I have long contended that NIGHT OF THE CREEPS (review forthcoming) is the ultimate in entertaining bad horror. For years I was unable to find something to match its mix of humor (intended and otherwise), poor special effects, and all around bad horror-ness. Until now. HUMANOIDS FROM THE DEEP, a 1980 Roger Corman-produced effort (he followed it later with an unnecessary re-make) is among the worst horror movies you will ever see. And it deserves every one of its four stars.
The plot alone should be enough to have you clicking on the link to Amazon and buying this thing right now (no, really, click and buy it. Now. Buy it): a small fishing town is terrorized by half-man, half-fish creatures that murder the men but rape the women. Note to all aspiring filmmakers: It doesn’t take a lot. We don’t need convoluted plots to keep us happy. If it takes more than one sentence to summarize it, your plot is too complicated. To be fair, there is a bit more to HUMANOIDS FROM THE DEEP than that. But not much.
In fact the film reaches its 80-minute length by throwing in unnecessary plot points about a lawsuit and racial discrimination against a local Native American (played by Hispanic actor Anthony Penya, better known as Valdez from THE RUNNING MAN). And in its first half-hour we get the Jaws-rip off scenes underwater complete with ominous music before we actually see any humanoids. But really, we’re all just waiting for those puppies to pop up.
And when they do, it’s glorious. 1980 is long before the CGI era. So these creatures are in fact full-on rubber suits worn by some poor actors. And to add to the low-budget quality, the creatures make a screaming sound when they appear which is repeated over and over again – it’s literally the same sound, on a loop. They didn’t even invest in two different types of creature screams.
Best of all, these creatures love the ladies. So they somehow manage to come across every naked woman in town at the exact moment in which they’re about to have sex with their boyfriends. The boyfriends get mutilated (in fake but enjoyably gory ways) while the women get raped. Before you accuse me of enjoying rape scenes, you’ll have to remember we’re talking about fricking half-men, half-fish here. Seriously, when you get to see a fully nude woman run across an empty beach screaming before succumbing to the power of the man in the rubber fish suit, you might think to yourself (as I did) that you have discovered bad horror nirvana.
This feeling is only heightened by the time we reach the last twenty minutes of the film in which all the humanoids launch a full-on assault on the entire town, which conveniently is attending a carnival. The carnage unleashed is something to behold. Most hilariously, this scene is intercut with a supposedly creepy scene in which a humanoid approaches the house of one woman with the intent to attack. Sorry guys, but the entire town is being massacred, hard to generate too much nervous energy for this one lady.
But it’s all fun. HUMANOIDS FROM THE DEEP is trash, pure and simple. With terrible acting (sometimes the lines are inaudible), excessive violence and blatant sexual exploitation, just try NOT to enjoy this masterpiece. It has everything you could wish for from bad horror.
RATING: **** (out of four)