Friday, October 18, 2019

Humanoids from the Deep (1980)

In the little fishing town of Noyo things aren’t going so well. Not only do all the boats and cars seem to be filled with oily rags (because they explode all the time), but there are a bunch racist jerks lead by Hank Slattery (Vic Morrow) doing everything in their power to bring a new cannery into town against the wishes of the local native American Johnny Eagle (Anthony Pena). Meanwhile another local fisherman Jim (Doug McClure) and his wife Carol (Cindy Weintraub) try to keep things from going overboard (pun totally on purpose).

But enough of the late 70s environmental message – bring on the MONSTERS. This movie has them rising up from the waters, all fishy and slimy. They attack half naked teenagers and take the females back to their lair to mate with them (ewwww). Seems like Dr. Susan Drake (Ann Turkel) has a theory about what is going on. But what can these helpless fishermen do against the Humanoids from the Deep?

Good Points:
  • Hey, James Horner with one of his first movie scores! Cool!
  • When it goes full grindhouse it is stupidly fun
  • Creature effects aren’t too bad

Bad Points:
  • Half the movie feels mired in the late 70s eco-horror style
  • Pacing is all over the place with the movie dragging way too often
  • Some suspect acting (but you knew that was coming)


I heard of this movie for two reasons. First was that it is thinly inspired by the H.P. Lovecraft classic Shadow Over Innsmouth. But more likely it can be considered a remake of Horror at Party Beach. The other reason I knew about it was because of James Horner’s involvement early in his career (around the same time he did Battle Beyond the Stars). In any case, the movie is a mess. Director Barbara Peeters was making a serious horror flick with a message. Producer Roger Corman wanted more boobs and blood, and so the movie was reedited and reshot. This resulted in a movie that can be dumb fun when it wants to be, but the strange pacing keeps it from ever taking off. I’d say check out the creepier and gorier Dagon for a similar take but with a better grasp on the Lovecraftian roots.

Scores (out of 5)
Visuals:  3
Sound: 3
Acting:  2
Script:  2
Music: 3
Direction: 2
Entertainment: 2
Total:  2

Curious about a full review, sent me an email and I’ll make additional thoughts to this review.

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