Film (1980; vt Monster; vt Beneath the Darkness). New World Pictures. Executive producer Roger Corman (uncredited). Directed by Barbara Peters and Jimmy T Murakami (uncredited). Written by Frederick James from a story by Frank Arnold and Martin B Cohen. Cast includes Doug McClure, Vic Morrow, Lynn Schiller (as Lynn Theel), Ann Turkel and Cindy Weintraub. 80 minutes. Colour.
Offshore from the village of Noyo, California, fisherman Jim Hill (McClure) and his wife Carol (Weintraub) see another boat explode, not realizing that its crew was battling Monsters from under the sea. Shortly afterwards, these creatures attack teenage couples swimming and camping on the beach, killing the young men and raping the women, of whom Peggy (Schiller) is the only survivor. Further attacks follow. Hill suspects that the nearby cannery company, CanCo, is involved; he and sympathetic Scientist Dr Susan Clark (Turkel) learn that the creatures result from experiments by CanCo to breed larger salmon using growth hormones. These fish escaped and were eaten by larger predator fish which became Mutant humanoid monsters. The annual village carnival is attacked by a horde of these creatures, again killing as many men and raping as many women as they can. Hill pumps gasoline into the bay, and sets it ablaze to destroy the returning mutants. Two others invade his home and attack Carol, who is able to kill them. In a final grisly scene, Peggy gives birth to an infant monster.
This distasteful Horror in SF exploitation film features excessive abuse of women, at Corman's explicit instructions (according to a 2010 home video release). Corman quietly had another director reshoot several sequences to make the sexual assaults much more numerous and explicit, without the major stars' knowledge. This led to considerable anger and heated words between Turkel and Corman. Corman's production company, Concorde-New Horizons, remade the film in 1996 for the Showtime television network. [GSt]
see also: L'Isola degli Uomini Pesce.
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