Picks and Pans Review: Humanoids from the Deep

updated 07/07/1980 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 07/07/1980 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Most monsters are put into movies to defend their territorial imperative, find some electricity to eat or avenge a mad scientist. Of course, they have to get the leading lady in their clutches first. The characters in this epic look like cousins of the Creature from the Black Lagoon and make no secret of their intentions, which are all dishonorable. They're out to mate with human women in a Pacific Northwest fishing village, and their idea of foreplay is knocking a wall to smithereens en route to the damsel of their dreams. Otherwise, this is standard horror from prolific producer Roger Corman. The cast is professional—Doug McClure, Vic Morrow and the picturesque Ann Turkel. There's a message: Genetic manipulation is a menace. The malefactor is a cannery trying to manufacture chunkier seafood. There are also some mild jokes and good fake scares on the way to real ones. The ending is grotesque, but it's hard to dislike a movie where the hero's ultimate weapon—pouring gasoline on the water and lighting it—produces a dozen pathetic square feet of flame, yet kills the monsters anyway. (While this film is not to be taken seriously, many people will be offended, since what the humanoids are up to is rape, however phantasmagoric.) (R)

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