Monster from the Ocean Floor (1954)

There’s one reason to see this film, and that’s the very cool, pedal-powered Aerojet MiniSub the hero tools around in.

Well, that’s really not true, either.  There is one reason to see this film and it is that it is the first film Roger Corman ever produced.

No, it’s that it’s directed by the one and only Wyott Ordung, who also directed the truly strange Robot Monster (you know, the one with the Robot from the Moon in the ape suit with the diving helmet.  Yep, that one)

No, it’s the chance to see a very young Roger Corman playing the “one man crew” of the hero’s motor boat.  You know, the guy who does everything.

No, it really is because it has one of the most absurd monocular Amoeboid monsters ever put on the screen.

Okay, it really isn’t that bad.  After all, Roger had a knack for turning nothing into watchable films, and that’s still on display here, even if he had the king of awful movies directing (after all, it would be years before Corman sold out completely and churned out lots of trashy films quickly for the SyFy Network).  Besides, we’ve got a girl in a bathing suit and a monster.  Hard to go too far wrong with that combination.

Supposedly, the big one-eyed octopus thing, shot in a fish tank, replaced the original effects which were so bad the test audience laughed (harder) at them.  Really.

Still, the MiniSub should get top billing.  It is an impressive toy, which “flies” through the water like an airplane and is equally effective as an impromptu giant monster killer (you’d think those monsters with one giant eye would have learned by now that it’s like having a big target on your head).  The sub probably gets more sexy underwater footage than the girl does, too.

I have to admit I kept thinking, “ooooh.  I want one of those!”, but it turns out that it cost about $4000 back in the Fifties.  Ouch.

No wonder they didn’t get many orders.


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