Sunday, September 16, 2012

Creature from the Haunted Sea (1961)

Who's in it?: Antony Carbone (The Pit and the Pendulum); Betsy Jones-Moreland (all those Perry Mason TV movies); Robert Towne (wrote the screenplays for Chinatown, the first two Mission:Impossible movies, and Days of Thunder)

What's it about?: American criminals help Cuban officials smuggle money off the island after Castro's revolution, but plan to steal the loot by claiming that a sea monster is murdering the guards and forcing them to divert course. Unfortunately, the monster is REAL!

How is it?: It's a Roger Corman movie, so adjust expectations accordingly. Also, it's a comedy. The monster is absolutely ridiculous-looking, but it's supposed to be. The film spoofs everything from monster movies to spy films and musicals and it's often legitimately, intentionally funny. I laughed out loud several times. There's an especially memorable scene where the girlfriend (Jones-Moreland) of the lead crook (Carbone) croons a song to entertain the crew and continues unfazed when a gunfight erupts around her. Towne is also very funny as the deadpan, hapless secret agent XK150 who's undercover on the boat to spy on the bad guys.

Rating: Good.

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