Fishermen from the fishing village of Noyo catch what appears to be some kind of monster in the netting of their boat. The young son of one of the fishermen falls into the water and is dragged under the surface by something unseen. Another fisherman prepares a flare gun, but he slips and shoots it accidentally into the deck, which is soaked with gasoline dropped earlier by the boy, causing the vessel to burst into flame and then explode; everybody onboard is killed. The explosion is witnessed by Jim Hill (McClure) and his wife Carol, who begin to wonder what is going on here, especially when Carol’s dog goes missing during the following night and the two find its dismembered corpse on the nearby beach.
The following night, teenagers Jerry Potter (Meegan King) and Peggy Larson (Lynn Schiller) go for a swim at the beach. Jerry is abruptly pulled under. Peggy believes it is simply a prank until she discovers his horribly mutilated corpse. The screaming girl tries to make it to the beach but she is attacked and dragged onto the sand by a monstrous figure. The humanoid thing tears off her swimming suit and rapes her.
At night, on the same beach, two more teens are about to have sex in a small tent when another humanoid monster claws its way inside. It brutally kills the boy and chases the girl onto the beach. She manages to outrun her assailant but then runs straight into the arms of yet another humanoid. The monster throws her onto the sand and rapes her.
A company called Canco has announced plans to build a huge cannery near Noyo. It turns out that the murderous, sex-hungry mutations are apparently the result of Canco’s experimentation with a growth hormone they had earlier administered to salmon. The salmon escaped from the laboratory facilities into the ocean during a storm, and were then eaten by other, larger fish who proceeded to mutate into the brutally depraved humanoids who have begun to terrorize the village.
By the time Jim and Dr. Susan Drake (Turkel), a Canco scientist, have figured out what is going on, it is too late to stop the village’s annual carnival from starting. At the carnival, the humanoids show up in droves, relentlessly murdering the men and raping every woman they can grab. Luckily, Jim devises a plan to stop the marauding beasts. The morning after the carnival, everything seems about to return to normal. However, Peggy has survived her sexual assault and is about to give birth when her monstrous offspring suddenly bursts out of her stomach in a fountain of blood.
This is one of those movies I watched early on HBO. Think of Humanoids as the Creature from the Black Lagoon but with many creatures and they are very, very horny. Considering the time, the creature effects are fairly decent and you do get a good look at them in a rare daytime attack. Never the less, there are some noteworthy mentionables starting with Doug McClure. Back in the 70’s, Doug starred in one of my favorite classics called The Land that Forgot Time. He has tons of tv work which also includes Manimal, Automan, and Airwolf.
Next, we get Vic Morrow. In Humanoids, he does the typical racists that stirs a great deal of drama throughout the film. There are shades of this character that appeared in another film. This film was called The Twilight Zone: The Movie and the roll of Bill Connors, a real nasty bigot, in the first segment. Like Doug, Vic had also done tons of tv work but his last role ended tragically. If you don’t know the story, there was
The film’s only original segment was the first, directed by John Landis. It is loosely based on the original Twilight Zone episodes “A Quality of Mercy” and “Deaths-Head Revisited“, with the opening narration borrowing from “What You Need“. Vic Morrow plays Bill Conner, an outspoken bigot who is bitter after being passed over for a promotion. Drinking in a bar after work with his friends, Bill makes prejudiced remarks and racial slurs towards Jews, blacks and Asians, attracting the attention of a group of black men sitting near them who, of course, strongly resent his racist comments. Bill leaves the bar very angry. When he walks outside, Bill has suddenly become the selected racial ethnicities of the people against whom he was always prejudiced. First, he finds himself in Vichy France during World War II. He is spotted by a pair of SS officers patrolling the streets, who see him as a Jewish man. After a chase around the city, Bill time travel jumps to the rural South during the 1940s, where the Ku Klux Klan sees him as an African American whom they are about to whip and lynch. Bill is scared and confused and vehemently tries to tell them he’s white. While trying to escape the Ku Klux Klan members, he time travels into theVietnam War, where he is a Vietnamese man nearly blown to bits by U.S. soldiers. The grenade thrown by the soldiers blasts him back to Vichy France, where he is captured by Nazi soldiers and put into an enclosed railroad freight car, along with other Jewish Holocaustprisoners, with no possibility of redemption or rescue, futilely screaming for help to his friends from the bar that only he can see as the train pulls away to a death camp.
Tragically, during one of the scenes where Vic (Bill) was in Vietnam there was a sequence with a helicopter. In the story, Bill was trying to rescue two Vietnamese children. As he was wading through a river with them this is when the accident occurred and the helicopter fell on them. This certainly added a somber tone to this segment when I watched it in the theaters.
Lastly, aside from all the boobies, yes I said boobies, there was one sequence towards the end that impressed me. One of the girls who was raped by one of the Humanoids goes into labor. The doctor gives the order to have the girl push her stomach begins to expand. The doctor freaked and the girl lets out this horrific scream. And then we get this shot of her with blood in the mouth and her eyes were dilated which gives a very freaky effect. As for the little bugger, it bursts a la Alien Chest burster and that’s how the movie ends. Certainly there was room for a sequel but alas nothing further was developed except for the remake in 1996; which I have not seen…yet.