DON'T FUCK A FISH.
I have a heavy leaning toward aquatic themed films. Ranging from The Deep to The Life Aquatic. There is something about the water and the vastness of it that draws me in. It could be I just love a guy in a hot bathing suit. I guess I am just an old salty gay dog. What I love more than aquatic themed films though is aquatic themed HORROR films. Jaws ushered in a zillion films made on or around the water and one of my favorites is HUMANOIDS FROM THE DEEP.
Barbara Peeters was a trail blazer in the late 70's/80's exploitation genre. She worked closely with Roger Corman and his New World production company, where she found herself co-directing jiggle worthy sex comedies and working second unit for car chase sequences. But she would earn her name with a trashy little movie about monsters from the deepest reaches of the ocean who have only one mission. Mate!
I love a good fishing village and Humanoids has one of the best. The townsfolk are at war with the Native Americans because a lab upstream is polluting the water and Seagulls are starting to only have one leg. But when a kid gets eaten by something out in the water and all the dogs in the town turn up dead, the citizens realize they are up against something more than just what their prejudices can conjure up.
Cut to a stormy beach and some fun lovin' kids. One hot and horny couple and one lovable goof of a gal. Jerry and Peggy go off to get some hot and sandy sex. They don't return. Jerry ends up with his face gone and Peggy ends up raped and beaten by a seaweed monster.
Toothy and big haired, Dr. Susan Drake thinks she might know what is going on. It seems she has been experimenting with salmon to make them bigger and faster, but the experimental school of fish escaped. Yes they have become bigger, but they have also become smarter, which doesn't seem to be a hard task when it comes to the cast of Humanoids From The Deep. And all this in the mist of the biggest thing to hit the small fishing village since last year. The annual Salmon festival!!!
At the 56 minute mark, the movie turns from toying around and goes into full throttle horror throw down. The partying villagers are all attacked in a massive onslaught of brutality and sea foam. The last thirty minutes of HFTD is so much fun and super scary too! Kids have to do their own stunts, another big haired lady has to fend off the monsters all by herself when they descend upon her house and then there is the business of Sandy a.k.a. Miss Salmon. Linda Shayne, in the biggest role of her career, launches into GIT IT GIRL mode the minute she sees the first monster! Dressed only in a black bikini, high heels, a cheap crown and a sash, she worked hard for the title of Miss Salmon and she ain't giving up the title to some yucky sea monkeys. Oh no, you wanna fuck with Miss Salmon, well you better be ready! I promise you will love head over heels in love with her.
There are so many priceless moments in the last half of the film, you will forget that it took a little while to get to this point. What about a monster attack on a merry go round? What about a woman fighting off the monsters with a baby in one arm and a knife in the other? It's good stuff. By the end, most of the cast is dead and you will never want to order a fish sandwich again.
The movie has such a herky jerky feel to it, that it seems like you are watching two separate visions of HUMANOIDS FROM THE DEEP. Don't worry, you aren't alone. When Peeters turned over her version of HFTD, the producers loved it, but thought it needed something extra. That something extra was boobs and more gore. So you get this weird scenes of sex and violence peppered in, mostly in the first 50 minutes, that don't seem like they belong in the movie. Problem is they are so laughable and stupid, that you don't mind them. Peeters did and tried to get her name taken off the film. I understand. Her fish looking to make babies magnum opus was suppose to be a touch more subtle, but alas, subtlety doesn't usually fill a drive-in. At least she tried and you can see her touches throughout. The scene were Sandy gets dragged across the screen with her hand trying to crawl away in the sand is an amazing shot, but then you see some guy in a green rubber suit humping her. The added in monsters look totally different from the original creatures. Then of course there is Miss Salmon. Was she in Peeters original vision or added in? Either way we win!