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“Humanoids from the Deep” or when “good fish go bad” is your typical story of goldfish meets girl, goldfish falls in love , girl harpoons fish ending a short torrid affair. Get Rob Reiner to direct and throw in Matthew McConaughey as the misunderstood gill man and you’ve got yourself a blockbuster.
The town of Noyo is just about to open a cannery despite the rash of recent dog homicides and the protests of a lone Indian, Johnny Eagle. After a long speech about littering, a very drunk Slattery (Vic Morrow) shows up to give Johnny and his dimwitted friend Tommy a smack down at the town dance. He also follows them to a secret tribal meeting about stopping the cannery and putting up casinos as far as the eye can see. This infuriates Slattery, so he and his goons do a boat-by Molotov cocktail bombing just as someone inexplicably yells out “cornbread!” Yes cornbread, the source of all tribal hostilities since 1872.
A slimy sea creature crashes the party killing anybody not wearing a plaid shirt in a sailor vest. Then it hitches a ride on a pickup truck that goes Kamikaze off the side of a bridge exploding into a ball of flames. Free fish fillets for everyone.
Soon even more fish men are roaming the neighborhoods peeking in windows and stalking potential shower victims. Kids on the beach start showing up dead or getting assaulted by slimy mutants with Gordon fish sticks despite spring break still being months away. A stunned ventriloquist dummy is the only survivor, but he ain’t talking.
Dr. Susan Drake arrives in town after discovering her genetic salmon experiment maybe causing all the ruckus. She’s not only a renowned fish scientist, avid photographer but also holds the state record for eating the most clam chowder. Susan takes provocative pictures of skeletons in funny poses and gives a power point presentation on how the slime ball mutants are just genetically altered tadpoles that ate bad seafood. Johnny, Susan and Jim (Doug McClure) take out a fishing charter to try to hook some of the deep sea mutants to study back at the lab. They find a whole school of them sunbathing on the beach doing their best Joe Cocker impersonations. With fish rifles in tow they wipe them out pretty quickly,(it’s just like shooting fish in a barrel) and discover one of the surviving girls resting in a nice seaweed spa wrap. She’s also just been impregnated with one of the mutant fish spawns giving whole new meaning to the phrase “the seafood lover in you.”
Everyone heads to the salmon fish festival that night which of course turns into a bloody massacre. Hordes of horny fish men show up killing town folks, knocking over corn dog stands and basically ruining a perfectly good night of polka music. Still, despite all the maiming and mutant assaults it’s still a pretty tame party as far as New England fish festivals go. Nobody even got shanked for a halibut.
Susan figures the best way of getting rid of the fish men is to deep broil them with some zesty lemon seasoning so she douses everything with gasoline and torches it up with a flame thrower. It kills all the fish men and in the process destroys most of the docks and the towns fishing industry…. but the smell is delicious.
Roger Corman continues his winning streak of making b-movies that give us plenty of beasts, breasts, and blood. He even throws in a subplot about industrial espionage just for a distraction between all the bouncing beach melons and mutant shagging. Retroman says “go fish” but be sure to leave your ventriloquist dummy at home. They’re well known to attract mutants.
“Visit Noyo, a nice place to visit but don’t bring your poodle!”
Check out the trailer for “Humanoids from the Deep”