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Creature from the Haunted Sea

USA 1961
produced by
Roger Corman for Filmgroup
directed by Roger Corman
starring Antony Carbone, Betsy Jones Moreland, Robert Towne (as Edward Wain), Beach Dickerson, Robert Bean, Esther Sandoval, Sonia Noemí González, Edmundo Rivera Álvarez, Terry Nevin, Elisio López, Tanner Hunt, Blanquita Romero, Armando Rowra
written by Charles B.Griffith, music by Fred Katz

Roger Corman's Puerto Rico-Trilogy

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Cuba 1961: To get the Cuban national treasure out of Cuba & away from Fidel Castro's regime, general Tostada (Edmundo Rivera Álvarez) hires American gangster & skipper Renzo Capetto (Antony Carbone), a man who definitely has seen too much Humphrey Bogart movies, & his crew - his moll Mary-Belle (Betsy Jones-Moreland), her brother Jack (Robert Bean), & Renzo's animal personating henchman Pete (Beach Dickerson). But being a gangster, Renzo naturally has different ideas of who the money should go to ... not to some silly Cuban counter-revolution but to his own pocket ...

& then there's also Sparks Moran (Robert Towne), American agent XP 150 aboard Renzo's ship who is supposed to guard American interests , but generally makes a mess out of things & soon falls madly in love with Mary-Belle ... who of course can't stand him.

Renzo has soon made up a stupid plan to get rid of general Tostada & his gang of Cubans, to kill them one at a time, & make it all look as if it was done by a sea creature ... what of course nobody knows yet is that there is an actual monster around too, which does a bit of killing of its own.

Soon Renzo figures it's a good idea to wreck his boat & let the strongbox containing the Cuban treasure sink to the ocean's floor near some (thought to be) deserted island ... but of course he hasn'T taken into acount that all the Cubans are frogmen ... so he & his little gang soon have to play monster again ... but then both Jack & Pete fall for island beauties, & soon with their girls even conspire against Renzo ... but as if that wasn't bad enough, the (real) sea-creature kills Jack's girl Mango (Sonia Noemi González) , & later, when going diving, Jack as well ... which pretty much breaks the whole gang up, & it was about time too, because now the creature attacks Renzo's new boat & kills everyone - Cuban as well as American - in sight, only agent Sparks Moran escapes, with Carmelita, a girl from a Puerto Rican coastal sorotrity house (yes, that kind of sorority house) ...

 

Roger Corman, always one who knew how to make a dollar count, filmed this one back to back with Last Woman on Earth in Puerto Rico, using the same principal cast, too. (A third movie, Joel Rapp's Battle of Blood Island, was filmed back-to-back with Creature from the Haunted Sea and Last Woman on Earth as well, by the way.)

Creature from the Haunted Sea is however one of his least popular movies (even if Corman himself refers to it as one of his favourites), loathed by both those who celebrate Corman as an auteur (& can't fit this little flick neatly into their theory) & those who slammed him for his 1950's monster-movies (& couldn't come to terms with the fact that he was actually capable to consciously make a fool out of the whole genre). For my part, I thought the film was wickedly funny, an over-the-top nonsense comedy that was years ahead of its time, that always only pretended to adhere to certain genre rules only to throw them overboard in the least expected moments, & that not for one moment wold take itself seriusly. Granted, the film is not a genuine masterpiece, nor Roger Corman's best film or the best conmedy/genre parody ever, but it effortlessly delivers a bit over an hour of fun.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
-
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
Amazon!!!

 

 

 

On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD