HUMANOIDS FROM THE DEEP (1980)
Article 4875 by Dave Sindelar
Directed by Barbara Peeters and Jimmy T. Murakami
Featuring Doug McClure, Ann Turkel, Vic Morrow
What it is: Marauding monster movie
Mutant fish-men terrorize a fishing town.
I have a soft spot in my heart for marauding monster movies, but a lot of them from this era were rather ugly and glum. Furthermore, the exploitative decision to make the monsters rapists as well adds a level of unpleasantness that sucks the fun out of the movie for me. Given this subject matter, I was rather surprised to see a woman’s name on the director’s credit for the movie, but, from what I gather, the original script didn’t have all of the rape and nudity; it was only added after Roger Corman decided the movie needed it, and when the director refused to shoot the scenes, she was fired and replaced. As it is, the exploitation elements are probably the most memorable thing about the movie; the rest of it feels pretty standard-issue by-the-numbers low-budget movie-making for the era, with subplots involve prejudice, environmentalism and corporate irresponsibility all incorporated into the story, albeit in a pretty uninspired fashion. It throws in touches of JAWS and ALIEN as well. I’m actually rather surprised that there was a 1996 TV movie remake of the movie; it just doesn’t seem the type of movie to merit a remake. At any rate, this movie is mediocre at best.