rape bears its child and dies. The End.
For what it is, it's good.  This movie had one, simple goal: have fishmen kill and rape people.  Certainly not a lofty goal, but they did accomplish it.  Not everybody can do that.  Where does this fall in the long history of Killer Fish People Films?  Well, it's much bloodier than stuff like Island of the Fishmen or War-Gods of the Deep, although the former has Barbara Bach and the latter has Vincent Price.  The fact is that this movie is, like I said, a piece of pure, divine Exploitation.  People die in a bloody manner.  Characters are drawn broadly and not subtle.  The monsters are vicious.  The woman are naked...a lot.  As I said, this movie is about as subtle as, well, a Fishman raping a lady.  If you like that kind of movie (ironically or otherwise), you'll like this one.  I wish that they could have done more restoration here, as early scenes have noticeable film grain on it.  Of course, maybe the Blu-Ray is better...but I don't know how much it could be.  Deep down though, you have to love a film where even the family dog is not safe from murder...
Next up, the 1997 made-for-TV remake (the first of two you'll see this week).  Is it more of the same or does it add something new?  Stay tuned...

1 comment:

  1. I swear that I didn't this before I wrote my review, even though it sounds like we said exactly the same thing - that the movie is only about fish monster rape!

    And explosions.

    But I guess if we both said it, then it must be true!