Horrorfest 2014 Presents: Humanoids From The Deep (1980, Barbara Peeters)


Produced by the legendary Roger Corman Humanoids of the Deep is a wonderfully trashy camp film that was more in tune with the 80s despite being made at the start of the decade. What you basically have is women being attacked by rape monsters from the sea who want to mate. Gross. The special effects are not half bad even though the storyline is rather weak. Also the last act consists solely of gory and entertaining monster attacks at a carnival. Which happens to be a good setting for an orgy of gore and mayhem.

Doug McClure is the well meaning hero of the film while Vic Morrow plays the local big shot racist and Ann Turkel is the scientist who knows what is really going on. Unfortunately Peters, the film’s director, did not approve of the changes that were made to this film by Corman. Still a woman directing any film, much less a horror movie, was an even rarer thing back in those days so even though Humanoids is a cheesy camp fest at best I still kind of like and enjoy it. Those types of films are really not made now a days and the cult film seems almost dead sadly. I would like to get my hands on the Shout! Factory 30th Anniversary copy as I viewed this movie on Netflix.

Horrorfest 2013 Presents: The Funhouse (1981, Tobe Hooper)


Part well made scare marathon, part funny and cheesy homage to previous 50s and 60s horror films, Tobe Hooper’s The Funhouse (1981) is another example of his gift at making entertaining horror movies. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre was absolutely terrifying and captivating, while Lifeforce is pure cheesy goodness on an epic scale. The Funhouse works almost as a bottle episode stretched out as a full length feature movie: a bunch of kids are trapped in a carnival funhouse, stalked and hunted by carnival freaks. One of them is even more freak than man, a monstrous evil that might be inhuman. At the same time Hooper can’t help but conform to slasher genre conventions, which both helps and hurts this movie.

Chief among those conventions being the need for a “Survival Girl,” a woman who is considered pure although in this case she is more just slightly aware of what is going on. This girl keeps thinking that going deeper into the carnival is a bad idea, that maybe something terrible is going to happen. Of course she ends up being right, yet by the time the rest of the group she goes in with figures it out the murders begin to happen. Violence is responded to with more violence, and by the end of the long gory night people will never be the same. Especially that poor young lady who should have remained at home and kept her sanity.

At times Hooper gets too cheesy, and there are a few scenes that are rather downright predictable. The Funhouse almost wears out its welcome, and yet its still a really good horror film, a movie that presents the carnival scene, warts glory and all. Not to mention a really creepy and memorizing performance from Kevin Conway, who does a great job being two different people. Underneath the bright lights, past the freak acts and the cheap parlor games, lies a darker world that only some are aware of. Those who dare to enter must pay the fee, and the fee is rather high. Rather high indeed.

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