Pros: Entertaining monster movie.
Cons: Weak plot. Some things could offend some viewers.
Since I enjoyed the other Roger Corman movies that I've watched recently, I decided to give Humanoids From the Deep a chance as well. It is probably the oddest of the Corman movies I've seen. It is entertaining overall, though this one isn't for everyone. Even some people that have liked other Corman movies may have an issue with this one.
Strange things are happening around the fishing village Noyo, including mysterious accidents. The fact that fewer salmon are being caught isn't helping matters either. People are divided over a cannery opening in the area. Johnny Eagle, an Indian, is the most outspoken against the cannery which has upset others. Some sort of mutant monsters start coming out of the ocean and attacking people. The monsters kill the men and rape women and most of the bodies aren't found. Jim Hill is working with scientist Dr. Susan Drake and they, along with Johnny, are the first to discover what is behind the attacks and disappearance.
The main plot for Humanoids From the Deep really isn't that strong. Most of what happens is tied to the monsters attacking men and raping women. Things move from attack to attack fairly quickly without much else coming up. At first, it does seem like there is an attempt to add more depth to the story by dealing with the cannery and the tensions in the town over that, many of which are aimed at Johnny. If those things had been handled better, the plot would have been a bit stronger. As it is, those things are just sort of tossed in the mix and not properly dealt with. That stuff is more in the background. I really wasn't expecting a lot from the plot after seeing some other Corman movies, but this one is weak even for Corman.
A little bit of time is taken at the beginning of Humanoids From the Deep to introduce a few characters and set up the situations. The first monster attack takes place within the first few minutes and culminates in an explosion. As the movie progresses, there are several more attacks, some more brutal than others. The fact that the attacks are done by some sort of monsters definitely makes the movie horror. The monsters are effective at being creepy and scary even though they were created with a limited budget. The effects are all done well considering the budget limitations.
Violence turns up in many scenes of Humanoids From the Deep, mostly when the monsters attack someone in some way. There are a few confrontations involving the monsters and a few people trying to fight them off. People don't stand much chance against them, though guns can be effective. Blood is shown during the various attacks with some people being hurt worse than others. Some of the victims end up looking really gross. A few things that are shown are rather gory and could offend some people. The movie definitely deserves the R rating and this movie isn't one for children of any age to see.
I do think Humanoids From the Deep has a darker tone than the other Corman movies I've seen. The others, while twisted at times and violent, also had a bit of humor to them that is missing from this one. Unbelievable things happen throughout the movie, though they are presented in a more serious manner. The things focused on the cannery and the issues in town with Johnny are also more serious than things I've seen in other Corman movies. The more serious tone does seem a little out of place, though I still think the movie is entertaining. A theory is developed for how the monsters came to be that does seem at least somewhat plausible.
There is a lot of nudity and sexual situations in Humanoids From the Deep. A few couples are shown making out, but none of them are shown having sex. They all get interrupted in some way, usually by one of the monsters. The only sex shown is when the monsters rape the women. That aspect of the plot will probably offend some viewers. It is definitely twisted and I can see why some people have a problem with it. I really didn't like those scenes, though they didn't really offend me either. Several female characters end up topless, usually after a monster has ripped off their top.
Several characters are around during Humanoids From the Deep, though most of them don't really do that much. Johnny Eagle is the main character shown who is against the cannery coming to town. He is a bit outspoken at times, which has some people mad at him. Jim is a fisherman and he ends up involved in tracking down the monsters and trying to deal with them. He seems nice enough. Doug McClure is fine in the part. Carol is Jim's wife. She isn't around as much and doesn't have as much to do when she is around. Cindy Weintraub is fine in the part. Other characters are shown briefly, mostly just before they are attacked, so they aren't that developed. Dr. Susan Drake is a scientist connected to the cannery. She develops the theory about how the monsters came to be. Ann Turkel is fine in the part.
Doug McClure - Jim Hill
Anthony Pena - Johnny Eagle
Ann Turkel - Dr. Susan Drake
Cindy Weintraub - Carol Hill
Barbara Peeters - Director
I picked up the Blu-ray version of Humanoids From the Deep that was released in August of 2010 by Shout! Factory. The movie was also released on DVD at that time. The Blu-ray has a reversible cover showing the title Monster - which is also in the opening credits. The picture quality is amazing overall, though a few shots don't look as good. There are some deleted scenes, most of which don't have sound. A featurette on the making of the movie features some of the cast and crew talking about the movie. The fact that Corman had the second unit director shoot additional footage of the monsters raping women is covered. It also came up how some of the cast didn't know the full plot either and how they were surprised when they finally saw the movie. There is an interview of Roger Corman by Leonard Maltin and trailers for other Corman movies.
Humanoids From the Deep is definitely a bit twisted and won't appeal to a lot of people, but it is entertaining. People that like Roger Corman movies might find something to like about this one.
This review is part of talyseon's Let There Be Lips! Rocky Horror Write Off.