Creature from the Haunted Sea (1961)

So many people seem to believe that this was supposed to be a straight-up horror film. It is anything but that. Creature From the Haunted Sea is a broad farce first, a political satire second, and finally a horror film/creature feature third. In fact, the said creature in the title has barely a presence in this film at all.

Roger Corman obviously wanted to make a silly comedy with political undertones about the times, but always the businessman, he knew to throw in a monster and cool sounding title to bring in the ticket buying public. Folks need to realize when they watch this to not expect a nail biting thriller or blood curdling horror film. This is comedy all the way.

The film is about an American gangster who agrees to transport a couple of Cuban military officers and some of their men off the island after Castro’s revolution. They also bring along a large part of the Cuban treasury. Also aboard the boat is an undercover spy for the American government, who is trying to figure out what all is going on. The gangster also has his girlfriend with him and a couple of hired hands, one of which is his girlfriends brother and the other a strange fellow who makes animal noises all the time. The gangster decides he would like the money the Cubans have brought along for his own and decides to bump them off one by one, blaming things on a local legend about a sea monster. Unfortunately for him, it turns out that the legend is true and there is really a sea monster.

The acting in this film is fine for what it is and the actors play their roles like they should. Its a Corman picture so you know its a cheapie, as the monster is one of the silliest looking creatures I have ever seen. I really didn’t laugh at anything in the movie, though it caused me to elicit a small chuckle a couple of times. The picture moved along briskly enough and wasn’t a bore, though it didn’t thrill me either. My biggest gripe is that so many DVD companies who have released this try to pass it off as a serious horror film. Anyone expecting that will be sadly disappointed.