After an astronaut’s orbital capsule is caught in a radioactive meteor shower, he becomes merged with his sloppy joe sandwich and returns to earth a mutant abomination, a mindless pile of meat with the drive to consume all in its path, and it’s up to his colleagues, his wife, and a mad army general to stop the carnivorous rampage.
As you have most likely already gathered, Inhumanwich! is an utterly, utterly ridiculous film. However, it’s one intended to be so, the goal being to create a loving homage to and parody of the ‘50s B-movies that were shoddily made but for which people now hold a great deal of affection.
Following the similar results of glorious dementia that the likes of Kung Fury achieved for trashy martial arts or This Giant Papier-Mâché Boulder Is Actually Really Heavy for planet-hopping sci-fi, the film is clearly very limited in budget, but its ropey production values fit perfectly with the style for which it’s aiming. Shot in black and white and with static framed shots, unconvincing model work, sparsely dressed sets and glaringly inserted special effects, it’s reminiscent of any of the atomic age creature features that have remained staples of midnight marathons and MST3K mockery for decades.
The acting is similarly questionable, and even though it’s entirely possible that the film’s cast are actually perfectly talented individuals, they nevertheless deliver performances alternating between wooden and histrionic depending on the situation, echoing the overwrought exclamations and proclamations of intent delivered by the kinds of thinly-drawn excuses for characters that these movies made notorious. They also occasionally deliver clunky expository pronouncements, which are then lampshaded by them specifically pointing out there was no reason for them to have verbalised the information they just imparted, but which will inevitably become significant later.
As for the film’s main attraction, The Creature is something akin to what might have happened if Troma were to make a bastard hybrid of The Blob and an HP Lovecraft tale filtered through an abattoir meat grinder. While a barely sentient lump of offal is possibly one of the daftest horror movie creations ever dreamed up since killer tomatoes, it’s really not that much more ridiculous than, say, giant ants, telepathic mutant crabs or a man with a fly’s head.
Most crucially, as well as meticulously reconstructing the stylings of a bygone moviemaking age, the film isn’t so focused on its attention to detail that it forgets to actually be funny. Although conscious of just how ludicrous it all appears, the spoofing isn’t so overt it demands you take notice of it, and instead lets the humour inherent in the setup work through naturally, resulting in a tone of stoic hilarity that perfectly replicates the feel of the films that inspired it.
Creating an intentionally bad film that ends up as something entertaining rather than utterly disposable is much harder than you might think and examples of complete successes are very few, but the blunt force nostalgia trip of Inhumanwich!, in all its sensationalised yet straight-faced absurdity, can be counted among them.