Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Robot Ninjas vs Dragon Zombies: Season One, Episode 4: "Humanoids from the Deep"

The second movie about underwater monsters
attacking an unwary town. So far.

Humanlike Out of an Ocean

      More 80s horror! But this time, I wanted to look at something a little more sophisticated than Zombie Lake. I looked through the backalleys of Netflix Instant, when I came across the perfect film. Humanoids from the Deep! Directed by rare female exploitation director Barbara Peeters (Summer School Teachers) and written by William Martin (AKA Frederick James) the film follows person Jim (Doug McClure, Warlords of the Deep), native american Johnny Eagle (Anthony Pena, Megaforce) and researcher Dr. Drake (Ann Turkel, Death Ray 2000) discover that fish have rapidly evolved into humanoids creatures, who begin to kill the men and mate with the women of a fishing town. Together, they band to stop the Monsters.

Monster (Humanoids from the Deep)

      Humanoids from the Deep, as many for these types of films tend to have, has a troubled production history. The film is technically called Monster during the main titles (Because their "Monster" fish  ha ha ha), with Humanoids from the Deep being smushed into some parenthesis in a very small font. This may be because the film's executive producer  legendary schlock master Roger Corman fired director Peeters after the movie was filmed, because he wanted to add in more nudity (Naturally) and Peeters didn't want to. Corman hired director Jimmy T. Murakami (Battle Beyond the Stars) to film the re-shoots  most of which didn't even make it into the final cut of the film. With this many changes how can the end product possible be bad?

If You Like What It Is...

      For what it is, Humanoids is a mildly entertaining popcorn flick. The film itself is not bad. The Humanoids themselves are good, not great. Their design is strong, though the head is weirdly round. That's not a flaw, but all I could think about when it was onscreen. I honestly don't know why, it just bugged me. Their look is menacing enough, but nothing all that memorable. The monsters never do all that much as maybe a bit too much time is spent on the towns people, even for an hour and a half long film. The Humanoids in the beginning only kill dogs and it's about a half hour in when they do really damage. It's slow and a little clunky but once it does ramp up it's pretty fun. The last half hour takes place at a carnival and this is the best bit. The townspeople eventually do get the drop on the surprisingly easy to kill creatures, even though they do worry after they handily take them all out.

Still Water

      There's just not that much to remember about this movie. The only glaring error I can remember is when on of the fish men rips a girl's bikini top off in one scene and it's some how back on her it the next. And the budget restrictions do make for a funny scene where the heroine spends five minutes pour gallons upon gallons of gasoline into the ocean in hopes of burning the monsters alive, only to create tiny, circular patches of fire on the water, killing only one monster. Anti-climax if I've ever heard of one. The cast is good enough and the characters are fine. You never care to learn anyone's name, except for Johnny Eagle's because... it's Johnny Freaking Eagle. This is one of those movies that's harmless enough, just don't expect, you know, memories of it.

Humanoids from the Deep are known
for making grand entrances.
The Verdict
      Yes, I think you'd enjoy Humanoids from the Deep if you say it. But, why would you really want to? There are so many other great B-Movies, a lot more from Roger Corman, and this one is only mildly schlocky. Yes, there's a ton of naked women and yes a guy gets his face ripped off and yes it's monsters do look fairly good. But the story and action isn't good enough for a strong recommendation and the movies isn't mistake ridden enough for so-bad-it's-good territory either. It's not bad, but not really worth your time. Although, it's almost worth it for Johnny Freaking Eagle, man! Humanoids from the Deep gets 4 stars out of 6.


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