From the Bargain Bin: ‘Consistently inconsistent’
This is the last stop on Reed’s history or shitty creature features. While none of them were particularly good, every one was a part of my childhood growing up and shaped the horror nut whose reviews you read today.
Look at that retro 70s-80s VHS cover art! Look at that hammy rubber monster mark. That shit was straight outta Fangoria! And I thought Xtro II was hard to find. Again I had to use an alternative search function to pull up the IMDb archive page, and even deeper to find the full movie (which had subtitles in three different languages). I kept getting error messages trying to bring the page up on IMDb. It’s probably so deeply archived there’s some lone external hard drive somewhere that likely had to power up when their server tried to get the info.
People, this is what I do for fun. I go into the depth of the internet, and find the most god AWFUL shit I can remember from my childhood, and see if it’s any good.
I was actually shocked to discover this movie didn’t pass my 30 minute rule. You think I’m an easily distracted, overly critical, asshole now? Try to imagine me when I was only seven years old. I have no idea how this movie didn’t bore the shit out of seven year old me, and I do remember loving the crap out of it. Walking around the house like a marauding monster going “EEEELLLLLLRRRRGH!” cause apparently that’s the scary noise our monster makes in this movie.
And of course the movie is actually shit. Not only did it break my 30 minute rule, it was pretty inconsistent and poorly acted. It wasn’t incoherent, but… well, check out the spoilers…
I can only recommend this to the most hardcore of horror heads. People who feel like they NEED to see absolutely everything.
Okay, I’ll give this movie one thing. When it did a horror from the deep, it didn’t just do the usual fish monster man. You know the one; the Lovecraftian ‘Deep One.’ Head of an angler fish, body of a man, but with fins. For this, you can see our monster clearly on the movie poster above. This fucking creature from the deep looks more like copyright infringement on Warhammer 40k’s Genestealer. I guess it makes sense though. This creature wasn’t really supposed to be a fish monster. Not that they really explained what it was supposed to be. My favorite part is where the scientist guy explains that it’s supposedly what nearly wiped out our ancestors, then immediately explains that they have no fossilization record of it.
This expedition to find said monster is apparently being funded by some evil corporation. Okay… so you’re telling me, that the CEOs of some big oil company spent the millions (1980 money) of dollars it takes to drop an oil rig in the ocean, so they could hunt for some creature, that no fossil records exist of, because some nut-ball science guy thinks it might have nearly wiped out our evolutionary ancestry… What’s the motivation here?!? Where’s the pay off?
Even the monster wasn’t consistent. At first it’s just this urchin, then it’s like a gulper eel, then we get these things that grow from an eggs, none of which looks like the last two forms. Then BAM!.. Genestealer ripoff. Why did this creature go from being some kind of weird aquatic larva, to something that clearly hunts solely on land and eats hominoids?! I mean, it’s clearly amphibious, so where are the ‘fish monster’ parts on this fish monster?
Oh yeah, and like Xtro II gratuitous chest-burster ripoff.
What really pissed me off is that most of the crew survives, and the monster is only in the movie for like, 10 minutes… maybe. Sure there are a few scattered scenes with cute little creature puppets, but four crew members are killed off by other means, and not the fish monster’s final form.
Now, this movie is good riff material so there is that, but outside of that seriously hardcore fans only.