Coroner's ReportFinally dredged from the depths of cinematic hell, the classic Roger Corman-produced Humanoids from the Deep is finally back on to DVD (and even Blu-ray!) courtesy of the fine folks at Shout! Factory as part of their Roger Corman Cult Collection.

One of the earliest films to deal with genetic modification, the film follows the denizens of a small town who come under siege from mutated, humanoid salmon monsters (no joke) after a cannery company’s experiments with growth hormone pollute the local waters.

While tensions over the cannery on land result in fist fights, a massive swarm of humanoids play a different kind of game – the rape, murder, eat game. What follows is an awesome spectacle of exploitation cinema, which are somewhat wrongly called B-Movies these days.

Kills

At least fourteen humans are killed, though there is a bit of a massacre towards the end of the movie where I may have lost count. There are also three rapes, most of which presumably end up in a death. The humanoids don’t fair much better, as at least twelve of the fish f*ckers are chopped, stabbed, shot or burned to death.

Ills

We get plenty of blood in the water, a drowning, an explosion, several dead dogs, and three instances of monster rape. We see some dude get half his face ripped over, a woman’s back is torn apart, we see a car crash (followed by another explosion), a head gets ripped off, a chest is torn open, and some monsters are shot, harpooned, and one is conflagrated by a pyromaniacal child.

Lust

We get a Sookie Stackhouse-looking lady in a Teddy, then we see some bikinis, a little butt, some nice boobies, some breasts during a rape, more boobies, a touch of bush and then a pervy humanoid tears off some woman’s bikini top. You won’t be overwhelmed by nudity, but you’ll find a pleasant amount.

Learning

Shooting growth hormone into salmon infested waters is a sh*tty idea.

Review

The film starts off on the right foot immediately by a couple of fishermen putting a child in danger. This pays off when the kid drowns and both men are blown up. Hahaha. I love comedy. The monster doesn’t stay hidden for very long and fairly soon we get a Humanoid vs Dog fight that, despite the fact it’s clearly a dog covered in fake blood wrestling a costumed arm, looks bad ass. That dog has some serious acting chops – I’m not even kidding. The scene is a thousand times better than some modern day CGI dog vs CGI monster that I’m sure exists in some level of hell.

Humanoids takes place back in the good old days, when wars of words were settled by a massive brawl in the parking lot without anyone getting shot or stabbed. As well, back then no matter what your personal differences were, when giant green salmon monsters started raping your women, you got together to murder those bastards, even if some a-hole had just firebombed your house the night before. The film teaches a real lesson about forgiveness and understanding and monster killing.

The special features on the disc are pretty enlightening. We get to hear from master composer James Horner and several others. The most interesting fact to me was how few humanoid costumes there actually were, something like only three or four. Of them, one had gigantic arms and was sort of a ‘hero’ costume, while one looked like a damned garbage bag. But on the whole, thanks to good coverage and great editing, the massive monster sequence at the end makes it appear that at least a dozen monsters are swarming the carnival at any one time. For laughs, one of the monsters hunts his prey on a carousel. Giggle!

I’ve been waiting so long for this film to come to DVD and now that it has, I’m more than satisfied with the release and the movie. This is just a great, entertaining flick, that moves along quickly, features decent performances and fun, retro monster violence. It’s also go one hell of an ending.

Grade: B


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