Humanoids from the Deep (Blu-ray / DVD)
Reviewed by Uncle Creepy
Starring Doug McClure, Ann Turkel, Vic Morrow, Anthony Penya
Directed by Barbara Peters
Distributed by Shout! Factory
I could see Shout! Factory giving stellar home video releases to the likes of Death Race 2000, Piranha, and even Galaxy of Terror as part of their Roger Corman's Cult Classics Collection, but Humanoids from the Deep? You mean there are other fans of this movie out there other than me? Sometimes ... life is good.
When the salmon population of the little fishing community of Noyo mysteriously disappears, the small town is thrown into an uproar! But then things get progressively worse ... dogs are showing up dead, boats are turning up destroyed, and everyone is at each other's throats. What could be causing such mayhem? I'll tell you what - mutant fishmen with a taste for blood and a never ending lust for the town's female population. You read that right ... these humanoids are not only extremely pissed off and angry, but they're also hornier than you could ever imagine. Hide the kids, folks. This one is as mean-spirited and sleazy as they come, and for that I love nearly every second of it.
Let's face it ... you're here for two reasons ... sex and violence. Humanoids from the Deep delivers these things in spades. There's just one problem that comes in the form of needless melodramatic exposition. The flick is only around eighty minutes long ... how on earth could there be pacing issues? Thankfully these lulls in the action don't last very long, and before boredom has a chance to set in, there's lots of mutilation and monster humping. What really puts this one over-the-top, though, are the humanoids themselves. These things are nothing short of completely badass looking, and we're talking on an extremely low budget. If there are filmmakers out there who are dead set on having the remake of the Universal classic The Creature from the Black Lagoon feature an all-CGI monster, someone needs to shove this flick down their throats IMMEDIATELY. Speaking of good looking ...
The 1080p high definition transfer of this flick is friggin' gorgeous. In fact, I'd hazard to say that out of all of the recent Roger Corman releases, this one easily looks the best. Sure, there are the usual problems present for an older film that was made on the cheap, but overall? Wow. Don't get me wrong; it's not like it can stand up to the picture quality of the recent crop of Hollywood releases like Avatar, but in its own arena surrounded by other films of its ilk, this is a complete knock-out. Kudos to those involved. I was seriously blown away.
The same can't be said for the PCM 2.0 soundtrack, but hey, with the gore flowing ever so sweetly in eye-popping high definition, I'll give this puppy a pass.
Both the DVD and the Blu-ray share the same set of special features. Things kick off with a nearly twenty-three-minute long The Making-of Humanoids from the Deep featurette, which is home to new interviews with Roger Corman, second unit director James Sbardellati, actress Linda Shayne (Miss Salmon), composer James Horner, and a gaggle more. Without question this is the definitive look at the creation of Humanoids from the Deep as it covers everything you could ever imagine, including discussion of director Barbara Peters' original cut of the flick, which didn't have any of the exploitation elements that the movie has become known for. It's nearly as entertaining as the movie itself. A fascinating and informative watch indeed.
From there we get eight minutes of never-before-seen deleted scenes, Leonard Maltin’s interview with Corman regarding the movie that was ported over from the original DVD release, several TV and radio spots, a trailer gallery, and again some truly interesting liner notes from Michael Felsher of Red Shirt Pictures. Not as robust a package as Shout's other Corman releases but still a quality one and, dare I say it, far better than this flick deserved.
I'm happy to say that Humanoids from the Deep is back and better than ever. With Hollywood and the indie scene paying lots of attention to sea creatures as of late, you really need to go back and see how it was done back in the day ... with reckless abandon and lots of splattery fun in mind. Don't hesitate - buy this one like yesterday!
3 1/2 out of 5
4 out of 5