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Humongous (1982) - Blu-ray Review

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Humongous (1982) - Blu-ray Review

4 beersIt’s not everyday that you find a severed head floating in the pool of water you just splashed on your face.  Cue the shrieks and screams because there’s no safe way back home after trespassing onto the mysterious island of this rich man’s daughter.  She’s hiding someone (or something!!) from the rest of the world and he, as indicated by some creepy POV shots, thinks we are the enemy.  Either that or he just hates mullets and Canadian accents…

While Humongous never made a friend amongst all the critics that dared (or did not) sit through it, this horror tale of survival on a remote island where a pissed-off monster, mourning the loss of his mother, hides, is a slasher worth remembering.  The film gets so much right about the genre that it becomes hard to fault it for some of the weaker performances.  Which is why the cult following praising the film’s style, quick edits, and use of shadows is exactly right.  Shadows are amped up and, rather surprisingly, are quite elegant as the monster growls and grunts his way from one victim to the next.  

Humongous shines best when fully dark.  Got it?!

God damn, Nick Simmons (John Wildman) is such a dick.  The amount of trouble this spoiled rich kid gets he and his siblings in can (and should) be measured on a Richter scale.  He’s an absolute ass to his girlfriend (Joy Boushel) and, as he’s headstrong and impulsive, winds up crashing daddy’s yacht into a mysterious island.  Of course, he and his chums have been warned about the island; it’s full of mean dogs and a bitter old woman.  But they don’t even think twice about exploring the old woman’s house.  Or the nursery that, apparently, has never been used…

Directed by Paul Lynch (Prom Night), Humongous begins in 1946 with an unsettling rape as a rambunctious party attendee forces himself upon a young Ida Parsons (Shay Garner) after she refuses his sexual advances.  No human comes to her rescue, though.  They are too busy drinking, dinking, and dancing.  Her dogs do, though, and they tear him to shreds.  It’s a death that comes on fierce and is very, very deserved.  It’s also pretty damn important to the story as imagined by William Gray (The Changeling and Black Moon Rising). 

Flash forward to 1982, when Eric (David Wallace) and his brother Nick, the dick, borrow the family yacht in order to impress their girlfriends.  Their sister, Carla (Janit Baldwin) gets to come along, too.  Although, she’ll wish she hadn’t soon enough.  After rescuing a shipwrecked fisherman, the group settles in for the night and Nick, frustrated by his girl’s frosty attitude and the sound of howling dogs from the island, takes matters into his own hands. 

Dumb idea.  The abandoned monster (Garry Allan Robbins) on the island is without food and he is very hungry.  They will soon find out for themselves of his anger and bloodlust.  It won’t be pleasant, but if they want to survive then some of them will have to go all Scooby Doo and figure out exactly whom the monster really is. 

Thanks to some seriously engaged edits and camera shots (the best coming about 82 minutes into the feature when the killer opens the door to his mother’s room and stands silhouetted in the darkness), the creep factor is constantly cranked to 11.  And the story, with a hell of a shameful secret, is aided by some downright spooky sequences, especially on the final night of their trip.  This one actually gets the final girl sequences correct and, as it anchors itself on the melancholy side of things, offers us a few tidbits to chew on.

For b-movie enthusiasts, this cult classic justly deserves the brand new HD transfer that Scorpion Releasing has provided for its blu-ray debut.  It’s a fun film to view and, as it was shot in a Canadian quarry around Muskoka Lakes, offers some scenery that doesn’t always get chewed up by Nick’s nasty mullet.  This is a true find.

Humongous, warts and all, proves that behind every monster there is indeed a sad, sad origin.

Humongous (1982) - Blu-ray Review

MPAA Rating: Not rated.
Runtime:
97 mins
Director
: Paul Lynch
Writer:
William Gray
Cast:
Janet Julian, David Wysocki, John Wildman
Genre
: Horror
Tagline:
Here are the monster's little toys. Once they were little girls and boys..
Memorable Movie Quote: "You're going to feel something now, old maid. You're going to know what you've been missing."
Theatrical Distributor:
Embassy Pictures
Official Site:
Release Date:
June 11, 1982
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
June 20, 2017
Synopsis: The monstrous offspring of a violent crime grows up in seclusion on a remote island, where a boat-full of hapless teens have shipwrecked, unaware of what's lurking in the woods..

Humongous (1982) - Blu-ray Review

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Ronin Flix Exclusive | One movie, Two Cuts

Home Video Distributor: Scorpion Releasing
Available on Blu-ray
- June 20, 2017
Screen Formats: 1.85:1
Subtitles
: None
Audio:
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; single disc
Region Encoding: Region A, B

With an aspect ratio of 1.78:5, Scorpion Releasing presents Humongous on 1080p with decent results.  There’s an apology that kicks off the movie, suggesting that the best sources for both cuts – rated and unrated – of the movie have been used, but there might be noticeable defects.  While true, none of that takes away from the overall effectiveness of the b-movie.  Black levels, always important, are solid and blues are thick.  This seems to be naturally lit and the day scenes have clarity about them that the night scenes – especially in the shadows of the house – do not.  Gore, while at a minimum, is filled with thick reds.  While there is an audio hiccup that runs for about 20 to 30 minutes, none of that truly distorts the 2.0 DTS-HD MA sound mix included here.

Supplements:

Commentary:

  •  Provided by director Paul Lynch and writer William Gray, the interesting commentary provides information about the production that goes beyond the IMDB information recited in Katarina Leigh Waters’ supplemental item.  It is moderated by Nathaniel Thompson

Special Features:

Scorpion Releasing honors their release of this slasher with some cool supplemental items about the making of the movie.  The best is easily the interview with David Wallace who talks about the production of the movie and what he remembers from the cast and the crew.  Katarina Leigh Waters talks about the film briefly in another.  The cool thing about the release is that you can watch it in Nightmare Theatre Mode which adds to the thrill of the experience.  The bonus material is rounded out by the theatrical trailer and the original cover art. 

  • Two Versions of the film - the R-Rated Cut (in HD) and the Unrated Cut (in HD with standard definition inserts)
  • Katarina's Nightmare Theater (3 min)
  • David Wallace Interview (23 min)
  • Theatrical Trailer

Humongous (1982) - Blu-ray Review

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