Thursday, 3 April 2014

Roger Corman: Creature from the Haunted Sea

"A 007 type with a fake mustache to die for, bluffs his way onto the villain's boat who is transporting Cubans (for...reasons), eats his radio made out of wieners (helped by a man who uses animal sounds to communicate) and is attacked by THE COOKIE MONSTER"

Before I start, if you haven't seen this, it's a must. It's also out of all copyright now, so you can watch it. For free. You know... here:


So, watched it?

Good.

Then I shall begin.

A spoiler filled look at 1961's Horror/Comedy Creature from the Haunted Sea. If you've seen Roger Corman, you'll know...

I find older movies interesting when it comes to plot. These days it's easy to say that it's been done before, I've seen it done, oh it's just like [insert movie here]... but really? Most of these plots were new, to the screen at least.

Sure, this plot lifts (mostly) from Creature from the Black Lagoon, but when you watch it, what do you see? I saw Bond, without doubt, Philip Marlowe, 'Allo, 'Allo, even a little Pirates of the Caribbean. But you have to take it for what it is. In this case: Fun. Sure the plot wavers over the not-too-discerning, moving quickly over points to get to the action. Namely: monster on a boat.

I'd love to say it reminded me of Alien. But no.

OM NOM NOM... Ripley
So the point of it surely,  is to get to the monster mayhem?

Well, no. It barely features the monster:

The TERROR!
And it does have a musical number in the middle. (Did I mention Corman?) The point is, is that it plays a wonderful story out. It's cheesy, it's harmless, but it kills just over an hour well.

The acting is pretty good, for what it is. It stars Antony Carbone, a legend from that time of film making, but if you're into more modern film, Robert Towne (who wrote the screenplay for Cruise vehicle MI and MI:2, and directed Tequila Sunrise).

Primary photography is an issue in many scenes, where within the reflection of the water you can clearly see shadows of landmarks (when they are in the middle of the ocean).

Special effects? Um. Yeah.

And as a 'WTF Moment': When they land towards the end of the movie, wtf is with the telephone stuck on the cliffside on the beach, in the middle of nowhere?

Overall:

It's a fun watch. The comedy added stops it from plodding, especially when you're not expecting it, the acting holds up well enough, and it has pedigree.