Pic of the Day: “Mermaids of Tiburon” revisited

In the midst of a sweltering summer, let’s dive once again into the cool waters of John Lamb‘s Mermaids of Tiburon (1962). Bad guy Milo Sangster looks sneaky as he is about to reveal one of the coveted “flame pearls” to his Mexican sidekick Pepe Gallardo (Jose Gonzales-Gonzales).

Mermaids of Tiburon

“Won’t you believe in me? If you do, there will always be mermaids,” says the Mermaid Queen (Diane Webber). I do believe. Fandor members can watch the full film here!

Pic of the Day: “Mermaids of Tiburon” revisited

Today we take another look at John Lamb‘s Mermaids of Tiburon (1962). Pearl-coveting bad guy Milo Sangster (such a great character name) enjoys lunch while plotting his next nefarious enterprise.

Mermaids of Tiburon

The Psychotronica Vol. 3 DVD of Mermaids was apparently supposed to include some commentary by Romeo Carey, but looks like it never happened. It also includes the ridiculous “Aqua Sex” version of the film, which attempts to pass off some topless women with flippers on their feet as mermaids. I guess they figured nobody would notice they weren’t wearing mermaid tails. Let the head-shaking and eye-rolling commence.

Pic of the Day: “Mermaids of Tiburon” revisited

Our pic of the day revisits Mermaids of Tiburon (1962), directed by underwater cinematography expert John Lamb. Wetsuit-clad bad guy Milo Sangster has just decked (literally) the hero, Dr. Sam Jamison (George Rowe).

Mermaids of Tiburon

Lamb fared much better as the director of underwater cinematography on television (Sea Hunt and Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea) than he did as a film director, unfortunately. After Mermaids, he produced and directed forgettable low-budget sleaze, finally hanging it up in 1986. He passed away 20 years later.

Pic of the Day: “Mermaids of Tiburon” revisited

Today we take another look at Milo Sangster, the pearl-coveting scoundrel of John Lamb‘s Mermaids of Tiburon (1962). Here he is threatening his hapless Mexican sidekick Pepe (Jose Gonzales-Gonzales).

Mermaids of Tiburon

Gonzales-Gonzales was a familiar face in films and on television in the 1950s and ’60s, almost always portraying the stereotypical Latino characters of the day. He recorded a novelty 45 rpm disc in 1964 with the tunes “Pancho Claus” and “Tacos for Two.” His brother Pedro co-starred with Tim in the Sheriff of Cochise episode “The Great Train Robbery” (10.5.56).

Quote of the Week

Timothy Carey goes further than the smiling heavies who show a lot of tooth: he shows a lot of gum. Not that the Carey smile has anything to do with humour: it happens, for instance, when he is concentrating, when in The Killing he is centring the telescopic sight of his rifle on a racehorse. In the next Stanley Kubrick film, Paths of Glory, he was one of the soldiers chosen by lot to be executed, but such a claim on audience sympathy is totally exceptional for Carey, who is unlike other heavies in being totally without attractive characteristics. As he is repulsive looking as well as being normally very evil, he induces an unambiguous audience reaction–it’s just not possible to harbour a subversive liking for a Carey villain.

Recently he turned up in Aqua Sex [Mermaids of Tiburon], a particularly crummy exploitation movie about mermaids (who came in various varieties–with legs or tails, bras or no bras). Carey disturbed the peace of their island in search of treasure and so became perhaps the first man in movies to be done to death by mermaids.

Ian and Elisabeth Cameron, The Heavies (Frederick A. Praeger, Inc., 1967)

The Killing

Pic of the Day: “Mermaids of Tiburon” revisited

We kick off the work week with another look at Milo Sangster, the evil-doer of John Lamb‘s Mermaids of Tiburon (1962). He is not above dynamiting mermaids and tossing his sidekick (Jose Gonzales-Gonzales) into shark-infested waters in his quest for the elusive “fire pearls.” Here he is pondering his plan while the wind messes up his hair.

Mermaids of Tiburon

Something tells me Timothy enjoyed being near the water. In this film and others like Bayou (1957), he seems right at home around water. I’m sure being a Pisces had something to do with it, if you go for that sort of thing.

Pic of the Day: “Mermaids of Tiburon” revisited

Our pic of the day is a delightfully evil shot of bad guy Milo Sangster from John Lamb‘s Mermaids of Tiburon (1962). While pushing some equipment around on his boat, Timothy manages to direct this wicked grin right into the camera.

Tim’s old friend and former roommate Gil Barreto is in the cast list here, but I’m not sure that he actually appears in the film as it’s available today (on DVD and also at Fandor). They had both just come off the taxing four-year ordeal that was the shooting of The World’s Greatest Sinner (1962). Lamb was the underwater photographer for several television series, including Sea Hunt and Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea. Diane Webber, who appears here as the Mermaid Queen, also portrayed a mermaid in the Voyage episode entitled, strangely enough, “The Mermaid” (01/29/67). It was directed by Jerry Hopper, who directed Tim in Alaska Seas (1954). Lamb again helmed the underwater sequences. Alas, it’s a mostly dreadful episode.