Julie, an American on vacation in Mexico, spots a giant, one-eyed amoeba rising from the ocean, but when she tries to tell the authorities, no one believes her. She finally teams up with a marine biologist in an attempt to destroy it.
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Swimming near a Mexican village that has been terrorized by a sea monster, Julie Blaie (Anne Kimball), and American artist, is terrified when an object rises to the surface. It turns out to be a one-man submarine piloted by biologist Steve Dunning ('Stuart Wade' (qb)). Later an abalone diver vanishes and Julie faints after seeing the monster's eye rise from the sea. Pablo (Wyott Ordung) and Tula (Inez Palange) plot to offer Julie as a sacrifice to their gods. Pablo deliberately attracts a shark while Juilie is skin-diving, but she escapes, and her line snags an object that Steve and Dr. Baldwin (Dick Pinner) establish as part of a huge sea monster. Written by
Les Adams <email@example.com>
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"Monster from the Ocean Floor" is historically important as the very first film produced by a young Roger Corman, so it's a shame it's not more entertaining than it is. It does have some schlocky charm, but owing to an obviously very low budget, it gets bogged down in talk and becomes fairly dull. It's not even that much fun on the "so bad it's good" level. It's too bad, because if you're a B movie enthusiast you'd certainly *want* to like it. It does have its moments, but they're spread too far apart.
There is some enjoyment to be had from watching the amateurish acting. The pretty Anne Kimbell plays Julie Blair, an American artist on vacation in Mexico. She hears stories of locals disappearing from the waters and learns that there's a legend believed by the natives. She meets a handsome marine biologist named Steve Dunning (Stuart Wade) - their initial encounter is amusing, to say the least - and while he's a practical, hard headed kind of guy, she becomes convinced some sort of mysterious beast is the culprit - and she's right, of course.
It's naturally a good thing that the monster in this film - resembling an octopus with one great big red eye - is seen so little. Our anticipation is built up, and the payoff isn't bad. I can believe that people who'd seen this movie as little children would have been frightened. The problem is that for a movie running only one hour and five minutes, there's too much padding on this thing. Still, "Monster from the Ocean Floor" isn't without its assets. Corman works with ace cinematographer Floyd Crosby - who shot his colourful, widescreen Edgar Allan Poe adaptations - and Crosby creates good atmosphere. The underwater photography is likewise well done. Kimbell has one harrowing scene with a shark. And the original music by Andre Brummer is enjoyable.
Cormans' stock company player Jonathan Haze (billed as Jack Hayes) makes his film debut as the character Joe, director Wyott Ordung plays the key supporting role of Pablo, and Corman himself makes an uncredited on-screen appearance as Tommy.
This does have high curiosity value just to see the humble beginnings of one of the great independent filmmakers of all time.
Four out of 10.
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