"Humanoids from the Deep" DVD Review (2010)

8/14/2010 Posted by Admin

"Humanoids from the Deep"

DVD Review

By our guest blogger, Jeremy Wilkinson

"Humanoids from the Deep" has been re-released on DVD, and the box boasts this is the first time the "complete uncut version" has been released. This is perhaps a boon for this film as it is a cult favorite thanks to its schlock value. "Humanoids" is best described as similar to a 1950s horror film, updated with increased sex and gore for a later generation.

We find ourselves in the fishing town of Noyo, where a proposed cannery has been causing strife between the locals. This tension is only exacerbated by attacks on dogs and eventually people. Unbeknownst to the sleepy village, fish-man monstrosities have begun to rise from the dark waters to terrorize the people. Egads!

Like many other films in which Roger Corman is involved, "Humanoids" is not completely serious. Adding in the conflict caused by the cannery helps lend some ground to the citizen's reactions to the events and also acts as a distraction from the true threat. At the same time, that plot point is sadly underutilized. Much more depth could have been added simply by focusing a little more on the arguments by both sides of the debate. This may sound odd, but the film is not quite schlocky enough to be able to throw away the mundane like that Because of that, the narrative occasionally feels directionless.

It doesn't help that the acting is often wooden, the story is unoriginal, and editing gaffes break the suspension of disbelief.

All the entertainment value is found in the humanoids. For the most part, the creatures are competently made. The only clear problem with how they look comes from the arms, which are too long in some shots.

Blood is spilled, limbs are battered, and flesh is torn free. What really makes this movie stand out, however, are the scenes involving inter-species sexual assault. "Humanoids" is notorious for scenes depicting the fish-men ravaging nubile young women. Only these moments cause any semblance of horror or discomfort. Still, the atmosphere is hampered by the suits and a lack of convincing body language from the men inside those suits.

Originally, those scenes were not even in the movie. Director Barbara Peeters had set up the shots so the audience would only see shadows cast on the rocks, implying horrific events never to be seen. Executive producer Corman was not happy with that and had second unit director James Sbardellati film the explicit scenes that made it into the final cut. Peeters was unaware of the changes until much later.

In the end, "Humanoids From the Deep" is a fun romp into B-movie territory. It has major flaws, but enough exploitation spirit that horror fans will find something to enjoy.

Grade: C+

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