Humanoids From The Deep (1980)
What’s It About: A small fishing town is under attack from mutated salmon/human creatures. They look like monkeys in a green, scaly, gill-man costume with cabbage-like heads and lizard-like spinal fins and webbed hands and feet. They kill most people, mainly the males but rape the women to mate with them! Its up to local fishermen played by Doug McClure and Vic Morrow as well as a scientist (Ann Turkel) to stop them from running rampage through the town’s annual Salmon-fest!
Is It Actually Scary: I’m not going to lie…I loved this film! Its easily one of the best examples of schlock that Roger Corman has ever produced. Chock full of violence, monsters, T&A and gore—it is entertaining through and through. If it wasn’t for the plethora of nude women I probably would’ve been allowed to see this flick as a young lad, something I wish I had. Well better late than never I say. And I wouldn’t say its scary but it definitely has jumps and times of tension that most horror films lack.
Scariest Moment: The “Humanoids” are basically mutant frog-fish-human monsters and are very silent, especially in attack mode. Most people do not even know they are being hunted by them. Most are dragged under water and brutally mauled by the humanoids’ claws on their webbed-hands. Unfortunately I can’t think of any scares that made me jump as every attack scene starts with a humanoid hunting after their prey. We always know when its going to strike. It’s kinda like Jaws where you know who’s going to be attacked but the shark in Jaws was pretty much hidden off view until the finale adding tension to the viewer. Plus sharks are real. If I had to pick a scare I’d go with one towards the end when the wife and child of Doug McClure are attacked alone at home and the wife defends herself with a cleaver and repeatedly stabs one humanoid in the arm when it breaks through the front door and she manages to kill another by stabbing it to death in the chest.
How Much Gore: Gore a-plenty. These humanoids love to kill and rape. No mercy at all. They will not hesitate to rip some poor guy’s face clean off with one swipe of their claws. Also a lot of canine deaths; for some reason in the beginning of the film the humanoids kill a bunch of dogs in the town. Maybe it was a nod again to Jaws when the second victim was a dog because there was no explanation for the dog slaughter. But you saw enough bloody canine carcasses in the beginning before the human carcasses by mid-way through. The festival finale had a lot of killings and rapes as well.
Dumbest Moments: Humanoids is near-prefect schlock and you can’t be schlock without some dumb and Humanoids has it in spades. My favorite thing I noticed right off the bat was whenever there’s an explosion and I recall there being at least 3, the explosion erupts no less than 3 times with different camera angles. The first victims on a fishing vessel accidentally ignite gasoline with a signal flare and the boat explodes FIVE times! In another scene a truck falls off a bridge and explodes three times. Its hilarious and ridiculous. The shock ending plays homage to Alien with a Humanoid birthing scene from one of the rape victims that survived. I’m not a scientist but I’m pretty sure the rape by sea mutant would’ve killed her and if not I’m fairly certain cross-species impregnations are impossible still right?
Any Nudity: More than you would imagine from a monster movie. Full frontal in one scene—with a ventriloquist dummy no less! And then she runs and eventually gets raped. At least two scenes of exposed breasts, and in one funny scene Miss Salmon is trying to flee a horny Humanoid as he rips off her bikini top.
Overall: If you love cheap, schlocky cinema this one is right up your alley. Even if you’re not a fan of Roger Corman, I’d advice you to think twice. Its a fun and entertaining monster movie. It reeks of late 70’s slasher/animals run-amok horror tones. And the star is non other than Doug McClure, who is one-half the basis of Troy McClure from The Simpsons! Vic Morrow is at his usually asshole self, so that’s good. This is a prime example of why I love So-Bad-its-Good films and why we are motivated to write lengthy reviews for this site. Totally worth any schlock fans’ time.
Score: 8.5 Explosions (out of 10)