When you see the big-city preppie lady (complete with a fluffy home perm and a pastel sweater perched on her back) hop out of her Subaru Brat and proclaim her scientific abilities to disbelieving townsfolk, you get the idea it's a dated old Roger Corman horror flick. But you don't really know for sure until you see all the second-unit sea-monster murder and rape scenes so obviously spliced in as apparently oblivious actors in other scenes spout lines in ignorance of the carnage the audience is witnessing.
Legend has it that when director Barbara Peeters and actors Doug McClure, Ann Turkel and Vic Morrow signed on to do this movie it was called Beneath The Darkness, and was pitched to them as a mysterious monster thriller and sci-fi suspenser. I guess they'd never seen any World Pictures releases before, because they all seemed surprised when later on the hard-R horror movie came bursting out all over. It should be noted that Humanoids was actually Peeters' second movie with Corman and WP. At any rate, I don't think the bitter taste has faded; Peeters is conspicuously absent from the new DVD extras.
I remember seeing Humanoids From the Deep back in the day, when it was on an endless loop on the Z Channel, ON TV, HBO and The Movie Channel, etc., and loving it. What's not to love about seedy sea monsters, gratuitous making out (one sex-scene featuring a ventriloquist dummy named Chuck, predating "Chucky" by eight years), slimy goo, splashing blood, fiery explosions, humor and horror? While I am perhaps looking upon this piece of forbidden cinematic trash through the haze of rose-colored slashes, I have to say I think it holds up well to this day.
The sopping-wet action takes place in the sleepy fishing burg of Noyo, whose economy is about to get a much-needed boost in the form of a shiny new corporate cannery. While most of the locals are amenable to more jobs and better pay, not everyone thinks it's a good idea… one such voice of dissent is Native American nature boy Johnny Eagle (Anthony Pena). He doesn't really have a good reason to back up his doubts until he meets and teams up with preppy scientist extraordinaire Susan Drake (Ann Turkel), who knows the story behind a very odd mutation striking the local salmon population. (Somehow, barely explained, the fish are evolving into horny green men, dispatching everyone's dogs, murdering males and impregnating female townies.)
If you're a fan of 70s and 80s seaside shockers like The Fog, Dead & Buried, Orca, Piranha, or even The Pyjama Girl Case, then you must have a look at Humanoids From the Deep. If have already seen the movie, I still recommend the DVD based on its excellent newly-produced extras.
While Corman and assistant director James Sbardellati make no bones about the fact they went and shot a number of previously unscripted scenes with different actors after Peeters wrapped, and they're blithely unapologetic about it (Corman could put a spin on a square wagon wheel, I swear!). All in all, especially since so much time has gone by and really in the scheme of things Humanoids From the Deep is not an important film, these interviews are quite interesting. (Fans might also like to know that this is the European version of the film, with even MORE of the offending exploitation scenes thrown into the mix.)
- New High-Definition Transfer Of The Uncut International Version
- Never-Before-Seen Deleted Scenes
- Trailers, TV And Radio Spots
- Leonard Maltin Interviews Roger Corman On The Making Of The Film
- The Making Of Humanoids From The Deep Featuring New Interviews With Composer James Horner, And Second Unit/Assistant Director James Sbardellati.
- New World Trailers
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Reviewed by Staci Layne Wilson
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