UP FROM THE DEPTHS (1979)
Article 5140 by Dave Sindelar
Directed by Charles B. Griffith
Featuring Sam Bottoms, Susanne Reed, Virgil Frye
What it is: Bottom of the fish barrel
An aquatic man-eating monster threatens people staying at a Hawaiian resort.
There’s a user comment on IMDB from someone claiming to have played a photographer in the movie, and he claims that both the soundtrack and original script were lost at one point, and so the remaining actors tried to redub the movie based on the lip movements on the footage and their memories about what was being said. If this is true, then it goes a long way toward explaining why there seems to be a bizarre and jarring disconnect between action you’re seeing and the words you’re hearing. Granted, even without this problem, this movie would have been fairly weak tea; the special effects are horrid and the humor invariably falls flat. It was directed by Charles B. Griffith, who is most famous for having penned some of Roger Corman’s better movies from the fifties and early sixties. Based on what I see here, he reached his level of incompetence as a director. It almost comes across as a cross between JAWS and CREATURE FROM THE HAUNTED SEA, which Griffith penned, although he apparently didn’t pen the script for this one, which is credited to Alfred M. Sweeney, but given that this movie is his sole screen credit, I smell the faint odor of a nom de plume. There’s a couple of interesting plot elements in the movie, but most of it is an incompetent and incomprehensible mess. The best thing about this one is the poster.