Currently rocking one single review on Rotten Tomatoes, albeit from the great Tony Crawley, this frankly astonishing film from 1979 is a prime example of the joys of ‘so bad it’s good’ cinema; The Humanoid is so remarkably bad, it’s very nearly brilliant. A Star Wars rip-off seemingly rushed into production without viewing anything more than a few stills from the George Lucas 1977 epic, Aldo Lado’s Italian opus offers interplanetary intrigue and po-faced diplomacy riddled with an assortment of funny, couldn’t care less performances.
Man-mountain and gentle giant Richard Kiel, yes, Jaws from the James Bond films, stretches his abilities way beyond breaking point in a rare leading man role in his portrayal of Golob, a mercenary who travels through space with his side-kick Robodog. He ends up on a mission to rescue space princess Barbara Gibson (Corrine Clery) from the clutches of discount Darth Vader Lord Graal (Ivan Rassimov), whose nefarious pals Dr Kraspin (Arthur Kennedy) and Lady Agatha (Barbara Bach) have designs on her.
In a plethora of badly costumed buffoonery, the mystical nonsense spouted by golden child Tom Tom (Marco Yeh) marks a highpoint, but the dialogue is consistently ridiculous throughout; ‘What in Helios does that space jockey think he’s doing?” exclaims Golob as another bit of cardboard falls off his spaceship.’No one can stop me now, Princely Hero!’ replies Lord Graal while an Ennio Morricone soundtrack swells. Morricone was a genius, but even a genius has an off day, and the burbling electronica score for The Humanoid marks the absolute low point of a 500+ venture career.
A hoot from beginning to end for bad-movie lovers, The Humanoid was often been my go-to film in spreading the word about the sheer joy of watching and sharing a bad movie; there’s more amusement in viewing this film than in the last Star Wars trilogy, or the prequels, for sure. There’s different reasons for watching a film, but with a wayward effort like The Humanoid, you just have to kick back and enjoy the fight to recapture a capatron, or the interocitor, or whatever TF is going on here. So let’s bask in the idiocy of low-budget cinema, and end with another memorable quote from these space wars; ‘Lets go in with the hyper galactic stellar-ray. Those six idiots couldn’t blow up an old trashcan!’