Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Boobs and Blood

Humanoids From The Deep 1980
Director: Barbara Peters
Writer: Frederick James
Starring Doug McClure, Ann Turkel, Vic Morrow, Cindy Weintraub, Anthony Pena, Denise Galik and Lynn Theel

Boobs and blood. That is the first two things that come to mind when you mention Humanoids From The Deep. The film is kind of a hybrid between Alien and The Creature From The Black Lagoon. Albeit, much sleazier than those 2 films ever tried to be. From the opening attack to the ending this film pulls no punches. It is easily one of the sleaziest films that Roger Corman has produced and that is a great compliment, as I love my low budget horror film the sleazier the better. It has a great cast which is headed up by the always fun to watch Doug McClure and the brooding Vic Morrow. They really make the film even more enjoyable and give it some depth past the gratuitous sex and violence. What is amazing too, is that such a macho centric low budget horror film was directed by a woman. Seems that whenever there is a chance to rip a female's clothes off they do not miss one opportunity. It really is not a film for the squeamish or the easily offended.
The plot basics are this, we come to a Pacific Northwestern fishing town who's fishing trade is under extinction due to a salmon cannery that is opening and will be putting most free fishermen out of business. But with all the work that has been done in prepping the cannery it is discovered that fish have mutated into humanoids bent on killing everything in sight, except for the women who they use to breed with. Jim Hill (McClure) along with Dr. Susan Drake (Turkel) discovers the humanoids and tries to warn the town the night of the annual SalmonFest, when the humanoids attack killing every man they find and raping every woman they corner. It all leads to a bloody ending that ends with a horrific ending.
This is really a fun movie. Peters' direction is good, at times campy and at other times very sensationalistic. The film really has a pulpy feel to it. If it was a story in Weird Tales, you could just picture the cheesecake cover that would accompany it. The script is good, nothing groundbreaking, but for the story it is given it does a good job. The characters are all the stereotypes you see in genre films such as this. From the stoic hero, the racist jerk and the scientist who knows all about the problem and has all the answers. Not a story you have not witnessed before but still enjoyable to experience. The acting is good, McClure is at his usual best, but the best performance has to go to Morrow as the racist defender of the cannery. He just chews the scenery up with every scene he is in, and it is a fun ass time watching him do so. The SFX in the film are quite good, very bloody and realistic. The final scene in particular, as that is one of the gore scenes I remember most, it really made quite a impression on my psyche. This is not a film for the faint of heart or the easily offended. But, if you love your genre films sleazy and unrepentant as hell, check it out.
This one gets 4 out of 5

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