AUSTIN FILM FESTIVAL 2010
By Don Simpson | December 6, 2010
Director: Stuart Simpson
Writer: Stuart Simpson
Starring: Norman Yemm, Nelli Scarlet, Kyrie Nunan-Jackson, Karli Madden, Kate Watts, Scott Brennan, Steven Stagg, David Gannon
El monstro del mar! starts as a brilliant black and white homage to Russ Meyer’s Faster, Pussycat! Kill Kill! with three gorgeously tough rockabilly ladies — two brunettes, Beretta (Nelli Scarlet) and Snowball (Kate Watts), and a blond, Blondie (Karli Madden). After the film’s killer opening bloodbath, the three lady killers arrive at a seaside shanty town located on Victoria’s Port Phillip Bay to cool down…and, of course, party.
One of the few remaining locals of the town, an aged and crippled fisherman named Joseph (Norman Yemm), warns the ladies to never go into the water. (There is a good reason no one lives here anymore.) The rebellious young hotties do not listen to the old coot; instead, they strip to their skivvies and splish, splash and rock and roll all night. It goes without saying that they are totally oblivious to the sea creature they have awakened…
Joseph’s beautiful and innocent 17-year old granddaughter, Hannah (Kyrie Capri), is quickly corrupted by the trio’s bad behavior. The four sexy lasses party long into the night while the grumpy sea monster commences its bloody rampage. By the next morning, Snowball has gone missing. During their search for Snowball, Beretta and Blondie discover the mangled body parts of some local fisherman scattered along the beach. (Something is definitely rotten in Australia.) Hannah wakes up amongst the remnants of her crazy night with the girls, totally hungover and shamefaced, with clownish make-up smeared across her face (as if the facade she was wearing during the all-night party is melting from her face). It is not long before the Nick Kocsis designed sea creature — armed with countless giant tentacles, each with a mouth filled with razor sharp teeth — emerges from the sea for a gloriously climactic stand-off with Joseph, Hannah and the rocker vixens.
El monstro del mar! gets straight A’s for style (this is one of the best looking B-movie throwbacks I have seen in a long time), but it is the substance that is lacking. Simpson’s script is a bit shoddy at points and almost completely putters out during the long party scene; but he certainly knows how to begin and end a movie.
Adopting the Mexican title of Eugène Lourié’s classic B-movie The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms from 1953, director-writer-cinematographer-editor Stuart Simpson’s (no relation to yours truly) low-budget burlesque bloodbath begs for midnight-movie cult status. El monstro del mar! is a cleverly kitsch and retro, yet totally straight-faced, monster-movie outfitted with B-movie aesthetics, tattooed babes, fuzzed-out soundtrack and bloody mayhem that bares the utmost respect and gratitude to Russ Meyer and Roger Corman’s teenage exploitation films of the 1960s.