Saturday, November 7, 2015

Humongous (1982)

After a brief dry spell, I'm back.

Anyways, a lot has been said about the 80's slasher. So much that it feels almost redundant to do an introductory paragraph that tells the reader about them. So instead, I want to mention the Canadian slasher "Prom Night" and it's director, Paul Lynch. The original was lambasted by critics (in particular one Roger Ebert), but has gone on to be considered a staple in the genre. Lynch's follow up movie "Humongous" however, hasn't garnered as warm of a response though, and it's easy to see why.

The film actually starts out in startling, classic exploitation fashion: a woman is brutally raped by a drunk asshole who refuses to take no for an answer. He then gets his just deserts, as a dog attacks him, and she finishes him off. Cut to years later though, a group of annoying teens find themselves stranded on an island. To make things worse for them, they are also being stalked by the progeny of the before mentioned victim.

Where as "Prom Night" owed more to "Halloween" and classic Giallo films, "Humongous" is basically an unapologetic rip-off of "Friday the 13th" with a bit of the proto-slasher "Tower of Evil" thrown in for good measure. On the plus side, Lynch actually manages to milk some solid atmosphere out of the locations, especially in the night scenes that manage to effectively use shadows to a good effect. I also like the score by John Mills Cockell, which manages to add to the atmosphere. It isn't a mind blowing score, but it still feels effective nonetheless.

That's were the positives end though, as this is a poor example of the 80's slasher. Why? For one thing, there's nothing in the way of suspense and little in interest here. Honestly, you are better off watching "Madman" instead of this, as that actually manages to throw in moments of interest in between the gory kills. Speaking of which, there isn't a lot of gore here outside of a head crushing scene. Granted, I think slasher movies can work quite well without a lot of splatter, but come on. This is a movie that has a huge mongoloid killer. Throw us a bone here.

Then there's the acting...oh my God, the acting is atrocious, even by the standards of 80's slasher movies. Nobody here is the least bit likable, sympathetic or interesting, and instead they just grate on your nerves to no end. As it goes on, this becomes the kind of thing where you find yourself rooting for the killer instead of the other way around. Not a very good sign.

There really isn't much of a reason to watch this movie. Negatives definitely outweigh the positives, and it ends up feeling like a mix of nondescript and dull instead of anything worthwhile. There's worse as far as 80's slasher films are concerned, but there's certainly better too.

Rating: 2.5/10

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