Humongous (1982)
By: J.R. McNamara on July 26, 2012  | 
DVD
Scorpion Releasing | All Regions, NTSC | 1.78:1 (16:9 enhanced) | English DD 2.0 | 94 minutes (Full Specs)
The Movie
Cover Art
Credits
Director: Paul Lynch
Starring: Janet Julian, David Wallace, Janit Baldwin, John Wildman, Joy Boushel
Screenplay: William Gray
Country: Canada
External Links
IMDB Purchase YouTube
Everyone, even non-horror fans, remembers the 'superstars' of 80s horror. The Jason's, the Freddy's, the Michael's. But what about the 'second stringers', the 'reserve grade', the 'wannabees', the 'try hards': the 'almost rans' whose films didn't become franchises, and in some cases were lucky to get a release at all? They were like the guys and girls in high school who wanted to be cool, but their Best and Less leather jacket wasn't anywhere near as cool as the one you got from the Salvos that had a spew stain on it and stunk of ganja. Like those people, the B-list of horror drifted into the backs of peoples minds, except for the occasional exception, like The Burning, but that is just because it is shit-hot.

This film was one of those that didn't quite make it, even though it played the formula as close to the rulebook as it could. As a matter of fact, Humongous steals quite liberally from Anthropophagus The Grim Reaper as the core idea of the film is almost identical, and it also borrows not so liberally from the Friday the 13th series with the malformed son, and occasionally a scene feels like it was lifted sraight from one of the Friday films, but I guess if you wish to steal from other films, they are a good place to start!

This release of Humongous is under the sub-title of Katarina's Nightmare Theatre. The Katarina in question is Katarina Leigh Waters, a multi-franchise wrestler, including the WWE, who aspires to be a second rate Elvira, which in turn makes her a third rate Vampira. The slick for this DVD claims to be 'uncut' and I have no reason to discount this claim.

Now I apologise for the way this reads, but the film is as generic as it sounds. Five teens, the jock, the nerdy little sister, the dickhead, the slut and the girl who obviously survives and an older man - the guys who 'warns them of what may happen' - take refuge on a mysterious island when their boat runs into rocks and sinks. The island used to house a strange old lady who didn't associate with the local community and kept wholly to herself. Why did she do this? Well in the 1940s, she was raped at a party and the rapist was killed by her beloved dogs, but his seed laid purchase and she gave birth to a deformed freak. After she died he became a giant, wild cannibal roaming the island looking for his next meal. And tasty teens sound delicious…

I have longed for this film ever since I got my first DVD player in 1998, and this may be my biggest problem with it. I had the same high expectations I had when I saw it originally on VHS in the 80s and my teen brain kept telling my adult brain how good it is.

It isn't.

It is competent and well filmed, but hardly gory and unfortunately the script feels like someone sat down and tried to create a 'franchise' rather than a complete film. It really does feel like a 'best of' from other horror films of the time. Thankfully one thing this release of the film offers is the rarely seen in America extended rape sequence which is shot from the woman's perspective, which makes it quite harrowing.

Basically, for 80s horror completists this is probably worth picking up if only for completion purposes. Other horror fans may find it an OK distraction that brings nothing new to the table.
Video
This film is presented in an anamorphic 1.78:1 aspect ratio. The transfer is a slightly below average image that pixelates randomly and there's also an abundance of film artefacts. That's not to say it isn't watchable, but it could be better.
Audio
Only presented in glorious 80s mono, but it's sufficient.
Extra Features
The extras on this disc are not too bad.

Audio Commentary with director Paul Lynch, Writer William Gray and Horror Historian Nathanial Thompson - moderated by Katarina Leigh Waters is a decent look at the making of the film and the Canadian 'horror industry' in general.

R-rated beginning scene is the 'nice' version of the rape scene, which contains no thrusting of the rapist, just violence and an implied rape. The quality is really quite bad though, very foggy.

Original Trailer is obviously the original trailer for Humungous. It's a speccy, artefacty affair, but a nice inclusion.

Katarina's Trailers are a series of random trailers though I am not sure if they are future releases on her 'label'. They include Final Exam, Nothing but the Night, The Devil Within Her, The House on Sorority Row, The Incubus and The Pyx.
The Verdict
Movie Score
Disc Score
Overall Score
It tries to be good, but it just doesn't try hard enough. Why watch something trying to be Anthropophagus or Friday the 13th when you could actually watch them instead? If you really feel the need to watch a second string 80s horror film, watch The Burning or Madman, or anything else. Joy Boushel has nice knockers though, so it gets an extra point for that.

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