Creatures from the Abyss (2006)
A Treatise on the Dangers of Bad Fish -by Eric Brooks!
The Italians are known for many things: pasta, soccer, the Renaissance, romantic passion, and vertically challenged architecture. Horror films do not normally appear on most lists of things for which Italians are famous. Creatures from the Abyss seems unlikely to cause anyone to move horror films into the category of things for which Italians are famous. It is an Italian film but most Italians would likely be loathe to confess this. The film is a fairly straightforward story of young adults going on a little row on the ocean in hopes of stirring a little romance and having a little fun. Unfortunately, the tiny ship was tossed and despite the fearless crew ultimately lost. Fortunately, a fancy yacht just happens to be floating by so all seems saved. Our intrepid teens board the yacht to find it to be half 1980s porn flick set and half mad scientist lab. The lab half is filled with bizarre air breathing fish things and occasionally throughout the film we are treated to aquatic mutant view shots and tentacles shooting around corners. The young people ultimately find a deranged mad scientist gone catatonic from fear of his own fish and spend about 50 minutes being devoured or impregnated by mutant fish freaks.
This film has several flaws the most glaring of which is the “professional dubbing”. This film evidently was made in Italian and translated by people tripping on serious mind altering drugs while holding a dictionary. It features some truly memorable dialog like “the creatures travel on full stretch limousine currents mainly in Jacuzzis”. That sounds completely made up and was by somebody on more drugs than me and actually inserted into the dubbing. This film ends up coming out like a really long version of one of those Mad Libs things where you fill blanks with random words and read the story that results. The Italian director discusses his vision at length in a commentary on the DVD and one wonders if he even knows what the dub says. I think he took the film to a guy named Sid who advertised his professional dubbing/massage parlor in Film Today and had lots of fun with the poor Italian’s film.
On the upside, this film does have most of the B film staples. There is some very enjoyable gore and most of the better body parts are maimed, torn off, or eaten. There is nudity and sex, even if it is pretty lame and ultimately involves a mutant fishman. There are also some creative payoff shots. The best example is a scene that results from the sex and involves caviar. Let it just be said that you will not be able to look at it on the fancy cracker at the office party the same way ever again.
High art Creatures from the Abyss is not. It does not even qualify as folk art. It is, though, a fun watch if you are into the horror so bad it is silly. I laughed out loud when I wasn’t trying to figure out what the dialog meant and laughed more when I realized neither the actors nor director knew what it meant either. This film is what it is and cannot be expected to be any more, or for that matter, less. Enjoy the whole bizarre, funny spectacle! This film is unrated, runs about 90 minutes, and stars absolutely no one who has ever done anything else of value.