Monster (1980)

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Humanoids From The Deep (1980) AKA Monster
Cast: Doug McClure, Ann Turkel and Vic Morrow
Director: Barbara Peeters
Synopsis:  fishy scientific games produce Mutated Salmon Monsters with girls on their mind!  Delirious Horror Romp with ace monsters and tongue firmly embedded in cheek.  Near Classic.

 

These are difficult times for the sleepy fishing town of Noyo where work is increasingly scarce and the revenue from fishing appears to be floundering with reserves dwindling away.  The locals are an increasingly grim lot and as a result of their financial troubles look to find a scapegoat to blame which in this case are the towns indigenous people.  Not dissimilar to the scenario today with Donald Trump’s ascendency to the American Presidency but in Noyo, the “true Christian Americans” blame the Indian native population rather than the immigrants who are the scapegoats in 2017.

Something is not quite right in and around Noyo.  Some eager fishermen think they may have struck gold but what they thought was a bounty turns out to be a mysterious unseen force that ravages a young boy who falls into the ocean.  Moments later Baron, the Labrador belonging to Doug McLure is found mangled by some unseen beast and the little baby inside the house starts to cry after spotting something in the window that was far worse than the big bad wolf.  However it is clear that the town is being slowly infested by some creature that is devouring all the dogs of the community.  All but the one belonging to the Indians which gives rise to further suspicion by the Trump minded locals.

An ugly conflict is brewing between the Indians and the settlers which looks as though it could turn very nasty at any moment.  Meanwhile a town meeting is called and these menacing monsters, having devoured most of the pets of the vicinity now begin to turn their attention to the female population.

A motley fun fair town event is to kick off shortly in the backdrop of all the nasty politics while the unseen proliferation of these slimy monsters seems to go largely unnoticed despite various citing’s and reported deaths.

“Monster” was the title for Europe.

Ultimately, faced with the invasion of the Humanoids, the people of Noyo are faced with the decision to unite and fight the enemy together or to be overrun by the invading foreign mutations (the refugees of 2017?).  At the Town meeting a slime oozing businessman (again prophetic) promises to make Noyo Great Again with a new scheme that will make their local salmon twice the size it is presently by introducing some chemicals into the water and everyone will soon be rich again.

Later on, the mood as the Fun Fair starts to pick up is festive as the locals are buoyed by news of the impending salmon scheme and the wealth that it promises.  Just as the party starts to get swinging a most unwelcome wave of rapaciously hungry guests start to arrive and cause untold horror and havoc.  Torrents of blood splatter and jet all over as the slimy mutated salmon monsters with heightened sexual appetites take to wanton destruction, rape and mayhem with sickening effect.

A large swathe of the local population is mangled, bitten, chewed slashed, disemboweled, and of course many of the women are raped and impregnated by the disgusting Salmon Mutations.  It’s a joyous extended crescendo of delicious mayhem of the most over the top gore and nudity; a fitting tribute to the film it shadows so closely “The Horror of Party Beach”.

Finally, the film ends with a scene somewhat reminiscent of one in a blockbuster sci fi movie that arrived in cinemas just months before Humanoids did by the name of Alien.  Though a knowing horror audience knows exactly what to expect, yet the thought is too hideous to expect and before you know it…Zap!  It’s done.

Humanoids is a hugely entertaining throwback to the monster movies of the 50s featuring some of the most spectacular Giant Mutated Salmon Monsters ever seen on film even if in one or two scenes you can actually see the exposed skin of the man who is under Rob Bottin’s superlative costumes (the hazards of modern day High Definition technology alas).

Roger Corman probably didn’t realize back in the late 70s that he was predicting times to come and how his monster movie romp can work as an allegory of the times the world is faced with today!  There were certain controversies that have become famous about the production of this film with the director refusing to have her name associated with it and a previous director being fired after refusing to shoot he movie as a horror romp with maximum female breast exposure!

 

**Some moments with Roger and Julie Corman (July 2004), Neuchatel:

Several years ago, the year Sharapova beat Serena Williams at Wimbledon for her first title, I happened to be at a Horror & Sci Fi Film Festival at Neuchatel having been invited very kindly to bring along a selection of hand painted horror movie posters from India and Pakistan and to introduce a couple of horror movies from South Asia including one by the famous Ramsay Brothers. 

I couldn’t have been more honoured to share some precious time with some of the people I had grown up in sheer awe and adulation of, these being Dario Argento and Claudio Simonetti as well as Roger Corman and his lovely wife Julie.  Though I was clearly star struck to be sitting at the same table for lunch as Roger Corman, he was totally oblivious of the fact that he was no less than an icon and hero to myself and thousands more all over the world.  Talking to Corman was like talking to any well-spoken, well educated, erudite, humorous and intelligent man. 

It was during a ride to Neuchatel’s famous Haunted House that he spoke about how he was trained as an engineer and how he applied that thought process to his work in film.  He had a lot to speak about but just like the unassuming, humble and incredibly polite person that he was; he was often the one asking questions and listening avidly and with interest to what lesser mortals like myself were coming from.  With every moment spent in his company my respect for him as warm, personable and generous man increased with each passing moment.  That he was such an avid listener and preferred to learn from others than choose to boast about his illustrious career was a true eye opener.  You hear of people of his stature who treat people with contempt but here was a man who had only time and respect for others and would go out of his way to make you feel as though he was genuinely interested in your life and your experiences. 

His wife Julie was also a delight and I will not forget the moment we found a common ground in a love for chocolate and desserts.  We bumped into each other at Neuchatel’s superb little chocolate shop where both of us were browsing the array of different varieties of chocolate and their origins.  She shared a recipe with me that she loved; a Praline Cheese Cake that I keep close to heart.  Meeting and spending time with the Corman’s was a delight, an honour and privilege I shall carry to my grave.  I don’t think I mentioned to him how Humanoids from the Deep is a film that I have watched countless times and never tire of!