Monster from the Ocean Floor

Tagged: Film

Film (1954; vt Monster Maker). Palo Alto Productions/Lippert Pictures. Produced by Roger Corman. Directed by Wyatt Ordung. Written by Bill Danch (credited as William Danch). Cast includes Jonathan Haze (credited as Jack Hayes), Anne Kimbell, Ordung, Dick Pinner and Stuart Wade. 64 minutes. Black and white.

American artist Julie Blair (Kimbell), on vacationing at a Mexican seaside resort, hears stories of disappearances and killings blamed on a sea Monster living in the cove. She meets marine biologist Steve Dunning (Wade), who is exploring the cove with a pedal-powered submarine and does not believe there is a monster. The two soon become romantically involved. Julie continues diving in the cove, and almost becomes a human sacrifice since a villager (Ordung) believes such an act would send the creature away. Eventually she sees the thing, resembling a huge amoeba with one large red eye, and obtains a tissue sample with her fishing line. This convinces Dunning and his friend Dr Baldwin (Pinner) that the monster is real. The submarine is used to fight and kill it in a somewhat anticlimactic finale.

This minor film was Corman's first Horror in SF production – he also appears in a small uncredited role – and was moderately successful despite a very low budget. Its depiction of a generally capable heroine (see Women in SF) is unusual for 1950s Cinema. Haze was to become a regular player in Corman's films. [GSt]

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