Monday, April 2, 2012

Humongous (1982)

I starred in a slasher once, the ill-fated Camp Slaughter from 2004, not to be confused by Camp Daze who later changed title. Anyway, I played the traditional fat nerd and gets killed after fifty minutes. So it's a quite big part and after being shown in cinemas and on DVD it was a year or so with people recognizing me on the street - not because they liked the movie, but the opposite. To tell me how bad the movie was and to quote all the "funny" critics who told everyone what a crappy bunch of actors Camp Slaughter suffered from. Maybe it's true, but what I mostly remember is the fun shooting - on a real camp, close to the water and forest. That's why I might enjoy watching these old slashers so much, to experience once again the pleasures of shooting a slasher in the summer, having fun with friends and getting killed in a bloody way.

Humongous suffers from the same thing as all slashers from this time: a lack of story. The characters are also unusually underwritten. Yeah, I've always considered the old slashers to have quite interesting characters - not original - but easy to like or dislike. In Humongous they're a bit to flat, and what's left is an attractive cast with very little to work with. But who cares? Well, except me? These meatheads ends up on what they think is a deserted island - with dogs - but believe it or not, it has a crazed humongous killer walking around crushing everyone who dares to come to the island!

The director, Paul Lynch, tried his luck in the slasher-genre with the semi-classic Prom Night a couple of years earlier. I can understand the love for it, but personally I've always felt it to be too slow and with a very annoying soft visual look that took away the grittiness. It's mostly a nice way to see Leslie Nielsen and Jamie Lee Curtis do what they do best: looking serious and scream. Humongous is both gorier and grittier - and no "soft" look to distract me, but instead it's almost too generic. I mean, we have seen this hundreds of times before - and this flick even reuses a couple of very specific ideas from earlier movies in the same genre. Sure, this was probably just a tax shelter production, but a little bit more inspiration from the writers could have been nice!

Instead Humongous lives on a couple of very effective set-pieces and a nice big brutal killer who like to toss around his victims like big dolls. The production value, the locations and sets looks excellent and saves the movie from a complete failure. The actors are cute and good-looking, always good, and the editing effective and makes the most of the sequences. The only scene standing out as a complete failure is the worlds slowest chase scene at the end. It's so slow that it's hard to understand how it could be SO slow! I mean, it must have been visible during the shooting of the scene! A couple of plot holes and some very uneven acting is something I could complain about also, but I'll be quite and stop whining.

Humongous is a good slasher, a lot better than some of the others from 1982. What it misses is more graphic gore and the script could have needed some more originality. The DVD from Scorpion is a must purchase. It's uncut (first time I see it uncut by the way) and for a movie that always looked dark and murky on VHS, it finally looks good.


Anonymous said... did take a risk....many people don´t understand when friend, acquaintances, etc ask you the help them with their filmproject it could lauded as the worst film´s tough.

Annika Marklund is cute girl, was she dating Sandahl then..?

Also, don´t producers give you the computernerd roles...?

I love to see you do a hacker roles, breaking into NASA etc...

"and for a movie that always looked dark and murky on VHS"

So, the fixed the image..? Some kind of digital image enhancing..?

Personally I seen very few slashers...but hey....if the film got enough boobies & nudity I´ll give it a try...

Ninja Dixon said...

Well, I mean - VHS automatically makes the quality crappier. And the technology has developed, so this new scan looks a lot better.

Anonymous said...

Ninja: Ok....yeah I get it...too bad they don´t do this more often....