CREATURE FROM THE HAUNTED SEA (1961)
Directed by Roger Corman
Available on Amazon Prime Instant Video
With a revolution in Cuba, a couple of generals and their soldiers decide to smuggle out gold and other wealth to help fund their own agenda so they ask for the help of Sicilian gangster, Renzo. Unfortunately, Renzo has other ideas and decides to steal the money for himself. Conjuring up the idea that a monster is lurking in the depths of the sea, Renzo and his crew kill the Cuban soldiers one-by-one but what they don’t realise is that there really is a monster in the sea looking to kill all aboard the boat.
Corny black and white horror comedy CREATURE FROM THE HAUNTED SEA is hapless from the get-go as an undercover agent XK150 goes undercover as deckhand Sparks Moran on the boat of known mobster Renzo Capetto. Despite his surveillance, Sparks often gets the wrong end of the stick but isn’t too worried as he fawns over Renzo’s partner Mary-Belle Monahan. Also manning the boat is Pete Peterson Jr. who has a penchant for making animal noises and Happy Jack Monahan, brother to Mary-Belle. Both Pete and Jack help Renzo with his dastardly plan whilst the Cubans have no idea that their hired help are actually turning on them.
CREATURE FROM THE HAUNTED SEA is more of a comedy than it is a horror. From the fake moustaches to the narration by Sparks as he describes the aliases of the crew on board the boat, it’s all very tongue-in-cheek and campy. I don’t think there’s a single moment the film takes itself seriously and when the group land on an island with beautiful women waiting ashore, even one for Pete that too makes animal noises, the movie’s plot near enough goes out the window.
Despite its humour, the film drags through its running time of 63 minutes. It feels like a chore and no amount of daftness can make this movie even remotely interesting. It’s funny in its own way but the pain of sitting through it overrides the humour. Even the monster, which looks like something constructed by primary school children using crepe paper and egg cartons, drew the short straw when its appearances can only be counted on one hand.
If you’re looking for something a bit daft to tide you over for a short amount of time or are eager to see all the movies ever directed by Roger Corman, then CREATURE FROM THE HAUNTED SEA just might float your boat otherwise steer well clear.