HUMANOIDS FROM THE DEEP - 1980
Rated: USA: R
Not to be confused with "Humanoids from the Deep South", which I believe
won a Golden Globe. Or maybe it was a Copper Cobb.
Be that as it may. Barbara Peeters directed HUMANOIDS FROM THE DEEP and Frederick James wrote the screenplay, but there's only one name to
keep in mind here: Roger Corman (DEATH RACE 2000, HOUSE, BLACK SCORPION, THE TERROR WITHIN, etc, etc.). Even though
he goes uncredited as a producer his fingerprints are all over this one.
The clincher is the 5-minute interview with Corman included on the DVD,
where he talks about how the audience screamed at all the right places
in this one. We'll see
THE GALS DON'T PARTICULARLY HAVE A GOOD TIME OF IT IN THIS MOVIE
The story begins in the small American fishing village of Noyo. Fish are becoming
scarce, as conversation around the dock reveals, and everyone is looking
forward to the big canning company moving its operation into Noyo. Fisherman
Jim Hill (Doug McClure: The Land that Time Forgot, The People that Time Forgot) and Hank Slattery (Vic Morrow: THE GREAT WHITE, TWILIGHT ZONE: THE MOVIE) are both in favor. The cannery will provide much needed jobs. Who could be against
The environmentally correct Native Americans, of course, in the person of Johnny Eagle (Anthony Penya: THE RUNNING MAN). He believes the big cannery corporation
will cause more over fishing or build on their burial grounds or take
your pick. That part wasn't clear. What was clear was that even though
Jim and Hank both favor the cannery, Johnny likes Jim and hates Hank,
which makes them the good guy and the bad guy, respectively.
Meanwhile, on a fishing boat full of expendable characters, a snagged net captures
something odd. All we see is a webbed hand tearing at the net (very
reminiscent of CREATURE FROM
THE BLACK LAGOON), which leads to enough chaos on the boat
that a gas can is spilled, a flare gun misfired and that's the end of
them. When will people learn? Gasoline and flare guns don't mix!
THEN AGAIN, NEITHER DO THE GUYS.
Hank the county sheriff (not to be confused with Hank the bad guy fisherman) visits Jim to talk about the tension over the cannery issue when Jim's dog smells something fishy outside. Jim lets
the dog out and that's the end of doggie. Again, we just get a quick glimpse
of the monster.
It turns out the monster not only wasn't fond of Jim's dog - he just plain didn't
like any dog. When the fisherman show up at the docks the next morning
all of their watchdogs (and there were quite a few)
have been torn to pieces. All except one: Johnny Eagle's watchdog. Coincidence?
The other fishermen don't think so and tensions reach a new level.
WELL, EXCEPT FOR MAYBE THIS GUY.
The town is blissfully unaware of the real menace and throws a big party that includes
a barn dance. At this get together the town is introduced to some executives
from the cannery company including Dr. Susan Drake (Ann Turkel: THE FEAR, DEEP SPACE).
The cannery company president tells everyone that Dr. Drake's experiments
over the last several years have produced bigger salmon and more of them.
Better fishing through chemistry.
We can all see where this is going. Of course giving growth hormones to salmon will
lead to humanoid coelacanths that want to mate with human females, right?
Ha! I know, you're thinking, "Wait. What?!" It's time for a cleansing
The reasoning here is evolution. Dr. Drake explains that the growth hormone
enhanced salmon were eaten by coelacanths (a primitive
fish once thought extinct but rediscovered alive in the 1930's).
In the coelacanths the growth hormone had the effect of speeding up their
evolution such that they've reached a humanoid state. I guess they thought
making the humanoids evolved coelacanths was more believable than making
them evolved salmon.
Two things come to mind.
Continued at SCIENCE MOMENT/Humanoids From The Deep
Now, I know this is a check-your-brain-at-the-door Roger Corman B-monster movie. It
follows the formula and is done in 80 minutes flat, with some gratuitous
nudity thrown in for good measure. The one thing this movie is semi-famous
for is a very gory final scene. This scene was sufficiently weird and,
yes, gory, that it earns this movie an extra shriek girl. Adding them
all up, that gives HUMANOIDS FROM THE DEEP a generous two on the shriek girl scale.
copyright 2000 E.C.McMullen Jr.
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