Humanoids from the Deep (also known as Monster in Europe) is a 1980 American science fiction horror movie directed by Barbara Peeters and starring Doug McClure, Ann Turkel, and Vic Morrow. Roger Corman served as the film's executive producer, and his New World Pictures distributed the film.
Scientific experiments backfire and produce horrific mutations: half man and half fish which terrorize a small fishing village by killing the men and raping the women.
- Doug McClure as Jim Hill
- Ann Turkel as Dr. Susan Drake
- Vic Morrow as Hank Slattery
- Cindy Weintraub as Carol Hill
- Anthony Pena as Johny Eagle
- Denise Galik as Linda Beale
- Lynn Schiller as Peggy Larson
- Meegan King as Jack Potter
- Breck Costin as Tommy Hill
- Hoke Howell as Deke Jensen
- Don Maxwell as Dickie Moore
- David Strassman as Billy
- Lisa Glaser as Becky
The movie was originally offered to Joe Dante who turned it down. Barbara Peeters took the job instead, and shooting commenced in October 1979.
Executive producer Roger Corman deemed Peeter’s version of the film lacking in the required exploitation elements needed to satisfy the movie’s intended audience. Corman, in an interview recorded years earlier that can be seen on the 2010 Blu-ray release by Shout Factory, stated that he and director Peeters had discussed what Corman expected of the film as far as B-movie exploitation was concerned, that being to fulfill Corman's maxim that monsters "kill all the men and rape all the women." In post-production, Corman noticed that Peeters had done an outstanding job in filming the "kill" scenes involving male characters, but all of the scenes involving the monsters raping women had been left "shadowy" or had cut away before the attack took place. Second unit director James Sbardellati, who would eventually direct Deathstalker, was brought in to spice up the movie, and it was he who filmed explicit scenes involving the humanoids raping women. These changes were not communicated to most of those who had made the film with the working title Beneath the Darkness, several of whom expressed shock and anger at the released film, its changed title, and the additional nudity and sexual exploitation. After Peeters and Ann Turkel saw the additional sequences they asked for their names to be taken off the movie but were refused, and Turkel made TV talk show appearances castigating Corman for his actions. Several people who went on to bigger and better things worked on the film, including composer James Horner, makeup artist Rob Bottin (who designed the humanoid costumes), editor Mark Goldblatt, and future producer Gale Anne Hurd, who worked as a Production Assistant. The actress who portrays the Salmon Queen (Linda Shayne) later became a film director.
Humanoids from the Deep is a 1980s updating of similarly plotted genre offerings from the 1950s and '60s - Del Tenney's 1964 The Horror of Party Beach in particular - with the addition of lots of graphic violence and nudity. The film was a modest financial success for New World Pictures.
Critical reviews were far from laudatory. Paul Taylor, in Time Out, said, “Despite the sex of the director, a more blatant endorsement of exploitation cinema's current anti-women slant would be hard to find… Peeters also lies on the gore pretty thick amid the usual visceral drive-in hooks and rip-offs from genre hits; and with the humor of an offering like Piranha entirely absent, this turn out to be a nasty piece of work all round." Phil Hardy’s The Aurum Film Encyclopedia: Horror, said, after noting that additional sex and violence scenes had been edited into the film without director Peeter’s knowledge, “…weighed down as it is with solemn musings about ecology and dispossessed Indians, it looks as if it had always been a hopeless case." Nathaniel Thompson, on his Mondo Digital website, observed, “Director Peeters claimed that Roger Corman added some of the more explicit shots of slimy nudity at the last minute to give the film some extra kick, but frankly, the movie needed it. Though competently handled, the lack of visual style, occasionally slow pacing, and peculiar lack of humor hinder this from becoming an all-out trash masterpiece…” However, Michael Weldon, writing in his Psychotronic Encyclopedia of Film, opined, “Many were offended by the rape aspect of this fast-paced thriller featuring lots of Creature from the Black Lagoon-inspired monsters…Like it or not, it was a hit and is not dull.”
In 1996, a remake of Humanoids from the Deep was produced for Showtime by Corman's production company, Concorde-New Horizons, starring Robert Carradine and Emma Samms.
Home mediaOn August 3, 2010 Shout! Factory released a 30th Anniversary Special Edition DVD and Blu-ray of the film containing a new anamorphic widescreen transfer, interviews, reversible wrap with rare international art, and a collectible booklet.
- Between Life and Death, There Is ... "Humanoids from the Deep"
- From the Ocean Depths They Strike ... To Terrorize ... To Mate ... And To Kill!
- From The Caverns Of The Deep... It Strikes!
- They're not human. But they hunt human women. Not for killing. For mating.
- Joe Dante, who had at the time recently directed Piranha, turned down directing the movie.
- According to the Film School Rejects website, this picture was "one of the earliest films to deal with genetic modification".
- The green monster footage and fairground destruction were re-shoot material filmed during several very rainy nights in Malibu. Gore video guru Larry Wessel has a bit part murdering a Humanoid in the crowd scenes.
- Much of the salmon festival carnival footage was reused in the movie's 1996 remake.
- The movie's ending was a direct rip-off of Ridley Scott's Alien. Allmovie states "the film features an Alien-inspired shock ending".
- Humanoids from the Deep (1980) at the Internet Movie Database
- Humanoids from the Deep (1980) at AllMovie
- Humanoids from the Deep at Wikipedia
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