Monster from the Ocean Floor – USA, 1954 – reviews

‘Terror strikes… from beneath the sea!’

Monster from the Ocean Floor is a 1954 science fiction horror feature film about a sea monster that terrorises a cove in Mexico. The film was directed by Wyott Ordung (screenwriter on Target Earth; First Man into Space and director of Walk the Dark Street).

The movie stars Anne Kimbell and Stuart Wade. The latter also starred in other low-budget films during the decade including Tarantula (1955), and Teenage Monster (1958). Producer Roger Corman also appeared in a cameo in the film; it was the first film that he solo-produced.

“The monster was actually a puppet shot behind a cloudy fish tank. I certainly had no money for process shots, where the action is rear-projected onto a screen and the actors play to it onstage.” Roger Corman, How I Made a Hundred Movies in Hollywood and Never Lost a Dime

Julie Blair (Kimbell) is an American vacationing at a sea-side village in Mexico. She hears stories about a man-eating creature dwelling in the cove. She meets Dr. Baldwin (Dick Pinner), a marine biologist, and they fall for one another.

The mysterious death of a diver interests Julie in investigating, but Baldwin is very dubious. She sees a giant amoeba rising from the ocean…

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Review:

Monster from the Ocean Floor isn’t just low budget, it’s minuscule budget, yet the use of so much location footage adds a real edge of verisimilitude. At just over an hour it’s watchable and generally entertaining, despite its unforgivable depiction of the Mexican characters as hysterical drunkards.

The monster is a very cheap yet oddly amusing creation and his demise – stabbed in the eye with a mini sub – is in keeping with the trashy proceedings. Pseudo-scientific babble also adds an air of authenticity that is missing from some of the bigger budgeted 1950s monster movies. Certainly, this is a decidedly low rent endeavour yet it offers a portend of Corman’s many enjoyable aquatic horrors to come…

Adrian J Smith, MOVIES & MANIA

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Other reviews:

” …Jonathan Haze and Wyott Ordung make Speedy Gonzalez look like a paragon of ethnic sensitivity with their impersonations of Mexican watermen, and that it is impossible to square the appearance of the utterly adorable monster puppet…” 1000 Misspent Hours and Counting

” …a nice lead performance; good use of its locations, and attractively moody photography (so it ought to be: this film was shot by Floyd Crosby – only two years after High Noon!); some interesting character touches; the first appearance of a future Corman stock player, Jonathan Haze (who hides behind an aggressively “Mexican” moustache)….” And You Call Yourself a Scientist!

“The production has been mounted with the characteristic penny-pinching economy that Roger Corman became famous for. To this extent, we only ever see a single shot of the monster – a glowing, single-eyed octopus emerging out of the ocean (and even then only ever in long distance).” Moria

how I made a hundred movies in hollywood and never lost a dime roger corman

Buy: Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.com

Cast and characters:

  • Anne Kimbell as Julie Blair
  • Stuart Wade as Steve Dunning
  • Dick Pinner as Dr. Baldwin
  • Wyott Ordung as Pablo
  • Inez Palange as Tula
  • Jonathan Haze as Joe
  • David Garcia as Jose
  • Roger Corman as Tommy

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monster from the ocean floor still

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Choice dialogue:

“Happy monstering!”

Trivia:

The original title was It Stalked the Ocean Floor

Image credits: Héritage Montréal | Wrong Side of the Art!Zombos’ Closet

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One Comment on “Monster from the Ocean Floor – USA, 1954 – reviews”

  1. Always wondered if the film’s genesis came from the mini sub? I mean did Corman or someone see it, then say “Hey, that would make an awesome movie prop! Let’s write a film around it!” I also wonder if the monster was an influence on Kang and Kodos from The Simpsons? Awful film with a lame monster pay off. I guess most of the money went into the extensive underwater filming.

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