‘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 Doctor 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…
Monster from the Ocean Floor wasn’t just low budget, it had a 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 and MANIA
” …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
Cast and characters:
- Anne Kimbell as Julie Blair
- Stuart Wade as Steve Dunning
- Dick Pinner as Doctor Baldwin
- Wyott Ordung as Pablo
- Inez Palange as Tula
- Jonathan Haze as Joe
- David Garcia as Jose
- Roger Corman as Tommy
The original title was It Stalked the Ocean Floor