A creature feature is the next title that I dive into for DK Canada’s Monsters in the Movies book. I remember seeing this poster when I was growing up, and was intrigued and troubled by it. And being anxious about horror films at that age, I definitely didn’t get around to seeing it for a decade or two.
Now, however, I’ve seen it a couple of times, and while it is b-movie fare, there are some cool things to be on the look out for, a score by James Horner, who would go on to have a pretty stellar career, fantastic make-up and creature effects by Rob Bottin – these are truly exemplary, the gore is high, and the humanoids are definitely cool looking.
There are some problems with it, including the fact that they had a male director go in and do some pick-ups and reshoots to up the nudity factor in the film. Not something I necessarily agree with but tits and gore were what sold horror movies in the early 80s, so I understand the production company’s thought process, I just don’t agree with it.
Either way, this one wasn’t going to win any awards. It’s a simple monster movie. Doug McClure stars as Jim Hill, a fisherman working in an coastal town that is having problems not only with the local Native American, Johnny Eagle (Anthony Pena), but the local fishing rednecks, and a scientist, Susan Drake (Ann Turkel) sniffing around the town.
It seems there’s something in the water, and that thing is about to wreak havoc on the town, killing children, dogs, men, and then, raping the women because they have to breed. This is, of course, where the nudity and gore really come to play.
The violence is pretty sudden when it happens, and Bottin’s effects are wonderfully on point, and the gore effects stand up nicely over the years. That being said, during the climax, when the humanoids are attacking a town get together, you can tell pretty quickly that what we’re dealing with here are people in suits, and consequently the film loses a little bit more of its credibility, but not its enjoyability.
And then there’s the tag after everyone thinks everything is safe. I mean, honestly, what did you think was going to happen after all the raping, and the sped up life cycle of these creatures?
It’s goofy, but the effects are solid, and it also gives you a look at some of the fashions and looks that were in play at the time the film was made, the birth of the 80s.
Already, I’m enjoying this chapter more than the previous one, there are bound to be creature features aplenty now. Check out DK Books’ Monsters in the Movies and get your effects scare on!