Humanoids from the Deep  (1980)

Octoblur 2015 - #06: Humanoids from the Deep (1980)

 
By dorrk, October 6th 2015
Octoblur: If the quality doesn't scare you the quantity will.

Humanoids from the Deep loomed large in the collective imagination when I was in grade school in the early 1980s. the name alone was provocative enough, but the sleazy newspaper ads represented exploitation at its most alluring to juveniles. However, a similarly-themed contemporary monster movie, Blood Beach, was also heavy on our minds at the time, and I'm pretty sure I've only watched the latter prior to this month. I don't recall Blood Beach at all now, but I highly doubt it's better than this grimly fun slice of horny monster mayhem.

Factions in a small California fishing town are at odds about how the arrival of a new cannery will affect local fisherman and the economy, but the side effect that no one thinks to expect is that the cannery's genetic tinkering with the fish supply is creating giant mutant fishmen who want to murder human men and mate with human women. This kind of plot could easily be played for campy laughs, but Humanoids director Barbara Peeters takes it completely seriously, resulting in a rare fully committed creature feature. While the first few glimpses of the slimy rubber-suited monsters might seem silly, when 20 of them are wreaking bloody havoc on an outdoor festival, slicing up everyone within reach, it's some of the best filmmaking of its genre.

Humanoids from the Deep was controversial when it was released due to a handful of scenes in which the subject of monster-on-woman conjugation is more than just suggested; even the movie's own director was aghast that producer Roger Corman had some of these scenes re-shot without her knowledge to capture something more sensational than she intended. While taste, decorum and feminism might lead one to side with Peeters, Corman knows his way around exploitation, and there's no denying that these scenes up the ante severely, transforming Humanoids From the Deep from a modest thriller to a shocker of epochal proportions.

A good cast of humorless tough guys, headed by Doug McClure and Vic Morrow, sets the perfect tone. Humanoids From the Deep is no artistic masterpiece, but for gritty d-movie creature action, it doesn't have many peers.

Great lesser-known horror movies

Fun, weird & dark corners worth exploring.
A Chinese Ghost Story (1987)

A Chinese Ghost Story (1987)

Demon Seed (1977)

Demon Seed (1977)

The Exorcism Of Emily Rose (2005)

The Exorcism Of Emily Rose (2005)

Friday The 13th Part 2 (1981)

Friday The 13th Part 2 (1981)

The Funhouse (1981)

The Funhouse (1981)

The Guest (2014)

The Guest (2014)

The House Of The Devil (2009)

The House Of The Devil (2009)

Housebound (2014)

Housebound (2014)

The Johnsons (1992)

The Johnsons (1992)

Kill List (2011)

Kill List (2011)

Little Otik (2001)

Little Otik (2001)

Motel Hell (1980)

Motel Hell (1980)

Orphan (2009)

Orphan (2009)

Seed Of Chucky (2004)

Seed Of Chucky (2004)

Silent Night Deadly Night (1984)

Silent Night Deadly Night (1984)

Spider Baby... (1968)

Spider Baby... (1968)

Starry Eyes (2014)

Starry Eyes (2014)

The Stepfather (1987)

The Stepfather (1987)

Suicide Club (2001)

Suicide Club (2001)

A Tale Of Two Sisters (2003)

A Tale Of Two Sisters (2003)

Dorrk's Top 20 horror movies

The boring list of horror essentials. If you haven't seen these yet, what are you doing?
The Exorcist (1973)

The Exorcist (1973)

The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974)

The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974)

The Shining (1980)

The Shining (1980)

Jaws (1975)

Jaws (1975)

The Thing (1982)

The Thing (1982)

The Fly (1986)

The Fly (1986)

An American Werewolf In London (1981)

An American Werewolf In London (1981)

Psycho (1960)

Psycho (1960)

Poltergeist (1982)

Poltergeist (1982)

Alien (1979)

Alien (1979)

The Omen (1976)

The Omen (1976)

Rosemarys Baby (1968)

Rosemarys Baby (1968)

Halloween (1978)

Halloween (1978)

Nosferatu (1922)

Nosferatu (1922)

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre Part 2 (1986)

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre Part 2 (1986)

Frankenstein (1931)

Frankenstein (1931)

The Return Of The Living Dead (1985)

The Return Of The Living Dead (1985)

Suicide Club (2001)

Suicide Club (2001)

Repulsion (1965)

Repulsion (1965)

Bride Of Frankenstein (1935)

Bride Of Frankenstein (1935)

Trailer for Humanoids from the Deep (1980)

Beware: Galleries may contain spoilers.
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