Thursday, September 15, 2011

Calling it that is a little of an overstatement: Humongous (1982)

Humongous (AKA Dog Island) (Canada, 1982)
starring:  Janet Julian, David Wallace and John Wildman

At a Labor Day in the 1940s, a woman named Ida was attending a party when she brushed off a drunken man, making her way to pet some dogs at a nearby kettle. However, the drunk wasn't gonna have any of that treatment so he decided to stalk and rape her in the woods. Fortunately for Ida, her cries for help upsets the dogs enough to have them breaking free and maul the man while she grabs a rock and bashed the shmuck's skull with it. Hurray for rapist deaths!

Fast forward to the present, two brothers and their friends are out on a boating trip to an inland lake hoping soak up some sunshine, so long as their bickering wouldn't get in the way. Or at least one of them would just stop being a jerk for every five minutes.

Buts as the fates had it written, something worse awaits them all; as the lake fogs up during the night, the gang managed to spot a drifter on a rowboat who warns of some rocks ahead in gratitude of saving him. While the stranger insists on staying anchored until sunrise, one of the kids knew better and decided to go shore. True enough, they crashed to said rocks and now their boat blew after a fire broke on the hull.

Now stranded on "Dog Island", the group split up as some stays put with their injured friends while others looked for help. Luckily there's an old lady living alone in a house nearby but apart from her and some wild dogs, someone -or something- is out there stalking the shipwrecked crew, hunting and eating them down one by one...

But is it "humongous"? No, I'm afraid not. To make matters worse, the film refuses to show to us our mongoloid's face but we can tell its hulking.

Humongous is a type of slasher flick that mish-mashed monster elements with their killer, shown here as a feral cannibal that mauls his victims instead of hacking them with garden tool or kitchen utensils. It's kinda fresh for its time, but on our standards, it may be a bit worn out but there were some neat surprises from this film in terms of b-flick entertainment.

For instance, the film's direction had some of its characters shows more pivotal signs of intelligence (save that one Rambo-wannabe) all the while keeping the cheese completely intact. Perfect example? That one gal named Donna, who is best remembered  not just being another buxom babe (and a nice rack for that one, too) but she practically found new uses for her milkmounds such as storing berries in them for safekeeping and even using them to warm up an ailing friend. Clearly, if this doesn't make a cheesy movie then what will?

Of course, this kind of hamminess conflicts with the movie's attempt to be suspenseful or even a little macabre, unfortunately, making the whole ordeal a tad uneven and felling a bit lagging with all those Scooby-Doo style investigation identifying who our killer is. (A mystery painstakingly obvious seeing we opened with a raped woman)  Other attempts to elevate a sense of flair and style including creepy lighting, odd camera angling and a tamer approach towards the murders have their moments of workability, a welcome effort for its time in a way that it tries to focus more on atmosphere instead gratuitous violence and T&A. May this be a good or a bad thing will all up to you but personally, I'm buying it.

Humongous is a fair attempt for your usual hack-slash. Nothing that special but it gets the job right.

1 male had his head bashed with a rock after being mauled by dogs
1 dog had its neck broken
1 male killed offscreen
1 female thrown off to rocks
1 male had his head stomped off from the neck
1 female skeleton found
1 male bearhugged to death
1 female had her head crushed by killer's hands
1 male set ablaze, later gets a sign post impaled to his gut
total: 9

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