DECEMBER 10, 2007
You gotta love a movie that somehow manages to combine a sea monster, Cuban immigrants, spies, gold, animation, scuba fighting, and a musical number, all in under 75 minutes. But Roger Corman (who else?) did just that with Creature From The Haunted Sea, coming up with a concept that is far better than the execution.
And name-mentioner police, yes, the guy who stars in the movie is Robert Towne, who went on to write cinematic classics like Chinatown and Days Of Thunder. But you knew that, and I have nothing interesting to say about it.
While I’m sure it was a hoot back in the day, the Cuban “social commentary” and all silly spy stuff doesn’t quite work anymore. And the main reason why is, the film’s de facto “main” plot is so great, all that stuff sort of distracts. Basically, you have a guy lying about a sea monster killing his crew (he’s the real killer), only to discover that the sea creature is in fact quite real. That’s brilliant! Who cares about Cubans and gold??? Someone needs to take this basic concept, hell, even make a legit remake, and streamline it so that the non-ruse is front and center. An Owen Wilson (or better, a BC) would be ideal for the film. It reminds me of something they do so brilliantly on South Park: taking an absurd concept and turning it into reality (such as Moses telling the Jewish kids that he needs macaroni art). Love it!
Otherwise, it’s so all over the place that it’s sort of difficult to discuss. It makes the convoluted plot of Red Zone Cuba look straightforward. Still, everyone seems to be having fun, and you can’t dislike a movie that features a note that is written so that a camera can shoot the whole thing in closeup:
I’d like to mention that I am 99% positive that clips from this film appeared in the VHS tape for the “VCR Board Game” Doorways to Horror which came out in the mid 80s. You’d watch clips and fight witches and vampires... it was also pretty convoluted. I used to just watch the tape by itself as a young man. I’d love to find it (ebay would probably help in that area) and see how many of the films I have actually seen now. I know Night of the Living Dead, Nosferatu, and The Terror were all on there.
What say you?