Seen Barbara Peeters' Humanoids from the Deep? Yes? Seen Jaws? Yes? You've seen this then, only done rather better… i.e. with a modicom of wit, style, competence and some special effects capability.
In 1987, a number of people were killed by aquatic monsters known as Aquanoids in the small California coastal village of Babylon Bay, and now, rather like Arnie, they're back. But wait, it gets worse… it's the Fourth of July and no matter that tourists are washing up dead once again the mayor (Edwin Craig) is afraid that if this rather alarming news reaches the public he'll have to close the beaches - sound familiar? Oh, and just maybe if folk get scared, he won't be able to persuade investors to buy into his grand plans for a new shopping centre. When environmental activist Vanessa DuMont (Laura Nativo), whose mother was killed by an Aquanoid, spots one whilst engaged in her quest to save the endangered abalone on Santa Clara Island, the mayor dismisses the sightings as urban legend, and when this doesn't dissuade the environmental terrier, he decides to take drastic measures. Can she, aided by Jackson (Hugh L. Hobbs), an old family friend save the island from the latest Aquanoid attacks? Or will the mayor win out? Will the greedy locals allow the slaughter of more innocent people? Does the viewer really care? Is anyone still awake? Where is my Valium? What is the meaning of life?
Putting one in mind of the slew of terrible Troma movies that came out during the 80's, Aquanoids is a classic example of just how awful no-budget horror movie-making can get in the hands of clueless amateurs. It's is a creature-feature drive-in movie, in every sense of the word not as bad as a Nathan Schiff movie, sitting through one of his is rather like being stabbed in the eye for 90-minutes, but it is execrable. Basically, the terrible make-up effects, costing about as much as a slice of Pizza ensure that you get a good look of what the creatures look like, so the ridiculous plot spends half its time having lots of random people killed off and the rest working out how to avoid showing enough of these things to reduce the audience to gales of laughter, as if the laughable acting, ludicrous dialogue, abysmal direction and wholly inappropriate soundtrack haven't done so already… and there is of course the obligatory "lame twist" at the end.
Presented full-frame, and obviously shot on video, the picture is surprisingly grainy though images are sharp and colourful. Generally adequate colour rendering, reasonably decent blacks and accurate fleshtones.
Uninspired mono, the dialogue is serviceable is well-enough represented and ambient sounds come across audibly.
Well, to kick off with the positive, trailers are always welcome and we get a trailer for the main feature here, as well as an admittedly mundane collection of trailers for other Hardgore releases that can be found under the caveat 'Other attractions'. These include Intruder, the abysmal Demonium, Nutbag, Aenigma, Red Monks (I Frati Rossi) Deep Rover Savages, Reign in Darkness, Last CannibalWorld (Ultimo Mondo Cannibale), The Attendant, Maniacal and Buchered. All terrible movies, and the trailers for another couple of less awful featured releases Nightmare(s in a Damaged Brain) and Fulci's Un Gatto nel Cervello/Cat in the Brain are conspicuous by their absence despite the promo poster being included in the gallery that serves as a menu for this section. They're not very good, but rather like an annoying friend are fondly remembered in their absence. The R1 of this title actually featured a director's commentary, but again glad R2 viewers get shafted. Still, it saved me having to sit through this again.
Aquanoids is not a good movie, really, and only those who enjoy those dire cheesy 80's Troma flicks might find this genuine entertainment this at some level. Granted, you cannot expect much from a movie made for 99-cents and a subway token. Atrocious film, insipid audio/visual presentation and the extras aren't worth spit. Yet, somehow I kind of enjoyed this third-rate DTV fodder - perhaps because I left the old grey matter in neutral - but to be honest, unless you have a high tolerance for inept film-maker's home movies... avoid Aquanoids.
Review by Doc Obrero
|Released by Hardgore|
|Region All PAL|
|Extras : see main review|