10,000 Bullets   Exploring the world of Cinema from the Arthouse to the Grindhouse™

Creature From The Haunted Sea (Legend Films) 
Written by: on October 17th, 2008

Theatrical Release Date: USA, 1961
Director: Roger Corman
Writer: Charles B. Griffith
Cast: Betsy Jones-Moreland, Antony Carbone, Beach Dickerson, Edward Wain

DVD released: October 21st, 2008
Approximate running time: 63 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1 Full Frame
Rating: NR
Sound: Dolby Digital Mono English
Subtitles: N/A
DVD Release: Legend Films
Region Coding: Region 0 NTSC
Retail Price: $14.95

Synopsis: In the immediate aftermath of the Cuban Revolution, the dissidents steal the national treasury and attempt to smuggle it off the island to fund an assault against the new [Castro] regime. They enlist the help of an expatriated American gangster and his crew, and set out to sea. Murders ensue – is there a sea monster lurking about?

This is actually a black comedy with significant noir elements, including a dry voice-over narration. It has a Humphrey Bogart looking lead, a gangster’s moll with an acid tongue, and an inept government spy¬† named XK150. The most odd character (at this point, anyway) is Peter Peterson, Jr. (Beach Dickerson) who does animal impressions every few minutes (elephants, gorillas, etc.). Presumably these nutzoid characters (and others that stumble into the movie later) are intended to lighten an essentially grim crime drama.

Charles Griffith’s script has many great lines, and Betsy Jones-Moreland as Mary-Belle Monahan seems to get the lion’s share (cue roar from Pete). The witty script and mostly fine delivery are the main attraction, since it certainly isn’t the monster. This is one of the absolutely worst monster outfits in the history of film. Where’s Paul Blaisdel when you need him?

The DVD:

This being essentially a satirical noir crime drama, the colorization just doesn’t make sense and destroys what ambiance the film manages to achieve. It certainly doesn’t make the monster any more effective (nothing could do that).

The B&W version is a progressive scan transfer with good definition and is probably the best this flick has ever looked. There are chapter stops, but the scene selections are only for the colorized version. There are no subtitles but closed captions are provided [you don’t want to miss any of the wisecracks]. The film is presented in its original 1.33:1 aspect ratio. Clearly running a distant third behind the similar Corman / Griffith features Bucket of Blood and Little Shop of Horrors, this is still an entertaining film given a nice presentation by Legend films.

Black & White Screenshot

Color Screenshot

Disclaimer: Some of the reviews contained here at 10kbullets contain screenshots that may not be suitable for those surfing the website at work and discretion is advised while viewing these pages. All of the screenshots and other images used on this site are solely for promotional purposes and are copyrighted to their respective owners. All reviews, bios and interviews unless noted in the text of the review, bio or interview are original content that was written exclusively for 10kbullets and has never been published anywhere else. On occasion there may be typos or errors in the text and if you let us know we will be more then happy to correct all typos or misinformation in the text. All opinions expressed on this site are solely those of the author(s) and not that of any company or person referred to. All the written material contained on 10kBullets is intended for informational purposes only and it is copyright © 2004-Present by the authors.