Weekly Wire
Weekly Alibi Videodrome

By Scott Phillips

SEPTEMBER 21, 1998: 

Humanoids from the Deep (1980)

Good Lord, I'm really gonna have to come up with some way to keep track of these things, 'cause I can't remember if I've reviewed this one before or not. Humanoids is another Videodrome all-time favorite--a Roger Corman-produced throwback to the cheesy monster-on-the-loose flicks of the '50s, only with the added bonus of naked girls. We meet Doug McClure in the tiny fishing village of Noyo, which is on the verge of collapse due to the strange lack of fish in her waters. Cranky old Vic Morrow and his cronies are excited about the impending opening of the new cannery, but "Johnny Eagle" and the other local Indians are cheesed off, claiming the cannery will violate their fishing treaties. Doug wants to make the long green, but his sympathies lie with the Indians, so he and Morrow are constantly at each other's throats (which is kinda cool for fans of crotchety bastard actors). On the cannery's payroll is pouty marine biologist /non-actress Ann Turkel, who is sent out for some "pleasure fishing" with Doug, much to the chagrin of his fat-lipped wife. Ann sez she can increase the salmon productivity, but when she explains how, she mispronounces the word "coelacanth," pretty much destroying any credibility she might have had. Of course, we already know that there ain't no damn fish in the water simply because the titular Humanoids are eating 'em all and are now beginning to wade ashore to fondle and grope bikini-clad young lovelies. When Ann and Doug discover a missing girl, still alive but nekkid and slime-slathered, Ann quickly reaches the conclusion that the creatures are driven to mate with human bikini girls in order to "continue their incredible evolution." Y'see, as it turns out, Ann herself is responsible for the monsters' existence, thanks to her super-salmon-serum. Everything speeds along toward the monster-filled finale, when the long-armed Humanoids bust up the local Salmon Festival in search of more hot young thangs to do the ol' fishy fandango with. Directed by Barbara Peeters (who brought us the classic Bury me an Angel), Humanoids was recently remade with Emma Samms as the scientist! (Warner Home Video)

After the Fall of New York (1984)

One of many thousands of Italian Road Warrior/Escape From New York rip-offs, After the Fall stands out by being not only hellishly entertaining, but for featuring a character named "Big Ape." It's 20 years after the nuclear holocaust, and the "Pan American Confederacy" is hot to breed up a new batch of citizens. Black-clad "Eurac" soldiers on horseback battle survivors in an attempt to round up subjects for experimentation, while "handsome, virile actor" (so sez the box) Michael Sopkiw (as Parsifal) takes part in some kind of hot rod demolition derby. Punk rock chicks shriek from the hilltops as Parsifal rains destruction on his foes, culminating in a bare-knuckle brawl and the approval of a weird clown robot. Parsifal rides off with his hot Italian girlfriend (who says "You're too much, Master--and you're going to make great love"), but is waylaid by members of the Pan Am Confederacy. These fellas take Parsifal to a secret base in Alaska, where they offer to fly him to Alpha Centauri (!) on an "interplanetary rocket" if he'll go to New York and bring back the "fertile woman" they've discovered there. Teaming up with a couple other guys, Parsifal hops on a motorcycle and heads for the Big Apple, accompanied by the wailing music of the mysterious desert trumpet-player. Nonstop action ensues as the boys make their way into Manhattan, stumbling across another juicy chick for Parsifal along the way. The evil Euracs capture Parsifal and his gang, but the amorous attentions of a sassy Eurac gal make it possible for everyone to escape. Our heroes hide out with a tribe of dwarves who live beneath the U.N. building before meeting up with--you guessed it--Big Ape! After a little making out (thankfully Big Ape isn't involved), the Ape and the Dwarf lead the others to the fertile woman--and fortunately for those who will have to do the repopulating, she looks like a model for Italian Vogue. Big Ape decides he wants first crack; the Euracs are closing in and all hell breaks loose as the flick careens toward its screwy climax. Damn, I love this movie. (Vestron)?

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