Monster (Humanoids from the Deep) is a film about a small town named Noyo, populated by people who all wear puffy vests, and celebrate Salmon through the ancient art of ho-down multiple days of the week. It’s a town where couples hold hands everywhere they go, and every once in a while, genetically modified creatures crawl out of the water and rape the women. If you aren’t sold on that, well, I have nothing more to offer you, and neither does this Roger Corman picture. Filled with scenes of gratuitous nudity and such memorable lines as “I’m a professional scientist,” this flick is absolutely perfect for nitpicking.
Everything I thought was stupid about this movie was also delightfully enthralling. The humanoids themselves truthfully didn’t look that bad, except that one of them had bizarrely disproportionate arms, while the others were simply man shaped, though vaguely Gamera-esque. Apparently long arm humanoid was the only creature in the film with a full costume, while the others were only partially costumed. But, what would you expect from a salmon mutation that’s cross-bred with humans? And of course, the humanoids’ goal is to mate with more women, much to Corman’s delight, allowing for those aforementioned nude scenes. According to some misc. online sources (IMDB) the original director, Barbara Peeters, refused to shoot those particular scenes at Corman’s request, which resulted in the loss of her job. She wasn’t entirely wrong. Those scenes of late seventies ta-tas wobbling around don’t exactly enhance the film; particularly the one in the tent on the beach, featuring a dude, his gal, and a wooden dummy.
To Corman’s credit, what Peeters provided to the film was not ground breaking either. There are failures across the board with this movie. The score, provided by the accomplished James Horner (Titanic, Braveheart, Avatar), was butchered to the point that it never truly fits any of the scenes it’s crammed into. The scripting was fairly terrible, and sometimes the actors dialogue is replaced with ineffective voice overs. The acting is not great, and for some reason, every scene that gets intense seems to have sound clips of women screaming played on repeat in the background. Why haven’t these women run away yet? It also seems strange that the humanoids begin their massacre by killing all of the port dogs. I fail to see how a few Labradors could impede them in their mission to make it with the women of Noyo. My favorite issue with the film has to be its blatant use of unrelated B-roll footage. Particularly when, as one of the town “jerks” is floating along in his motor-boat, we suddenly see a great horned owl, which blinks and hoots before we are returned to footage of the boat on the water. I love nature! You should definitely watch this film if only to see the ending. Just wait for it, in all its unexplained contact lens, stomach-bursting, flipper baby glory.
I know it sounds like I’m ragging on this movie, but I’m truly not. Any fan of Corman will understand where I’m coming from. This movie was a piece of garbage. Wonderful, wonderful garbage.