Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Katarina's Nightmare Theater: Humongous

Scorpion Entertainment

Humongous was always one of those films that was on my DVD want list. I first saw it at a friends house back when I wore a younger man's clothes. It would take until 2011 for the film to see a proper DVD release and let me just tell you that picture wise this is such an improvement over the old version. The new DVD transfer is hosted by the lovely Katarina Leigh Waters. Waters is a former WWE and current TNA star and seems natural in the role of host. She is quite witty and offers interesting observations about the film. It obviously doesn't hurt that she is easy on the eyes. Scorpion Releasing has tapped her to host a slew of underground horror films including American Nightmare, The Carpenter, Final Exam, The House On Sorority Row and The Incubus with the DVDs called Katarina's Nightmare Theater. With a great set of extras (the trailers alone are insane) this uncut version of Humongous is well worth the wait and price. Directed by Paul Lynch (who went on to direct episodes of the awesome Star Trek: The Next Generation) the film stars Janet Julian and David Wallace. Janet Julian is perhaps best known for having played Nancy Drew in The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries (which I just rented from my local library for the extended weekend!) while David Wallace played Todd Chandler from 1985–1986 on Days of our Lives and Dr. Tom Hardy from 1987-1993 on General Hospital. The plot concerns a group of "teens" who decide to take a boat out for a little bit of fun. Finding themselves lost in fog they run aground on the rocks of the mysterious "Dog Island". With their boat destroyed by fire they make it to the island. After one them goes missing (since it is always best to split up you know) the rest of the group decides to search out shelter. Of course dogs are not the only thing to worry about on "Dog Island" as they soon find out! Originally there was two versions of this film floating around. The American version was cut in order to secure a R rating while the Canadian version was unrated. As mentioned this DVD version is uncut and contains all of the footage removed from the US version. The most obvious cut is in the opening part of the movie. The DVD presents the movie uncut as stated although they do provide the R rated opening as a point of reference. Without giving away any spoilers (hopefully) the film opens on Labor Day weekend, 1946. The family that owns "Dog Island" (apparently it is only a father and daughter) is throwing a huge party and the young daughter (Ida Parsons) is playing with her German Shepherds. The very pretty Ida is in her early twenties from the look of things and is still a virgin (not that there is anything wrong with that). While her father is busy hosting the party a drunken man named Tom Rice comes outside and propositions Ida. She refuses of course (since drunken older men really don't have a lot to offer pretty young ladies) and after he chases her into the woods he brutally rapes her. The dogs hear her cries for help and break out of their pens. The dogs are of course very protective of Ida and race into the wood where they attack and fatally maul the man. Ida's rapist really should have thought twice before he attacked her. After she finally calls off the dog's attack Ida justifiably finishes off her rapist with a log to the head. In the R rated version it only appears as if Tom Rice is going to rape Ida before the dogs come along to attack him. It really doesn't make it clear that Ida becomes pregnant. The uncut version includes the actual rape and shows more of the dog attack. While the rape scene is horrible to watch it provides a stronger statement and helps the viewer to understand Ida's actions later in the film. Humongous is not a movie for the faint of heart then or kids as the rape scene alone is brutal and ugly. The rest of the movie features gore fairly typical of eighties slasher flicks with the killer only show briefly. Having watched it a few times already I can tell you that it's good points outweigh it's flaws. Honestly though if your a fan of eighties horror films then you have long ago learned to throw logic out the window and just enjoy it for what it is.


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