Director – Paul Lynch
Cast – Janet Julian, David Wallace, John Wildman, Janit Baldwin, Joy Boushel, Layne Coleman, Shay Garner, Page Fletcher, John McFadyen, Garry Robbins, Mary Sullivan
Release Year – 1982
Reviewed by John of the Dead
Humongous has come up numerous times while conversing about trashy 80s horror films with my friends and cohorts, and thankfully it did not take too much effort to come across a copy of this low-budget and very much lesser-known horror flick. Honestly, I went into this flick expecting a highly enjoyable cheezy horror film that despite its faults would deliver all of the promising elements that make these films so much fun, but that was sadly not the case with this one. While the overall premise was great and we got some good cheeze here and there, the story of Humongous never allows the film to attain full potential, and keeps things at bay for way too long to result in a highly enjoyable experience.
A woman is raped at a cocktail party, and relocates to an isolated island to raise her bastard son who was born a diabolical beast. 36 years later a group of friends find themselves shipwrecked on that very island, and as they search for help they come across the horror that has occupied the island and remained hidden for over three decades.
I really dug the overall storyline, and expected it to bring lots of cheeze and entertainment given how damn sleazy the story is. The idea of a woman being raped and then be forced to raise a child harboring horrible qualities is not a new idea, and in fact The Beast Within debuted several months prior to Humongous, and with many of the same elements that were used to potential and resulted in an enjoyable watch. You all know that I love nowhere-to-run scenarios, so I found the idea of our protagonists finding themselves stranded on a desolate island with no form of communication and a grisly killer on the loose to be a sweet idea. While many of these story elements were the right choice and should have resulted in a good watch, the story failed to use them to full potential, which for all I know could have been a result of a very low budget that simply did not allow for much money-guzzling action. Nonetheless, the pacing of the film was off in that we go long bouts in which there is no creature action, and the scenes that do bring us such action fail to give us anything worthwhile. I hate to balk against a film that may be suffering due to budget issues, but this is about the horror, and the horror was not there for way too much of the film.
Director Peter Lynch(Prom Night) did a decent job with this film, giving us awesome atmosphere that provided a nice creepy feel to the film, and the sets used aided the creepiness, especially the usage of the home used by our killer and his mother. At times I felt though that the atmosphere was a bit too dark, which is rarely the case in most films that I see, but when you can barely see the creature due to low-lighting you will be faced with some annoyance over the horror that you are missing out on. I enjoyed the look and usage of the creature, who was not a typical man but a man/beast of large size, and his appearance and mannerisms were spot-on for the type of film that this is. Now I laid into the screenplay for not giving us enough horror, however I will admit that it could be that the screenplay did provide enough horror, but director Peter Lynch was unable to deliver the horror with the low budget awarded to him. Regardless, the horror is not there, and that is what matters most, and not who to blame. The execution is cheezy all-around, with horrible acting, shotty (yet funny) editing, and cheap FX that would have made for a really fun time had we simply been given more horror.
Overall, Humongous is an OK watch that gives us good horror at times and comes with much potential, but story and budget related issues kept this from being anything special. The story is cool, the cheeze is high, but we are just not given very much horror for way too much of the movie, which I found to be a big letdown.