El monstro del mar! (2010) – By Cary Conley

From the opening scenes, writer/director Stuart Simpson lets the viewer know just what kind of film this is going to be. The film opens with three lovely, buxom, and scantily clad women seemingly stranded by the side of the road. Two local yokels, thinking their day has just become quite a bit more interesting, pull up to see if they can help. The three women, aptly named Beretta, Blondie, and Snowball (no additional comments need be made–look it up if you don’t know what this last name means…) are in reality, three hard-core gals who were just a bit bored. To spice things up, they faked a dead battery to lure some would-be do-gooders to the scene just so they could murder them for kicks. And murder the two young men they do, and they do it well. While one dies a bloody death in the car, the other has his throat opened up. As he falls across the hood vast quantities of blood spurt rhythmically from his neck and across the windshield, reminding the viewer of another bodily function: ejaculation. Now we know what we are up against.

The three women continue their trip to the ocean. They are borrowing a friend’s cabin by the sea and plan on some excessive drinking and wild partying. As the threesome pull up to the cabin, we are introduced to Hannah and her crippled grandfather, Joseph. Hannah is sweet, innocent, and naive. She’s also quite lovely. Joseph is wheelchair-bound and seemingly very crotchety. He immediately gains a dislike for the three girls who have descended upon Joseph’s idyllic living space with their loud, raunchy, rude, and crude comments. It doesn’t help that the three verbally abuse him before doffing their clothes for a sexy dip in the water. Hannah’s boyfriend–perhaps a bit sexually frustrated by Hannah’s dismissal of his come-ons–as well as the few other locals on the pier are treated to several voluptuous beauties in skimpy lingerie splashing in the water. But Joseph, crotchety as ever, keeps shouting out warnings not to go in the water.

After their playful dip, the three wet ladies quiz Joseph about his warnings. He won’t reveal why he doesn’t want them swimming, and they dismiss him as a backwards and old-fashioned cripple. But something is in the water, and Joseph’s fears turn out to be very real. Apparently, many years ago, a monster from the sea attacked the tiny fishing hamlet, nearly killing everyone in town–including Hannah’s parents. Her grandfather has never told her the truth, but now she’s about to find out the hard way. After luring Hannah into their room, the four girls get drunk and high and party all night long. The next morning, Hannah drags herself out of the den of iniquity, but it’s too late. All the cavorting and carousing in the water has doomed the town again and El monstro del mar is getting ready to strike again.

El monstro del Mar! is a terrific retro-comedy-thriller. The three antagonists are a cross between biker chick and goth, with huge, bouffant hairdos and plenty of tattoos. They’ve got it, they know it, and they enjoy flaunting it. The look of the film is very 70’s, with old cars, old clothing styles, and even a slightly washed-out appearance to the film itself. The film is sleek and cool, just like much of 70’s exploitation was. There is plenty of graphic violence, especially in the beginning as well as the end, and while there is no overt sex or even any nudity, the film fairly oozes sexuality. The biker babes put out a dirty sex aura while Hannah is the classic sweet but oh-so-sexy virgin.

Once the monster appears, the film moves from physical effects to a combination of the physical and digital. Perhaps due to budgetary constraints, the monster is never fully shown, but that is perfectly fine as the viewer gets a sense of the overall size and nastiness of the many-tentacled sea creature. Once the creature attacks, the action becomes fast and furious, with guns, hatchets, and anything else the victims can find to fend off the tentacles. Monster parts go flying as they are shot at, chopped, and hacked. In the end, the survivors now understand that old Joseph wasn’t crotchety–he was scared. One of the only survivors of the earlier attack, he knew what was at stake even when the others didn’t.

El monstro del Mar! is a super-cool, action-packed frenzy of beautiful, buxom babes and violent monster attacks. It’s a tongue-in-cheek homage to B-grade monster flicks of the 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s, with a large dash of sexy exploitation thrown in just for kicks. It’s highly entertaining and a must-see for anyone with a penchant for beautiful girls, plenty of violence, and huge monsters. El monstro del Mar! has just been released by Breaking Glass Pictures. For more information, see breakingglasspictures.com or www.monstromovie.com.