March, 5, 1973


Producer-director Don Barton, under the Barton Films banner, may well have come up with as topical an entry in the ever-popular science-fiction/horror genre as can be found in many months; he poses the threat of environmental pollution coupled with a fanciful flight of the imagination, science-fiction wise. Using a story by Lee Larew and Ron Kivett, he tells of a lonely old man (Marshall Grauer), who has experimented for 25 years with his theory that man can be changed biologically into an underwater creature, and once Grauer finds the proper compounds, a one-man "war" against society breaks out, pollution-plus. Into the fray come sheriff Paul Galloway, black marine biologist Gerald Cruse, and investigators Dave Dickerson and Sanna Ringhaver, and while the fade-out is predictable, there's enough going on to sustain the audience's attention to the end. Jack

McGowan, photography; George Yarbrough, sound; and Jami DeFrates and Barry Hodgin, music, deserve commendation.

The story:

Marshall Grauer, living as a hermit in an abandoned sea lab off the Florida coast, has experimented for 25 years, trying to prove his theory that a human can be changed biologically and live underwater as a fish. He finally transforms himself into an underwater creature through use of a chemical compound and begins to take his revenge against the society that rejected his ideas. Fish grow oversize, mutate onto lawns and highways. Sheriff Paul Galloway calls in black marine biologist Gerald Cruse to help; a group from INPIT (Inter-Nations Phenomena Investigation Team), including Dave Dickerson and Sanna Ringhaver, arrives to help track down the unknown causes. The monster (played by Wade Popwell) next begins to pollute the Atlantic Ocean and kidnaps Sanna, hoping to transform her into his mate. In an ensuing struggle, Cruse is fatally wounded. Dickerson closes in with gun fire. Sanna, dazed, disappears into the ocean.

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