Humongous (1982) poster

Humongous (1982)


Canada. 1982.


Director – Paul Lynch, Screenplay – William Gray, Producer – Anthony Kramreither, Photography – Brian R.R. Hebb, Music – John Mills Cockell, Humongous Makeup – Brenda Kirk, Art Direction – Barbara Dunphy. Production Company – Stevenson-Kramreither/Humongous Productions Ltd/Manceco Films Limited.


Janet Julian (Sandy Ralston), David Wallace (Eric Simmons), John Wildman (Nick Simmons), Janit Baldwin (Carla Simmons), Joy Boushel (Donna Blake), Lane Coleman (Bert Dafoe), Shay Garner (Ida Parsons), Page Fletcher (Tom Price)


Eric Simmons, his brother Nick, sister Sandy and the two guys– girlfriends go for a yachting trip. Eric and Nick fight, causing the boat to run adrift on an island and explode. The island is the home of Ida Parsons who lived as a recluse there after being raped thirty-six years earlier. As they explore the island, the group find themselves hunted by the hideously deformed and intellectually handicapped son of Ida who now lives wild on the island following her death.

Paul Lynch, a British-born director resident in Canada, first gained attention with his third film as director, the slasher film Prom Night (1980). Prom Night was not a particularly good film but it did star Jamie Lee Curtis fresh on the tail of Halloween (1978) and before she quit the horror genre, which led to it having some international success. Lynch went onto make a number of other horror films including Humongous, Cross Country (1984), Bullies (1986), Drop Dead Gorgeous (1991) and Frozen With Fear (2001), none of which were terribly successful. Most of Lynch’s work since the mid-1980s has been as a director of series television, including stints on several of the modern Star Trek series

While somewhat better made and technically proficient than Prom Night, Humongous quickly slips into slasher movie standard. The cast are a standard slasher movie complement – the practical-joker, the hot-headed jerk, the handsome hero, the Final Girl and so on. Their antics in the lead-up are all typical for the genre – partying hijinks, lots of shots of the girls topless.

Janet Julian stalked in Humongous (1982)
Janet Julian stalked

Alas, as soon as Humongous arrives at the island and gets into its horror elements, it slips into terminal dullsville. While Paul Lynch may have improved technically since Prom Night, the film moves at a slow pace – there is not the random victimisation or as wide a line-up of random killings as there was in that film and so there is the feeling that what we have is being thinly drawn out. The kids seem to get even less characterisation than they usually do in slasher movies.

It becomes apparent about three-quarters of the way in that what we are in for is a variant on the Mad/Deformed Relative in the Cellar plot that we have had in films such as The Beast in the Cellar (1970) and memorably rehashed around the same time as this in The Unseen (1981). Even so, Paul Lynch keeps what is attacking the group hidden for almost the entire film and we only properly see it at the very end.

Trailer here

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