Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Humanoids From The Deep (1980)

This is what happens when The Creature From The Black Lagoon hangs out with Ben Roethlisberger for too long. HUMANOIDS FROM THE DEEP is from Roger Corman's New World Pictures and that right there should tell you enough that you know just what kind of movie you are about to watch.

The blue collar town of Noyo is highly dependent on their Salmon fishing industry and when The CanCo company has proposed to open a cannery that they promise will hugely expand the business for the fishermen. The Native American population is highly against the damage it will cause to the local ecosystem and it is a driving force for most of the main characters. When the CanCo companies test tanks break during a storm DNA altered Salmon are released into the wild and the larger fish that ate them have now mutated into human-like creatures with great brain capabilities that want to mate with human women.

The movie has a brisk run time of 82 minutes and it moves swiftly through them. The pacing is spot on, following Corman's formula for successful film making we never get a lull in the action (or boobs) of more than a few minutes. The acting is surprisingly good for the most part and the direction is solid. Much of the exploitative moments in the film were shot with the 2nd unit crew because the original director Barbara Peeters had shot a more shadow based suspense movie that lacked the critical ingredients for a Corman production. The original title for HUMANOIDS FROM THE DEEP was Beneath The Darkness in order to play it off as the suspenseful mystery that Peeters was directing for so that they could land some name actors. The special effects in HUMANOIDS are fantastic. The suits are convincing, far from too rubbery and they have good movement. The gore, which is plentiful, is stomach churning in the best way. Excellent prosthetic work here from Rob Bottin (The Thing, Robocop). There is even a creepy score from future Academy Award winner James Horner (Titanic, Braveheart). And if the ending doesn't make you stand up and cheer in the name of all things ridiculous and awesome you can go to hell (not really, but you should be cheering.)

HUMANOIDS FROM THE DEEP is the whole package . Its fun (as any Corman should be), its scary, violent, action packed and sexy (as any Corman movie should be). Hell there is even a scene that may have been taken straight from the Overlook Hotel in The Shining. I only wish I had seen it sooner.


I'd like to quickly add in that Shout! Factory has done an incredible job restoring these Corman Cult Classics for their newer Blu Ray and DVD releases. These are B movies getting the Criterion treatment. It's a real shame that the Blu sales haven't been good enough to warrant future titles being released to get the HD treatment they deserve. Just go buy them, you won't be disappointed.

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