Humanoids From the Deep

Roger Corman built this movie on one premise: the sea monsters horribly murder the men and rape the women. The 1980 cult classic set and filmed in Fort Bragg receives a collector’s-edition release that includes the HD-transfer of the uncut international version of the film, a couple of nice behind-the-scenes features, and TV and radio trailers. The movie, which centers on an out-of-control genetic experiment designed to revive the local failing commercial fisheries, borrows a lot from Alien and Jaws with a low-budget, tongue-in-cheek twist. In an opening scene, the boat tries to pull the monster off the bottom of the ocean with its wench, but instead of dramatically snapping as in Jaws, the thing just runs out of gas. Moreover, Humanoids’ closing scene makes John Hurt’s stomach problems in Alien look like indigestion. Still, the movie stands on its own merit with subplots confronting monsters uglier than the humanoids (racism and sexism) and campy special effects. Corman also deserves praise for the strong female roles, even if they share screen time with topless victims. Ironically, in real life, Fort Bragg’s commercial fisheries are now gone; let’s just hope no one tries to revive them with some funky DNA.