Movie Reviews 103 – Humanoids from the Deep (1980)

Humanoids from the DeepLove the title.

This is one of those cult movies that many would have you believe must be seen at least one time in your life. That time came for me tonight and I can see the appeal.  It stars Doug McClure (Journey to the Center of the Earth) who I’ve always considered as one of those actors who wavers between A list movies and B movies. But the real attraction are of course the ‘humanoids’ which we all want to see.

A small fishing village is in turmoil as the fishermen and residents are divided on the development of a new cannery hoping to set up shop.  The first encounter with the humanoids is by a small fishing boat when some sort of creature gets snagged in their nets and ends up sinking ship down to the bottom after a fiery blast. Soon after, a creature makes it’s way onto the beaches where it kills a young man and rapes his girlfriend.  You heard me right, rape.  These creatures aren’t just intent on killing, they’re horny!

When most of the dogs in town start disappearing, Hank Slattery (Vic Morrow), the local redneck fisherman, notices that the only dog still around happens to belong young Johnny Eagle, a native American and local ecologist. Hank and his goon buddies try to beat the ecologist to a pulp but another fisherman,  Jim Hill (McClure), comes to the rescue.  As everyone tries to figure out what is really going on, beautiful scientist, Dr. Susan Drake (Ann Turkel) from the cannery company shows up at a town meeting. She harbors suspicions of her own while reassuring the residents.  Seems there was some experimenting with salmon growth hormones going on in the companies’ labs.  She teams up with Jim to hunt down the creatures and they run into a hoard of just as the town’s annual salmon fest is in full swing. This climax is a wild night with the creatures descending on the festivities and the local town folk beating the beejesus out of the creatures.

It’s got to be seen to be believed, especially the Rob Bottin (The Thing) created humanoid costumes and makeup that look like The Creature from the Black Lagoon, with a set of razor sharp Critter teeth and exposed brains. Awesome. And being a Roger Corman/ New World Pictures production, they didn’t skimp out on the nudity either (no pun intended) with plenty of gratuitous boob scenes on the beach. Be sure to stick around for the last scene.

A few notes on the movie: The original movie was also released with the simple title of “Monster” and there was a Made for TV remake in 1996 with Robert (Revenge of the Nerds) Carradine.

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