STUDIO: Dark Sky Films
MSRP: $14.98
RUNNING TIME: 79 Minutes

The Pitch

"It’s Plan 9 underwater."

The Humans

Sonny Chiba, Peggy Neal, Mike Daneen, Franz Gruber, Erik Neilson and a shitload of walking mackerel.

"…and so help us, Aquaman, we get another one of those fucking 3 AM aquatic telepathy wake up calls, were gonna put some hot shit in your ass…"

The Nutshell

The evil Dr. Moore (Neilson) is out to conquer the world from his underwater base using his army of processed fish men – mindless Creature From the Black Lagoon wannabes who are card-carrying members of the NRA. It’s up to the heroic Ken (cult hero Chiba) and Jenny (Neal) to stop him.

Showing Gaijin ass was perfectly acceptable to the Japanese censors, but those racy flippers had to be blurred…

The Package

The packaging for this is actually quite impressive. The artwork screams ‘60s cult flick and amphibious gun lovers everywhere are going to dig the hell out of it. Also, the transfer of the film is simply stunning. It looks better than brand new direct-to-DVD flicks I’ve seen recently and every bit of cheese just jumps out at you. The audio is no less impressive.

"And as you can see, although he’s now a mindless, scaly brute, the subject’s penis can now withstand the water pressure of 500 fathoms…"

The Lowdown

Let’s be perfectly honest, if you’re looking for coherence in a movie like this, you’d best keep scanning the Used rack at the local Mom & Pop Video Dive. This is prime Japanese monster flick pepperjack circa 1966. There’s an army of extras in ludicrous fish men costumes running around (you can see the seems in the costumes bright as day), state of the art ‘60s underwater model work, more mindless gunfire than Commando, time-lapse fish men transformations, and Peggy Neal, who’s doing her damnedest to out scream Marilyn Burns. This is either going to be torture to sit through or an ejaculatory delight. It depends on if you go for this sort of thing. Me? About the only stuff along these lines I go for are the classic Gojira flicks, which I can still watch over and over and over. But even I can’t sit through dreck like Godzilla on Monster Island or whatever title it goes by now with the kid and Baby Godzilla running around. Even as a kid, I never flipped out for Creature and it’s there’s not even an attempt to hide that that’s what the fish men are in this flick.

The fact that longtime Army fan Jim had a Siamese twin growing out of his ass was bad enough, but when he insisted on joining the Navy, it became downright problematic…

Chiba doesn’t get to do much of what he’s famous for in fanboy circles of kicking mucho ass tiger kung fu style. He spends most of his time wrestling with the fish sticks, trying to calm Neal down, or reacting to the painfully long transformation of man to fish man (Christ almighty, that sequence is half the flick). Basically though, I was simply floored by how good this film looks. I was expecting low-grade, fifth-generation-VHS-burned-to-disc crap, but this film blows that notion to hell. Throw in pounds of latex, mutant fishman wrestling and a villain who feels the need to wear sunglasses underwater and this is definitely a distinctive film. Not my bag really, and I found myself counting down the running time on my DVD player. However, I do know what it’s like to love obscure and cheesy flicks. This just doesn’t happen to be one of mine. You should either run screaming from this movie or kill anyone who stands in your way of getting it.

1.0/9.0 out of 10