14 May 2009
Monster From The Ocean Floor (1954)
Here’s a B-movie effort from legendary low budget producer Roger Corman (producer of some 385 films, this being number 2) and in true Corman style it’s a slow burner. When you're making a 50s B-movie creature feature on the cheap there’s a tried and tested formula; keep locations close to home in California, leave the monster revelation (if any) until the very end, fill the surrounding cast with cheap Mexican actors, and sell it with a great poster design. Tick, tick, tick, and tick, Monster From The Ocean Floor has them all.
Busy body vacationer Julie meets marine science boffin (and hunk?) Steve on the Mexican (Californian) beach. One thing leads to another and before you know it Steve’s whipped out his mini submarine. Julie becomes convinced by the locals that there is a sea creature in the cove, Steve being a man of science, and guitar playing superstar, dismisses this as the whimsical thinking of the infantile female brain. Cue Julie confusing everything from an octopus to a cow as being the mystical sea monster. Now its silly sub-plot time. Local stereotype Pablo, who believes there is a sea monster, encourages Julie’s quest in a bizarre plan to use her as a sacrificial offering to appease the beast and save the seaside village from the boring threat. Hurrah! Julie was right all along. Shame on you Steve, Julie is not just a hot piece of ass after all. Steve swings into action in his hysterical underwater moped to save Julie from the tedious tentacles of the monster.
Unlike other no-budget creature features of the decade this does at least try to give us a monster in the final five minutes. Which turns out to be a type of octopus after all, making the earlier octopus red herring rather pointless. The monster is a rather sad pathetic offering and comes in blurry puppet form. Saying all that, I kind of enjoyed this for what its worth, it's cheap yes, but its also rather innocent. The beach setting makes for a relaxing late night watch, and at 64 minutes running time its hard to get too bored.
Like Mexican based monster movies that never set foot in Mexico? Try War of The Colossal Beast (1954)
Want more 50s Corman creature features? Try It Conqured The World (1957), Not of This Earth (1957), Attack of The Crab Monsters (1957), The Undead (1957), Night of The Blood Beast (1958), Beast From Haunted Cave (1959), The Wasp Woman (1959), Attack of The giant Leeches (1959). Avoid like a flesh eating virus these 50s Corman offerings The Beast With a Million Eyes (1955) and The Brain Eaters (1958)