Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Humanoids From The Deep!

How I've been a sci-fi fan and missed this 1980 flick for this long is a mystery. But finally at last I can say I've watched Humanoids from the Deep (great title), a film also known (and this was the title I actually saw) as Monster. There's no denying that this is horror schlock, but by and large it's pretty decent horror schlock.

Hate this poster--probably why I've passed on this flick so long.
The plot's pretty simple. A fishing town named Noyo has fallen on hard times and a new cannery offers up both jobs and controversy as the local Native Americans take issue. The conflict between the Indians and the town folk forms a backdrop to while away the minutes while we watch several deep sea monsters lumber out of the depths and kill and rape and terrorize.

The affable and reliable Doug McClure is on hand as the hero (of sorts) and he's joined by Ann Turkel as the obligatory scientist-who-knows-too-much and Vic Morrow as small town thug and racist. It's a pretty good cast and that helps a lot in a movie which forgets its own plot from time to time.

Doug McClure, Ann Turkel, and Friend
Editing and last-minute changes by producer Roger Corman to get more salacious material (i.e. nudity) into the movie probably account for the continuity glitches which harass this story throughout.  One gap in the storytelling is the utter disappearance of the hero's brother's girlfriend who is killed half way through the movie but is instantly forgotten along with the truck she was driving.

Also the finale is pretty hair-brained, or at least the multitude of extras are. I guess they are following director's orders, but the constant milling back and forth as the monsters kill and ravage seems ludicrous. It takes long minutes for a local celebration to clear while the camera lovingly lingers on one brutal kill after another. Little of the action in this sequence makes a lot of sense, but it does (as intended I'm sure) create some ludicrous scenes such as a monster attacking folks on a carousel which reveals more of the killing on each successive pass.

This ain't necessarily a good movie, but it is at times diverting. There's sure no attempt to keep the monsters off the screen (maybe a mistake at times).
Love this poster.
This one is recommended for what it is, goofy monster fun.

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  1. That "MONSTER" poster is painted by Bob Larkin. Brilliant piece!

    1. I thought I recognized the style, but I couldn't find any attribution for it. Thanks!

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