A woman named Ida is raped, and after killing her attacker she decides to go off and live on an abandoned island with only her pet dogs for company. Years later a group of friends find themselves stranded on the island when the yacht they were traveling on sinks. It turns out that Ida actually had a son as a result of being raped and he isn’t too happy that there are trespassers on his island. Now all grown up, the son is basically a freakish, mentally handicapped monster who enjoys tearing his victims to pieces. Will anyone from the group make it off the island alive or are they all doomed?
When I was a kid we lived out in the middle of nowhere and didn’t have cable television. My grandparents who lived about twenty minutes away from us had cable, and every once in a while my dad would be looking through the TV Guide and would come across a movie that he wanted to see that was going to be on Showtime, The Movie Channel or some other cable station and my entire family would load up and head to my grandparents’ house to watch it. One of those movies was Humongous, and I remember watching it with him and my grandfather one Friday night when I was about eight and being scared sh*tless the entire time, but loving every minute of it (I also remember my dad using the word “humongous” to describe our neighbors’ large garden and other big things for weeks after we watched the movie together, making sure to say the word in the most menacing and creepy tone he could conjure up because he got a kick out of freaking me out). I think that Humongous is an all-around awesome movie, and when I watched it recently I was very glad that it held up as well as I remembered it. This movie will always hold a special place in my heart not only because of the memories I have of the first time I saw it but due to the fact that it is just a damn good 80’s horror film in general (as I write this review I am actually wearing a Humongous shirt that I bought at a horror convention last year).
Call me crazy, but for some reason I have always thought that the movie was a little sad and the overall story involving Ida is depressing as hell. The opening credits feature pictures of Ida during different stages of her life, and we see her go from a happy, normal girl to a scarred, miserable woman as a result of being raped. The last picture it shows of her is a pretty powerful image (and has a connection to the last scene of the movie if you pay close enough attention), and I couldn’t help but feel bad for her because of what happened to her at the hands of another person that changed her life forever. Hell, I even feel sorry for her mutant offspring as he is just more ignorant than evil and doesn’t comprehend a lot of things many of us take for granted (such as knowing right from wrong, how to interact with others, etc) because he has spent his entire life pretty much isolated from others and his only human contact came in the form of his mother. Maybe I am getting soft in my old age, but I can’t help but feel very sad for Ida and her son, and their entire situation in general just leaves me feeling more than a little depressed.
Don’t worry though, the movie may have an overall bleak and sad tone, but it is still a horror film that features a pissed off mutant fellow going around killing everyone he comes into contact with. Ida’s son is a pretty hardcore bastard and there are a lot of great death scenes that take place during the course of the movie. We get a crushed face, a decapitation, people hung on meat hooks, and some other fun stuff (I particularly like the scene where the monster breaks someone’s back via a powerful bear hug that would make former pro-wrestler Ivan Koloff proud). To say that the antagonist of the film is a vicious guy is an understatement, and I sure as hell wouldn’t want to be trapped on an abandoned island with him anytime soon.
The only downside that the movie has is the fact that some scenes are just way too dark. There were many times that my television screen was just totally dark and I couldn’t see anything that was going on. Since it is so dark we never really get a good look at the monster, which is a shame because I wanted to see what he looked like up close (we get a brief glimpse at his face toward the end but it is very hard to really see it). While I love this movie I will admit that after a while I was starting to get frustrated with the numerous pitch dark scenes (and there are a lot of them toward the end) and I basically ended up having to listen to the movie instead of watching it more times than I liked.
I think that Humongous is a great little flick that has gone somewhat unnoticed for way too long. I think it has a great premise, some fun death scenes, and it is just a fun movie to watch in general (despite the fact that it has such a depressing tone. I dare you to watch the opening credits while paying attention to the pictures being shown and listening to the haunting, sad music being played and not feel something). This movie is just another of the many films that came out of the 1980’s that I love for a variety of reasons, and if you haven’t seen it I suggest you check it out as soon as possible. You won’t be let down at all (though you may feel more than a little sad afterward).