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  Creature from the Haunted Sea Fury From The Deep
Year: 1961
Director: Roger Corman
Stars: Antony Carbone, Betsy Jones-Moreland, Robert Towne, Beach Dickerson, Robert Bean, Edmundo Rivera Alvarez, Esther Sandoval
Genre: Horror, Comedy, ThrillerBuy from Amazon
Rating:  4 (from 3 votes)
Review: The revolution in Cuba has resulted in many of its citizens, rich and poor, fleeing the island. However, there is money to be made as two generals and some of their countrymen hire a group of American gangsters, led by Renzo (Anthony Carbone), to help them escape with the national treasury, across the sea to safety. Little do they know that one of the gangsters is undercover agent XK150 (Robert Towne), who is determined to sabotage the operation...

Scripted by Charles B. Griffith, who had also written Roger Corman's cult comedies The Little Shop of Horrors and A Bucket of Blood, this was another low budget spoof in the same vein, but not quite as witty. Corman found he had a little time left from shooting two other movies in Puerto Rico, and, economical as ever, devised this effort from the idea that he wanted a horror story where the monster survived unscathed, which is more than could be said for the cast.

If you're hoping for a "running around being chased by the monster" movie, then you'll be let down, because the bug-eyed beast only makes brief appearances, until its underwater killing spree at the end. For most of the running time, this is a tongue-in-cheek thriller, complete with Philip Marlowe-style voiceover by the inept government agent. While inspiration tends to peter out after a while, the humour is a mix of wisecracks and daft jokes, some of which are surprisingly funny.

Renzo's wicked plan is to lure the Cubans out into the middle of the sea, then start killing them off under the pretence that a sea creature is eating them. XK150 listens at the door as the gangsters make their arrangements about where to land once they've changed course, and despite admitting he can't hear anything through the door, picks out the suggestion "Bali!", and radios his superiors to prepare to meet them at this destination.

Unfortunately, it was only a passing suggestion and they're going to Puerto Rico instead. Silly humour like this abounds: one of the gangsters has a penchant for animal impressions, and they certainly get their money's worth out of that joke. At another point, the Renzo's moll Marybelle sings a moody song, which is obvious padding, until a) you notice it's actually called "The Creature from the Haunted Sea" and b) she continues singing as a bunch of revolutionaries are machine-gunned to death. It may look like it was casually filmed on holiday, but the movie is amusing enough, and doesn't take anything seriously. Music by Fred Katz.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark


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Roger Corman  (1926 - )

Legendary American B-Movie producer and director who, from the fifties onwards, offered low budget thrills with economy and flair. Early films include It Conquered the World, Not of This Earth, Attack of the Crab Monsters, A Bucket of Blood, The Little Shop of Horrors and X. The Intruder was a rare attempt at straightforward social comment.

Come the sixties, Corman found unexpected respectability when he adapted Edgar Allan Poe stories for the screen: House of Usher, Pit and The Pendulum, The Masque of the Red Death and The Tomb of Ligeia among them, usually starring Vincent Price. He even tried his hand at counterculture films such as The Wild Angels, The Trip and Gas!, before turning to producing full time in the seventies.

Many notable talents have been given their break by Corman, such as Francis Ford Coppola, Martin Scorcese, Monte Hellman, Jonathan Demme, Joe Dante, James Cameron and Peter Bogdanovich. Corman returned to directing in 1990 with the disappointing Frankenstein Unbound.

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