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Featured Blu-ray / DVD Review: Humanoids from the Deep

August 2nd, 2010

Humanoids from the Deep - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray

Roger Corman week continues with the second of three releases. Most Corman films are really quite bad. He did make some good movies, like Little Shop of Horrors and The Intruder, while he has a number of films that are "Good for B-movies" or "Bad but in a fun way." Piranha was "Good for a B-movie", but will Humanoids from the Deep be the same?

The Movie

The small fishing town of Noyo is in desperate times. It's a fishing town, but there are not enough fish to go around. A canning company called Canco plans to open a new cannery in town, which some think would be a big boon to the local economy, while others, like Johnny Eagle, think it will deplete the already low stocks of salmon. This has caused tension between the Native Indians in the area and the local redneck population, led by Vic Morrow. Tensions increase even more when a freak accident causes a boat to explode, killing all four fishermen on board. Then when the fishermen's dogs are killed (all but Johnny Eagle's), there could be real violence.

Meanwhile, Canco's scientists have been working on this problem (the lack of salmon, not the lack of tolerance) by creating genetically modified salmon that will grow faster, bigger, and be twice as plentiful. What could possibly go wrong?

As any B-movie buff could guess, these salmon escape the lab and swim into the wild. Normally at this point, they'd start killing all humans. However, instead, they are immediately killed themselves and eaten by even bigger fish. These larger fish mutate into monsters that want do to only two things: Eat salmon and impregnate women. And they are all out of salmon.

Yep. It's that kind of movie. It's the B-movie exploitation fest that offers little more than boobs and blood, but it delivers on both. Also, there's a helping of humor to go with it, some of it intentional, some not so much. (There's a scene early in the movie with so many jump scares that it turns into a self-parody.) The film also "borrows" from a number of movies, including Jaws (the film takes place during Salmon Festival and it's a battle between economics a public safety); Alien (the impregnation storyline); and others.

If you are a fan of B-movies, then this one has all the right ingrediants. It moves at a very fast pace (it's less than 80 minutes long) but it doesn't rise above its genre.

The Extras

Extras on the DVD include seven minutes of deleted scenes, some of which have no audio. These are mostly shots that add more T&A to the film, so I'm surprised they weren't included. Next up is 23-minute long making-of featurette with interview clips from a number of people involved in the film, including Roger Corman (executive producer); Cindy Weintraub (actor); Mark Goldblatt (editor); etc. James Horner even talks about the score, which is one of the best parts of the film. This guy won two Oscars for Titanic, so I wasn't expecting him to show up on this DVD. There is also a 3-minute excerpt from Leonard Maltin's interview with Roger Corman. Other excerpts have been seen on a lot of the recent Roger Corman releases. Wrapping things up are some promotional material (TV spots, radio ads, trailers) and image gallery.

I only have the DVD to review, so I'm not 100% if there any exclusives on the Blu-ray, nor can I say for sure what the technical presentation is like. However, over on, the Blu-ray does cost just $1 more than the DVD.

The Verdict

Humanoids from the Deep is exploitation horror that entices viewers with the promise of Boobs & Blood and it delivers. If you're the kind of person that likes to hang out at, then this is the movie for you. It is making its DVD debut this week, and while there are not as many extras as on some of the past Roger Corman releases (there's no audio commentary, for instance) for fans of the genre DVD is worth checking out, while the Blu-ray is clearly the better deal. On the other hand, if you are not a B-movie fan, you should stay away.

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