Directed by Barbara Peeters [Other horror films: N/A] & Jimmy T. Murakami [Other horror films: N/A]
This is a film I’ve seen only once before this rewatch, and I have to admit to enjoying it a smidge more the first time I saw it. Not that Humanoids from the Deep is a particularly bad movie, it’s just that there’s not enough meat to the story.
What the movie gets right is probably one of the most common things to hear about it, being the creature design and the heavy use of gore. And indeed, there’s also some pretty quality nudity here, and some ever hot interspecies rape going on (just what you look forward to in a movie, I know), so no complaints there.
As good as a gore is, though, and as fun as the finale, which is mostly an attack by the creatures upon the small town’s festival on the docks, I think a lot of the first two-thirds of the film are unremarkable, and much of this is due to the utter lack of memorable characters or performances.
I never really got a hold on Doug McClure’s character here, and he seemed to just be there much of the time. Marginally more interesting was Anthony Pena’s character, due to an element of racial unease between the white town and Native Americans (though I don’t think enough was really done with this subplot). Otherwise, Vic Morrow and Ann Turkel are both unremarkable, and the story just isn’t that intriguing without the creatures present.
In some ways, this movie feels more like a 70’s flick than it does the 1980’s, especially due to the fact that there’s not a whole lot of lighter moments here. Humanoids from the Deep generally takes itself seriously, and while that’s not a problem in of itself, I partially think this movie could have had a bit more spice thrown in. Thank God it wasn’t as dull as Grizzly or Without Warning, but it’s not altogether too far removed from either.
Overall, I really adore the gore here. I love the creature design, and their freakishly long arms. Also, you won’t hear me say no to nudity like that. But when these elements aren’t the focal point of the scene, Humanoids from the Deep can come across as surprisingly dry. Still, for it’s flaws, you’ve gotta see the festival ambush – if the movie was building up to that, I think a lot of the smaller flaws can be forgiven.
This is one of the films covered by Fight Evil’s podcast, so if you’re interested in hearing Chucky (@ChuckyFE) and I discuss this one, listen below.