Jose Francisco (Jack Del Rio) sailed as first mate on the schooner “Miami”. The ship and crew were reported lost at sea. Jose’s mother (Mary Carr) and his sweetheart Louise (Blanche Mehaffey) never gave up hope that Jose was still alive. Six years later Jose’s mother got word that a boat had crashed on an island in the area the Miami had been going to. Jose’s mother asks Robert Jackson (Barry Norton) to talk his father, Captain Jackson (Jack Barty), into looking in that area when he goes tuna fishing. Robert is in love with Louise but he promises to get his father to search the island in the South Seas until he finds what happened to Jose.

They search every island they find. Eventually they find a remote island with the remains of a wrecked ship and inhabited by natives. They go ashore and find Jose alive. Jose is using the name Harlow. He is happy on the island frolicking with the natives. His sweetheart is the chief’s daughter Maya (Maya Owalee) and the Chief (William Lemuels) plans on making Jose his heir. Jose is not interested in leaving the island. Knowing that he promised Jose’s mother that he would find Jose, Robert and his father kidnap the man and take off.

When Jose finds out that Robert is in love with Louise he gets jealous. Never mind that he’s been frolicking on an island with a native woman for six years. Jose decides that he needs to get revenge. When Captain Jackson asks him for his help in finding a school of tuna Jose sees his chance. He will find them tuna, and along with it the evil man killing Devil Fish.

“Devil Monster” was released in 1946 and was directed by S. Edwin Graham. It is supposed to be an American adventure/horror film. What it is is a mess. This is the scoop as far as I could garner from various sources:

In 1936 a movie called “The Sea Fiend” was made. As with “Dracula” 1933, a Spanish language version of the film called “Diablo Del Mar” was also made. Russ Vincent and George Moscow acquired the rights to the 1936 film “The Sea Fiend” and renamed it “The Great Manta”. Whether they made changes to the film or not, I don’t know.

In 1945 E.M. Landres and Louis Weiss paid Vincent and Moscow five hundred dollars for the rights to “The Great Manta”. In the bargain they also got “Diablo Del Mar” and “The Sea Fiend”. They then did a Roger Corman cut and paste. They took “Diablo Del Mar”, “The Sea Fiend” and “The Great Manta” tossed in some snippets from a 1935 marine documentary called “Fish From Hell”, added lots of travelogue footage complete with some exploitation footage of topless native women, added an entire overdubbing, repackaged the whole thing and called it “Devil Monster”, which they released in 1946.

The story itself was pretty much the same. It was just more boring. There are a few variations or additions to the history of the movie. Supposedly “The Sea Fiend” was released in Great Britain in 1938 and “Diablo Del Mar”, directed by Juan Duval was released in the US in 1936. Whether or not the cut and paste action was actually done by Landres and Weiss or whether it was actually done by Vincent and Moscow, or any combination, I don’t know. I have not been able to find “The Sea Fiend” or “The Great Manta” to do a comparison. Even “Diablo Del Mar” is elusive.

Since the ending result of “Devil Monster” is so crappy I doubt that it is worth the time it would take to try to research the whole situation. Suffice it to say, it’s a horrible movie. It is tedious to the point of rendering a person comatose. I’m all for stock footage, but this was endless. The editing was crap. The special effects were some hand painted foliage over some bare breasted women in a canoe and some really bad double exposure with the titular monster. As for the monster, it’s a giant manta ray.

One note on the topless native ladies. The Hays Code, enacted in the early thirties, banned nudity in American films with one caveat. Partial nudity was tolerated in “ethnographic” scenes of “native life”. Since the topless scenes were of actual native women from an actual documentary they were allowed in the film. There is also a scene where an octopus that is supposed to be in the ocean but is, of course, in a tank and is being tortured by an eel and then finally eaten alive by a bunch of smaller fish.

It you want to be bored to death or you haven’t seen any boobs in a long time than by all means watch it. Just be warned, there are more naked sea lions than naked ladies in the film.