A nuclear detonation in the Atlantic re-animates a prehistoric sea monster. The creature terrorizes the Spanish coastline, attacking swimmers, boats and lighthouses without mercy. A sea captain whose ship was sunk by the monster and an American tourist whose best friend was killed by the beast team up to stop the monster, along with the help of a respected oceanographer.
Directed by: Amando de Ossorio
. Starring: Timothy Bottoms
, Taryn Power
, Jared Martin
, Ray Milland
, Gérard Tichy
, Carole James
, Jack Taylor
, León Klimovsky
, Miguel de Grandy
, Paul Benson
, Charly Bravo
, Víctor Israel
, José Canalejas
. Music by: Manel Santisteban
Amando DeOssorio was never one to let a lack of budget get in the way of telling one of his stories. His "Blind Dead" series started off great but had some truly laughable moments, such as shots of a small model boat in a water tank for "The Ghost Galleon". In "The Sea Serpent", he hits rock bottom and takes some notable actors along with him, telling the tale of a silly sock monster that brings google-eyed terror to a few water tanks and miniature aquariums.
A vague opening sequence sets the stage and demonstrates an aborted military mission where American pilots, for some unknown reason, drop an atomic bomb (brazenly cartooned into the frame of the film) somewhere in the ocean off the coast of Spain. The military commander gives this order from an office that features a prominent American flag and a portrait of a deranged-looking Ronald Reagan, one of only a few things that makes this movie really seem like the Eighties. The other two are the hilariously inept subtitle that declares the year to be "1.985" and Tyria Power's dated Sheena Easton hairdo, which would have looked really cool next to some ripped neon sweats.
One of the kookiest monsters you will ever see rises from the depths, disturbed by the explosion caused by the bomb. We learn that the errant atom bomb has killed off a great deal of the local fish. Unfortunately for our cast, it has no effect on the Sea Serpent, which swiftly descends on the coast of Spain for some miniature-set mayhem.
Now when I say the monster is unrealistic, I am not exaggerating. It's not just "sort of" fake looking. I'm sure the filmmakers did the best with the ten dollars that they seem to have been allotted, but most of the time it looks like it was made out of Crayola markers, a ping pong ball, and an old sock. Not only that, it has this ominous music that accompanies it wherever it goes, music that sounds so much like the "Jaws" theme that it's a wonder nobody got sued.
Along with Tyria Power, Timothy Bottoms and Ray Milland are caught slumming, and the dialogue could not have been any more dismal. Through a series of plot contrivances, our leading actors are thrown together in a quest to...well, I'm not sure what the purpose is. Bottoms and Power have got to prove the serpent is real in order to save their butts (he is blamed for a serpent-induced shipwreck, she is locked in the loony bin after a sighting). None of this matters, because by the end of the movie nothing has been resolved. Nobody admits the serpent is real, and it's not even dead. Furthermore, Power and Bottoms are still on the lam from the law.
As illogical as it seems, nobody but our heroes knows that the serpent exists (despite numerous disappearances, a trashed lighthouse, and a crushed railroad bridge), and they embark on an extended non-adventure to track down and chase the monster away...not kill it, since they know they are no match for it. Their big plan is to use flares to scare it off. Although their scheme is botched, the serpent causes a big explosion in the water after it attacks a bridge support (don't ask), and the giant sea snake is so frightened that it swims away. The critical viewer would wonder why the serpent wasn't frightened off earlier in the movie when it caused a couple of big explosions after crashing into a dock. But never mind. It swims away, and our heroes are sure it's gone forever. The end.
I can only imagine the horror that the stars felt when they saw the completed film they just worked on. A lamebrain script and a couple of dim reaction shots could never have prepared them for the embarrassment of sharing screen time with a spliced-in sock puppetstop motion beastie. At least the supporting characters got to have fun screaming and pretending to be swallowed by a giant serpent head. I'm not sure what was going on when they made this movie; the monster is cheap, but there are some rather elaborate miniature sets, so somebody did spend some time making those, not to mention the stop-motion animation involved. It's seemingly played straight, although maybe this film's sense of humor went over my head. In the end, the film is nothing more than an easy target for a drunken commentary.
Review by GroovyDoom from the Internet Movie Database.