“It starts out as a fish — but is humanoid in its final stages.”
In a small fishing town where dogs begin mysteriously dying and a Native American (Anthony Pena) attempts to prevent the imminent arrival of a cannery, a scientist (Ann Turkel) explains to a local fisherman (Doug McClure) and his wife (Cindy Weintraub) that mutant sea monsters are responsible for the killing or raping of numerous teens (including Meegan King, Lynn Schiller, and Lisa Glaser). Can the humanoids be stopped before they ravage the entire town during the annual Salmon Festival?
Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:
- Horror Films
- Mutant Monsters
- Roger Corman Films
Nearly every review of this Roger Corman-produced horror flick calls out how many other films it either imitates or draws inspiration from — including Creature From the Black Lagoon (1954), The Horror of Party Beach (1964), Jaws (1975), Halloween (1978), and — in its shock-ending — Alien (1979). It’s beloved by fans of the genre for its no-holds barred treatment of what is only hinted at in all these other films — namely, the rape of nubile, sexually active young women by aliens (yes, that happens here, on-screen). While decent use is made of coastal locales, and a few of the actors put forth reasonable effort:
… for the most part this film is terribly acted, laughably cliched, and overall simply an exploitative gore-fest.
Clearly there’s an audience for this, but all-purpose film-fanatics needn’t seek it out.
Note: This film’s female director (Barbara Peeters) is apparently now doing research for a documentary about domestic abuse entitled “Inheritance of Rage”. Go figure.
Redeeming Qualities and Moments:
- Good use of on-location shooting
Nope — only if this is your cup of tea.
3 thoughts on “Humanoids From the Deep (1980)”
It’s only fair to say that Barbara Peeters did not sanction the more explicit footage; that was ordered by producer Roger Cormon and directed by James Sbardellati. In fact both she and star Ann Turkel tried to block release of the film due to the insertion of the exploitative material.
First and last viewing.
Yes, it’s shamelessly derivative (esp. the ending) – following, in formulaic manner, the kill-by-numbers trend of the period. ~which could be forgiven (maybe) if some kind of creative take were added to the mix. But that’s not to be found. As a result, this film quickly becomes tiresome (scares notwithstanding). It’s meant strictly to cash-in on the content of similar (better) films.
A particularly ‘fun’ moment arrives at the start of the chaotic final 20 minutes (during a local festival): As the monsters suddenly attack, Turkel screams at the townsfolk that they should not panic. Ok…so they should, what?, calmly, as a group, discuss the pros and cons of the situation?
A sleazy, gory, fun reworking of Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954).