Thursday, April 19, 2012

Movie Review: Humanoids from the Deep (1980)

Sorry to be doing the same review as you this week, Alec, but that's how it went with the movies I said I was going to review next. Definitely don't think I'll be stealing your thunder on this one, though. I mean, I enjoyed Humanoids from the Deep enough for what it was, and I really enjoyed the ridiculousness of it, but at some points it's just not that good of a movie.

What? It's not supposed to be a good movie, you say? Oh, thank goodness. Glad we got that out of the way. Moving on!

A seaside town is suddenly beset by a host of human-like fish creatures, who wreak havoc on the town and mate with all the lovely young girls they come upon. Cue the requisite semi-hot female marine biologist who has all the answers and the ragtag group of townspeople who fight the monsters.

So first of all, I gotta say that I loved one of the first shots of the movie. Right before the guys go out on the boat, there is a hilarious shot of a freaking one-legged seagull, whom I am nominating as the real star of the film. Like, was that just dumb luck or what? If so, that's pretty dang lucky because if you happened to notice it, that shot was simply awesome.

From then on, the movie seems to be solely about fish monster rape and explosions. That's kind of all I got from it. I mean, this plot is incredibly thin. No time is wasted with coming up with credible plot points or character development - heck, I barely remember any of the characters's names. I think the main guy is like a John or a Jake or something. No... Jim, sorry. But why am I even expecting anything more than what's on the surface from Humanoids from the Deep anyway? Let's check out the fun stuff.

The fish monsters are pretty much just like the Creature from the Black Lagoon, with some added long gorilla arms and a weird bulging brain on the outside of its head. Razor-sharp teeth and lots of seaweed draped over their shoulders completes the look. The fish monsters focus on using their claws to gash anybody that gets in the way of them finding the girls who look the best naked to make whoopie with. So of course there's no shortage of boobs here, much like every other slasher movie from the 80s.

Soon after the first nubile coed is manhandled by a fish monster, we get probably one of the best pre-sex scenes between two young people EVER in a horror movie. I give you: A guy, a girl, a tent on the beach, and a ventriloquist dummy. Let the seduction begin. If this part doesn't have you saying "What the fuck?" then I don't know what else will. But it's hilarious.

Like I said, explosions and fire are another big thing in Humanoids from the Deep. In the first scene (where a poor little boy becomes the first fish monster victim) there's a huge boat explosion on the water. Not long after that, the nice Indian's house is blown up by the racist townies. And not long after that, a girl dies when a fish monster attacks her while she's driving a truck, the truck skids off a bridge, and - you guessed it - it explodes. The big fight at the end when the fish monsters attack the Noyo Salmon Festival (wow, what exciting lives these people do lead) also includes some nice fire effects - a little kids makes the best creature kill when he throws a flaming javelin at one of them. See what I mean? Fish monster rape and explosions. Obviously that's all you need to make a film.

I must say, about the final fight, though, that the fish monsters make a surprising great entrance at the Salmon Festival by busting up through the dock. Thumbs up, guys.

The gore scenes throughout are pretty good. A bit more graphic than I was expecting, only because I was expecting the filmmakers to hide the fact that they probably had a shitty makeup effects team. There's lots of face- and body-gouging and stabbing and shooting of the creatures, and one great little bit where a creature rips at this guy's neck and there's like, a ton of blood spraying out. All this stuff actually looks very good (aside from the too-bright blood) and I was pleasantly impressed.

The final scene comes as no big shock. With all the aforementioned fish monster rape and that one girl who is left alive after the attack, you should have guessed that the climax would involve something that is a cute little mish-mash of the birthing scene from The Fly and the bursting-through-the-chest scene from Alien. One thing I'm a tad fuzzy on though is the intentions of Dr. Drake. It seemed like at the end that she got herself involved in all this because she actually wanted the fish monsters to mate with a human and see what comes out. Yes? No? Probably. Scientists are stupid like that sometimes.

So that's Humanoids from the Deep! Light on plot, heavy on fish monster rape and explosions. And that's about it.


  1. I've always dug this movie. Great review - cheers!

  2. Fantastic review as always, Michele! I was curious about this one, but now reading your review, I think it may be a bit too cheesy for my taste.

    Love the new look of your blog - it's so atmospheric and ominous. :)

    What? I'm not on your blog roll? Damn, I thought I would make it. LOL. :)

  3. @Scott: Thanks, dude! This is definitely one that many people dig and I see why, for sure!

    @Nebs: Whoops! Thanks for pointing that out... there were a bunch of peeps missing from my blog roll. All fixed now. Apparently I hadn't updated it in like, ever.

    It is very cheesy, Nebs, and I'm not sure you could tolerate it all that much unless you really get a kick out of this stuff!

    Thanks re: my new design! I can't believe I stuck with the old look for so long.

  4. I've never seen this one, and even though you weren't overly keen on it, it still sounds like a LOT of fun. I guess if you go into it knowing that it's going to feature stuff like monster-fish rape, explosions, bad dialogue and wafer-thin plot, and you have enough wine to get you through, it could be a fab movie night! Did Roger Corman have anything to do with it?

    Hope you're well! :)

  5. Great stuff, one of my all time faves. I saw it when it came out in 1980 and have loved it ever since.

  6. @James: I was honestly expecting it to be a lot more fun than it was, so I was a little disappointed in that regard. Don't get me wrong, it is mos def a schlocky good time for individual scenes - most of the deaths are pretty fun to watch.

    And indeed this is Roger Corman fare, though he's uncredited for some reason.

    @quater: Thanks! This seems to be fairly popular so I hope I did it justice.

  7. If you love that explosion, it does show up in the Remake.

    See, that's the difference between Mondo Bizarro and other sites. Lots of sites will do the famous film, but skip the mostly-pointless TV remake. Not us.

    Of course, I'm only kidding.

    In all seriousness, I have a soft-spot for movies that are unabashedly trying to just be one thing. For example, 'The Scorpion King' is not trying to be 'Hamlet.' It is, however, trying to be a fun, action film. For that, I applaud it.

    It certainly helps that the movie is on Streaming via Netflix now. I almost feel silly for spending $7.99 on my DVD now. Almost.

  8. It's a pretty silly movie, but I love it from the bottom of my 80s heart :)
    Nice review, dudette!

  9. I was hoping you'd like it a bit more - but I'm glad you liked it at all! As for the makeup effects - they were handled by a young Rob Bottin a couple of years before he knocked us all out with The Thing. Cheers!

  10. It's not so much that I didn't like it, Craig, it's just that I recognize that it's really not that great of a movie! But that's not usually a problem for people like us, right?