Monday, September 6, 2010

Humanoids from the Deep (1980)

The first title of this movie was Beneath the Darkness, just to lure innocent actors into a gory sleaze-feast. The director, Barbara Peeters focused more on the death of the male characters than the nudity, and so even more footage was shot and the final product became one of the best, goriest, sleaziest and craziest monster-movies ever from the eighties – and it has a very manly Doug McClure as the hero!We're talking Humanoids from the Deep!

The story has been told on a thousand blogs over the years, so you all know about the humanoids crawling up from the bottom of the sea to rape women and rip the heads of their moustache-adorned men. The evil Vic Morrow, here with his curly head still on his body, blames the carnage on the Indian, but soon they’re fighting together against the humanoids!

I joked that this movie is like Gorillas in the Mist, just with humanoids instead of gorillas and Doug McClure instead of Sigourney Weaver. Let me correct that. It’s Ann Turkel instead of Weaver and I guess Morrow could be the mist, because he looks kinda stoned in most of the scenes. Anyway, this is one of the few movies that actually delivers what it promises. You have a lot of gore and spurting blood, nudity all over the screen, destruction and huge explosions. Even a kid gets eaten. And a lot of dogs. It’s so far away from American family values that you can come, and I will be eternally grateful for Barbara Peeters stepping aside in anger so the second unit could film even more sex and gore.

Even if it’s a bit silly (I mean, it’s a movie about fish-monsters raping women!) it has some very eerie scenes. One of my favourite details his how the ventriloquist dummy seem to come alive during the attack on the tent, looking scared when his owner and the girlfriend is getting ripped to pieces in front of him. I wonder if that was something the editor Mark Goldblatt came up with during the editing, or if it was planned that way?

It’s actually surprising how big this movie looks, which I guess is something smart editing fixed. The finale is wonderful, with a lot of extras running in panic when monsters bursts up from beneath them, tearing throats of men and ripping bras of women. It always reminds me of those bigger disaster movies from the seventies, which always had at least one big scene of destruction before the drama can continue. Or maybe the traditional mass-scene in every cheap peplum. You know it will be there, the question is when? In Humanoids most of the fun is saved for last, with smaller hints of violence and sleaze early on.

Bad things? Nah, not really. But if I’m gonna complain: why the hell is Vic Morrows character so stupid when he’s gonna save the little girl? He can just pull her up, but he was to go around everything, jump over the water and push her up! Retard! And that stock footage of the owl is on Hell of the Living Dead-level. But that wasn’t any complains, just some smaller unimportant details I had to bring up.

I’ve seen this movie many times over the years (always with the gore intact by the way, included the dutch tape from Warner – or, am I wrong?) and it never fails to bore me. It’s like everything we want from a Corman-movie, only even more!


Jimmy said...

You have no idea how much I want to see october start to be able to watch this one... Each year we do an horror marathon in october on a forum I'm a member of. All horror, all day is great but the 3 months without them aren't. Even more this year with all the great Corman films on my dvd wall case that I can't watch...

dfordoom said...

I'm definitely tempted by this one

Anonymous said...

Its strange but i cant hardly watch any movies with Vic Morrow in it. I have the same problem with Sharon Tate. It´s not their fault obviously, but i almost starts to cry. Its a strange brutal world.

dfordoom said...

I feel a bit the same about Sharon Tate. I loved her performance in Eye of the Devil (a very very underrated horror flick) but I still feel vaguely uncomfortable watching her.

Jesper said...

This movie is amazing and a superb b-movie I wish there were more like these over the edge out there! Great Blog btw! Check out mine if you have the time I write about the same kind of movies (in swedish though)