Creature From the Haunted Sea

Title: Creature from the Haunted Sea

Year: 1961

Got It For: About $1 ($5 DVD with 5 movies)

The original poster for Creature from the Haunted Sea begs me “PLEASE DO NOT GIVE AWAY THE ANSWER TO THE SECRET.” That secret apparently being that this film is actually a comedy. Going in, I had no idea that this was going to be an intentionally funny movie, as most advertising for the movie played it up as a straight up creature feature. The plot is that an American criminal and his crew (one of whom is actually an American spy) assist a number of Cuban loyalists in stealing a large amount of gold from the Cuban treasury. They then proceed to bump off each of the Cubans on the way to Puerto Rico, blaming it on a made up monster that, of course, turns out to be real. And made of sentient seaweed and ping pong balls apparently.

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According to IMDB, the original runtime for this movie was 61 minutes. The version on my disc is about 75 minutes long; evidence that it’s actually the TV cut that had a number of scenes added later on. While the main plot is straightforward and has some pretty funny writing, there are a number of subplots in this version that are convoluted, don’t make much sense, and take away from the movie overall. The production values are obviously quite low, this being an early-ish Roger Corman film. Props and costumes look cheap and somewhat silly, and one scence near the beginning is so poorly lit you can hardly tell what’s going on until a random car chase breaks out…and even then it’s pretty fuzzy.

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This movie is certainly an odd one. Part spy spoof, part monster movie spoof, part crime spoof, it’s an aqueous solution of funny, weird, and low, low budget. If you’re like me and have a taste for aged cheese, I say try it out. Otherwise you’ll probably be left scratching your head wondering where the last hour and fifteen minutes of your life went.

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