Reviewed by Ned Daigle
Rating: 3.5 Beans
n the early 80's it seemed like every week their were several new and exciting dead-teenager flicks. You know, a group of oversexed kids find themselves at the mercy of whatever mad slasher is in the vicinity. Very few, if any, were any good. Just watch "Graduation Day", "My Bloody Valentine", "Fatal Games", "Midnight", "Happy Birthday to Me", "The Burning", "Madman", "New Year's Evil", "Silent Night, Deadly Night" or any other "Friday the 13th" clone if you don't believe me.
The absurdly titled "Humongous" is more of the same, except this time, the kids get stranded on an island and are dispatched by a giant man-beast.
Anyway, our story begins many years in the past. While on her island resort home, a rich woman is raped by one of her party guests. Strangely, the director chooses to film the rape from the point-of-view of the victim, so we as an audience get the lovely opportunity of watching the guy give it to us good.
Flash-forward to present day (circa 1982) a group of teens are packing up the family yacht to take a nice spring-break excursion. The teens are pretty much your basic generic "movie teen", their personalities can be summed up into one high-concept description like, the stud-hero Eric (David Wallace), the nice-girl Janet (Sandy Ralston), the nerd Carla (Janit Baldwin), the sexbomb Donna (Joy Boushel) and the insufferable clod Nick (John Wildman).
And now a word about the stereotype of the insufferable clod. Why is it that in every group of teens in these movies, one guy is always so mean-spirited, cruel, foolish and intolerable? Why is anyone friends with guys like that? Why do they put up with it, even when he endangers their lives and threatens them with bodily harm? People like that can only get along with people who are the same. Recently Ryan Philippe took this stereotype and throttled it for all it was worth in "I Know What You Did Last Summer" to the point that if I were Jennifer Love Hewitt, he would be a dead man before the hook-man came.
Anyway, while the kids are yachting they come across a stranded boatman and pick him up. To finally get the plot going, Nick gets pissed off at something and decides to shanghai the yacht. So know we get about three hours worth of film where the other passengers say every variation of "Watch out Nick!" known to man. "Look out!", "Nick, watch out!", "Stop Nick!", "Watch out Nick, Look out!". So, naturally he wrecks the yacht on an island, and naturally this would be the same island from earlier in the movie, only several decades later, and naturally the deformed son of the raped woman is running loose. And boy, is he Humongous!
Humongous-man spends the rest of the flick, chasing the teens, and slaughtering them. In another twist, instead of the various sharp weapons that are popular with slasher films, Humongous uses his brute strength snapping necks and breaking spines with gleeful abandon.
By the end, good-girl Janet is the only one left alive (couldn't guess she would be the sole survivor now, could we?) and goes mano-a-mano with the beast, eventually torching him and saving the day.
"Humongous" is not the worst of its kind by far, but there are the usual pitfalls that it can't avoid. One, the cast is virtually talent-free, no one can act, even Donna can't seem to express much emotion, even when she conveniently peels off her blouse and presses her bare boobies onto the boatman's body after his legs are broken and he is suffering from hypothermia.
Secondly, almost the entire movie takes place in darkness. Not just shade and shadow, but complete darkness, long stretches of action are completely enveloped in black. So it's needless to say, it's hard to tell what's going on most of the time. I'm surprised that Brain R.R. Hebb took credit for the cinematography, boy it must have been hard to find the right shade of blackness for each scene.
If you are looking for quality entertainment, or even a good scarefest, "Humongous" won't deliver the goods. But you might want to check it out, if only for a thankfully needed diversion from the usual Killer-in-the-Summer-Camp swill.
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