Humanoids from the Deep

Salmon monsters…Yes…Salmon monsters…1980 was a great year…just ask anyone who remembers the cover art for “Humanoids from the Deep”(aka “Monster”)…a sexy lady, spread on a bed with two evil eyes looking over her…man, I miss those days…

…To say I was impressed by Humanoids from the Deep would be an understatement. I mean, within the first five minutes a dog and a 5-year-old child are killed off by a “monstrous” hand (that looks like small underwater Godzilla)…talk about breaking taboos (killing a kid AND a dog!? I LIKE IT)… So anyway, here’s the run down, a small fishing town (which honestly looks like the SAME Canadian town in “My Bloody Valentine” (surprisingly it was filled in Cali!?) are all bitchin’ about whatever the fuck has been scaring the fish away. It seems this town is THEE salmon town…a new cannery is moving into town, (to the dismay of the locals), and a scientist Dr. Susan Drake (Ann Turkel) has been working “upstream” on how to make Salmon larger, grow faster, reproduce more, etc on behalf of the corporation. When the local dogs start showing up dead (and covered in seaweed) a local native American; Johnny Eagle (Anthony Penya) accuses the liaison; Hank Slattery (Vic Morrow) between the company and the town, of killing off his dog, and raping his people’s land. Apparently, Slattery is going against the treaty signed by the town and Eagle’s reservation. Next thing you know…people are getting drunk…people are dying…and fish monsters starts raping women on the beach!!! It’s insane. You can pretty much guess the rest, genetic testing on salmon created these horny monsters and they are just trying to protect themselves against man and the evil developers. It’s all good fun.

The gore is ok considering the time, but by today’s standards they are comparable to anything you can do at home with a kit from a local costume store. I think it would be VERY easy for the film to get boring, but the editing is cut so close together, you feel like you are watching a Russ Meyer film (minus the buxom women but with a man in a gill suit-you can’t have it ALL in one movie.) The scares are mostly jump scares but what do you expect? I mean, the monsters just aren’t scary, they are fun to watch reek havoc but they aren’t scary…that said…The monsters DO spend a hell of a lot of time on screen in well-lit areas which is awesome. I always love it when a monster gets a lot of screen time, it’s like the producers aren’t ashamed of what they are trying to convince us is a “monster”. Another plus for Humanoids is that Ford Thaxton’s score is on par with most slasher films from that era…in that it makes you jump when you are supposed to, makes you tense when are you supposed to be, makes you sad when you are supposed to be, and even makes you laugh (not sure if you are supposed to be or not but I am thinking the writers did not envision a comedy).

Typically, I am more disturbed by rape scenes in movies, but the scenes in this movie are arguably laughable. I mean picture a wet Godzilla dry humping a cute blonde covered in wet sand and that’s exactly what you get. I think it would be a cop-out to say it is not offensive because it was directed by a female (Barbara Peters-who went on to direct one of my favorite TV shows; Misfits of Science!), but apparently producer Roger Corman fired Peters when she refused to re-shoot and insert the nude/rape scenes so those were directed by Jimmy Murakami… I just think it’s not offensive because it’s silly. Salmon monsters? Seriously?

I almost refuse to believe this film is NOT Canadian. It reeks of Canadian television mellow drama, just with some sex and a guy in a rubber suit. In fact a lot of the actors even appeared on Canadian TV and Canadian films in the 80’s. That said, this movie is fucking awesome. In a time when slasher films were so prevalent, a monster film such as Humanoids from the Deep is so welcome…oh and the cutie who played “Bootsie Goodhead” (Linda Shayne) in Screwballs is in Humanoids as “Miss Salmon”…If that isn’t enough motivation to track this down then I don’t know what is.

Charlie “He’s probably out there making it with a Buffalo” Brown

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~ by exploitnation on May 13, 2008.

3 Responses to “Humanoids from the Deep”

  1. This movie kicks ass in so many ways it´s almost scary… I remember having a crush on the girl in the tentscene way back when… That´s probably not healthy.

  2. Dude, all the chicks in this film are hot.

  3. Damn straight! Nothing plastic about them. More kids and dogs needs to die in today´s horror/exploitation films. That´s one thing that´s certain…

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