Netflix has been adding some interesting titles to their stable of Instant choices. Well, interesting to me. More importantly, interesting to the inner-child that still lives within me. An inner-child that is constantly feeding on me, like a conjoined parasitic twin. Eww.
What does all this have to do with Humanoids from the Deep? Well, because Humanoids from the Deep was basically a perfect movie for a young 13 year-old Earl. It was loaded with the three things that I valued over everything else at that age.
2. Bad acting/special effects/makeup/etc...
3. Female full frontal nudity.
That last one was particularly important. Ahem.
And as an added bonus, it made good use of the word "humanoid". A word that I'm particularly fond of. A humanoid is "something that has an appearance resembling a human being", according to the Wiki Gods. And it's a term that has fallen out of favor with the scientific community in the 21st century. Fuck those guys! I say we should bring back humanoid in a big way. Maybe "Talk Like a Humanoid Day" or something. I'm still working on my plan. Where was I?
Oh yeah, Humanoids from the Deep. So there is this sleepy little drinking village with a fishing problem named Noyo in Northern California. Seems that most of the population of the town make their money off of the salmon industry. They pronounce it 'SAL-mon', although I don't know anyone who really says it that way. Then again, I don't live anywhere near the Pacific Northwest. They also seem to have some issue with the local Native American population who also depend on the SAL-mon runs for their livelihood. But the Native Americans, of course, also care about the environment. Something that a local cannery company, brilliantly called CanCo, could give two hoots about. They want production and they want it fast. By any nefarious means possible.
But something is going on in the waters off of Noyo. Something...dum dum duh....sinister! People are dying or going missing. Dogs are being ripped apart. Seaweed is being filmed by underwater cameras. OK, that last one isn't very sinister. Except that there are creepy claws moving the seaweed aside. A claw that may or may not belong to a humanoid of some sort. Most excellent.
A local scientist has arrived in town from CanCo to investigate what is happening in the water. She seems helpful and concerned, but she also seems to know a lot more about what is going on than she is offering up. But as the attacks begin to ramp up, she if finally forced to fess up about the humanoids.
Seems that CanCo had been experimenting with genetically modifying the local SAL-mon population by using the ominous-sounding DNA-5 treatment. DNA-5 is a super growth hormone, apparently. It doesn't really make the SAL-mon any bigger, but it accelerates the aging process. So baby SAL-mon become adult SAL-mon in a matter of days or weeks instead of however long it usually takes. Then a batch of the SAL-mon escape the hatchery into the wild. No big deal, right? Wrong. Seems an existing prehistoric fish called the coelacanth is also living in those waters. And they love to eat them some SAL-mon. And adding the genetically-enhanced fish to the diet has mutated them. Forcing them through several evolutionary changes all in a short period of time. Into...humanoids!
That, my friends, is the kind of science that you CANNOT argue with.
Oh, and one more thing about these humanoids. They are horny as fuck. Seems that they need, I mean NEED, to procreate with human females to further advance their evolutionary agenda. They decide the best way to do that is to get all rape-y with the town's lovely young ladies. And I do mean lovely. This brings about the full frontal nudity I mentioned earlier. The film caught some slack for the graphic, violent and sexual nature of some of the scenes. Women's groups were especially upset with the film's director. A woman who they thought should have known better. Not really fair of them because most of those scenes were added after she had been fired by B-movie legend Roger Corman. To all that, my 13-year old inner-child says "whatever, dudes!" But that kid is a dick, so take it with a grain of salt. I will say that it's only a movie and a pretty poor one to boot. Exploitation flicks need lovin' too. Ahem.
All of this leads to one of the most ridiculous climaxes in motion picture history when the humanoids invade the town in force during the annual SAL-mon festival. They kill and rape with stunning aplomb. Especially considering the slow-moving, shambling wrecks that they are. Let's just say that being named Miss SAL-mon does not end up well for one young lady.
So is it a good film? C'mon. But is it a good bad film? Absolutely. If you go into it with the right attitude, it can even be a great bad film.
Next up: War of the Gargantuas (1968) - A film actually mentioned by Brad Pitt during the last Oscars telecast. How weird was that?