Aquatic Horror: A Brief, Particular History

Barry Levinson's The Bay and its army of invisible parasites is just the latest entrant in cinema's long, storied history of aquatic horror flicks. It's bad enough that fish do all kinds of debauched, disgusting things in the water to begin with, but then filmmakers have to go along and throw all other types of vicious nasties in there, too.

The tagline to Jaws was "Don't go in the water," and director Steven Spielberg and company meant it. But sometimes we find far scarier things under the sea then you're normal, everyday man-eating shark--like, for instance, genetically enhanced, super-intelligent sharks. That's case in Deep Blue Sea, a movie most best known for its out-of-nowhere Samuel L. Jackson death scene. But mutant sharks aren't this film's only horrors--you've also got a pretty silly, truly confounding (I've spent way too much of my life trying to figure out what "My hat is like a shark's fin" means) LL Cool J theme song to deal with, too.

The ocean is a truly vast, unknown world yet to be fully explored. One day, what kinds of things might we discover below the surface? If War-Gods of the Deep is to be believed (and I trust fully that it is), Vincent Price in a frilly neckerchief--complete with an "army of half-men, half-monster gill-men"-- isn't out of the question.

Really, if aquatic horror teaches us anything, it's that women are never safe in the water. Or really anywhere near a beach. Just look at Roger Corman's Humanoids from the Deep, as a race of intelligent sea-beasts invade our world for the sole--and quite rude, if you ask me--purpose of mating with human women as a means of advancing their species.

Truly, no one, and no beach is safe--not even Party Beach! Need proof? Check out The Horror of Party Beach, wher "an invasion of ghoulish atomic beasts who live off human blood" terrorizes fun-loving teens and cycle gangs alike.

And when Mother Nature isn't running amok, humanity's here to cause their own problems, like inventing "the most devistating device the mind of man has ever created," and then filling it with super-men with super weapons in Aragon.

Wed., Sept. 12th, 11:59 PM RYERSON
Thurs., Sept. 13th, 2:45 PM CINEPLEX YONGE & DUNDAS 6


  1. fun overview! i'm really partial to the aquatic zombie horror of Shockwaves and Zombie Lake.

  2. i was just going to comment again to point out one of the movies as one i particularly love, but then i started to type all of them. so i particularly love each of your selections!