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Western Animation: Inhumanoids
The evil that lies within!

Inhumanoids was a 13-episode Western Animation show by Sunbow Entertainment that aired in 1986. Like most 80's cartoons, it was based on an accompanying toyline, which was made by Hasbro.

The main story focuses on a group of scientists called the Earth Corps. An enormous monster, called D'Compose, is discovered encased in amber in the Big Sur. By taking him out, they don't realize that they have unleashed evil on their world. Following that, many more discoveries of grotesque monsters happen. Tendril and D'Compose are two of those eldritch abominations. With the help of The Redwoods, they try to put down the monsters again.

The show in its day had a lot of Family-Unfriendly Violence and remains a great source of scares. More importantly, it was an unusual kids' show for its use of good subplots, strong pacing and suspense.


Tropes:

  • Achilles' Heel: Metlar can be paralyzed by magnetic fields. D'Compose can be burnt by sunlight, which also returns his undead minions to normal.
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: Cypher, a linguistic computer is intended to communicate with Tendril and instead breaks him out, and then frees Metlar.
  • Alliterative Name: Sandra Shore.
  • Ancient Astronauts: Metlar erected the Pyramids of Egypt as monuments to Sslither, as well as creating huge statues in China in his honor that became the inspiration for dragons. Eventually, he rebelled and sealed Sslither away in his favorite temple in Burma, a temple that Metlar built for him.
  • Animesque: Coincidentally, the animation style of Inhumanoids has much in common with 80's anime, compared to most other cartoons made in USA at the time.
  • Antagonist Title
  • Awesome McCoolname: Herc Armstrong.
  • Beneath the Earth: At least half of every episode is spent beneath the Earth.
  • Big Bad: Metlar.
  • Bigger Bad: Sslither, a demonic snake-like Inhumanoid who used to rule Earth and who kept Metlar as a slave until he rebelled.
  • Bizarchitecture: D'Compose's lair Skelweb features an entire medieval town — including at least one cone castle — inverted and attached to the ceiling.
  • The Brute: Tendril.
  • Body Horror: And how! Just one example: DECOMPOSE!"He's turned her into a nightmare!" indeed.
  • Call Back: In episode 11, after Metlar finishes animating the Statue of Liberty as his fiancée, she complains that she wants a television. In episode 12, she spends most of the episode watching it while nagging at Metlar. In episode 13, all three Inhumanoids are depicted watching the same television.
  • Came Back Wrong: Dr. Mangler drowns in toxic waste, and is Stripped to the Bone by it. One of his minions brings his skeleton to D'Compose to resurrect him. The resulting abomination, who dubs himself Nightcrawler, is enough to freak out D'Compose himself.
  • Card-Carrying Villain: Blackthorne Shore. "I'm not sick, I'm evil!"
  • Combat Tentacles: Tendril.
  • Convection Schmonvection: Many characters end up walking harmlessly past lava, though admittedly the Earth Corps are always in their Powered Armor when they do so and Metlar is explicitly a being of living metal.
  • Creepy Good: The Mutores, despite being the good guys, are definitely monstrous. The Redwoods, in particular, you would mistake for evil until they start talking.
  • Crystal Prison: D'Compose was trapped in amber before it escaped.
  • Dem Bones: The skeleton warriors who defend Skelweb.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: Giant monsters attacking? Just let Earth Corp. and their allies beat the snot out of them!
  • The Dragon: D'Compose.
  • The Eighties
  • Dumb Is Good: Tendril is the least intelligent of the Inhumanoids, and by far the least evil.
  • Eldritch Abomination: The hideous beings led by Metlar. Their origin story speaks of their imprisonment long ago.
    • Gagoyle and Sslither, while not part of the core triad of Inhumanoids, are just as bad.
  • Family-Unfriendly Violence: Especially some of the deaths! It's shocking what the show managed to get past the radar.
  • Five-Man Band:
    • The Hero: Herc Armstrong
    • The Lancer: Sandra Shore (Remarkably, since she is the only female member of the team, and the newest member, which might make one expect her to be The Chick)
    • The Smart Guy (The Spock): Dr. Derek Bright
    • The Big Guy: Eddie "Auger" Auguter
    • The Chick: Johnathan M. "Liquidator" Slattery (He is the emotional, instictive one, who talks about the "vibes" he gets from certain places)
    • Sixth Ranger: Tank (a renegade Soviet scientist who gets his tank rebuilt into armor) and Sabre Jet (a crashed jet pilot who gets cybernetic limbs built from his plane)
  • Give Geeks a Chance: Stella Blaze cartainly did when Derek saved her from Tendril. They later do a "Mr. Foam" commercial as Dr. Derek and Mrs. Stella Bright.
  • Green Rocks: Galvacite, a boulder that produces super-charged magnetic fields that can power up Magnokor... or induce a personality inversion for all metallic lifeforms... or cause the Van Allen Belt to destabilise and peel away, causing Earth to be fried by the full force of solar radiation.
  • Henpecked Husband: Metlar becomes this after falling in love with and animating the Statue of Liberty. It gets to the point where not only does she work him worse than his former slave-master Sslither did, he's happy to de-animate her and put her back on her pedestal off-screen because he's just that sick of her nagging.
  • Informed Attribute: Auger is introduced as an archaeologist. We never see him take any notice of the amazing archaeological finds like the medieval ruins in Skelweb.
  • Intercontinuity Crossover: With all those related cartoons in the eighties, like G.I. Joe and The Transformers, with sharing Hector Ramirez.
  • Kent Brockman News: Hector Ramirez, as shared with the other shows.
  • Kaiju: The Inhumanoids, despite being smaller than regular Kaiju, and being intelligent and able to talk.
  • Love Potion: Episode 11, "Primal Passions", is about Earth Corps accidentally applying this to the Inhumanoids. D'Compose falls in love with Sandra Shore and tracks her down to turn her once again into an undead monster, Tendril falls in love with a robotic copy of himself being used for a movie, and Metlar falls in love with the Statue of Liberty!
  • Meaningful Name: Everyone in Earth Corps and the Redwoods, too.
  • Merchandise-Driven: Part of the reason it only lasted 13 episodes.
  • Names to Run Away From Really Fast: Who the HELL names their kid "Blackthorne?"
    • Or "Manglar" for that matter?
  • Never Say "Die": "If his friends release him, we're ended."
    • This is a weird case, in which you can't say "die", but saying "death" is A-Ok.
  • Non-Human Undead: D'Compose and some of his undead army.
  • Painful Transformation: Felt by Sandra Shore after D-Compose touched her cheek. You can hear her bones growing all throughout the transformation. Other transformed victims of D'Compose are implied to get the same.
  • Personality Swap: Magnokor and Metlar switched alignment after the former boosted their magnetic powers through a boulder of galvacite to finally defeat their arch-enemy.
  • Playing with Fire: Sslither is capable of breathing both flames and lightning.
    • Metlar sits somewhere between here, Extra Oredinary and Magma Man, as his primary ranged attack is horking up great wads of magma/molten iron and hurling them at people.
  • Powered Armor: The Earth Corps scientists wear Powered Armor designed for subterranean exploration.
    • Tank Goodness: Tank's Earth Corps armor was crafted from his own battle tank.
    • Flying Brick: Sabre Jet's armor allows him to fly and fight.
  • Rated M for Manly: Verging on Testosterone Poisoning at times.
  • Real Men Wear Pink: Auger is Earth Corps' toughest, most volatile member. And his power suit is bright purple.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Magnokor's two halves, Crygen and Pyre.
  • Religion of Evil: D'Compose garners a cult of teenagers devoted to being turned into abominations during a short-lived alliance with Blackthorne and Nightcrawler.
  • San Francisco: Where D'Compose will be released.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: All of the Inhumanoids except for Gagoyle are this when the series begins.
    • D'Compose is trapped in a huge boulder of amber.
    • Tendril is imprisoned in a subterranean cell 2 miles below the surface of the Earth.
    • Metlar is bound by Magnokor's magnetic field.
    • Sslither is petrified until episode 10.
  • Science Hero: Earth Corps.
  • Shared Universe: Hector Ramirez, an Expy of Geraldo Rivera, is the subtle link between this, G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero, The Transformers, and Jem.
    • And Sabre Jet begins as pilot Brad Ambruster. Savvy viewers could recognise him as the former G.I. Joe member Ace.
  • Smart People Play Chess: Tank.
  • Sleazy Politician: Senator Masterson. Every other problem the heroes encounter stems back from him. In episode one he's cutting their funding because he's friends with Blackthorn Shore. By the end of the series, he's outright allied with the Inhumanoids themselves to get elected as President.
  • Standard Female Grab Area: Averted. Sandra Shore is grabbed by her brother's security goons and manages to fight them off even after one of them has made contact with her forearm.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: The Earth Force seems on the verge of a fistfight with each other at times.
  • Terrible Trio: Lacking the numbers for a Five-Bad Band, the Inhumanoids consist of three giant monsters. Gagoyle and Sslither are opposed to the Inhumanoid trio.
  • This Is a Drill: Auger has, yes, an auger attached to his exosuit.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Blackthorne, really; why would you free Tendril in the first place? To confirm that Metlar lives? Okay, but... just what in the world would you want to enslave him for in the first place? Just what is that supposed to do that will benefit you? Then you make — and break — an alliance with Nightcrawler & D'Compose, and then you run off and reawaken Sslither.
    • Senator Masterson really isn't that much better.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: Blackthorne cries out for the Earth Corps to save him from Tendril in one episode. When they do, he shouts, "Thanks, SUCKERS!" and runs off.
  • Was Once a Man: Herman Manglar dies horribly, and is brought back as the hideous undead monstrosity Nightcrawler. He's delighted with his new condition.
    D'Compose: It is hideous!
    Nightcrawler: And I trust you will make me even more so.
  • Weaksauce Weakness: D'Compose, badass human-corrupting zombie dinosaur man is vulnerable to two things: sunlight and tree sap.
  • Weaponized Landmark: One of the animated-statue guardians of Metlar's lair appears to be the Colossus of Rhodes. In a later episode, Metlar animates the Statue of Liberty. Subverted, as he marries her rather than uses her as a weapon.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Severing Tendril's tentacles caused their pieces to grow into new Tendril creatures, yet what became of the umpteen Tendril-clones spawned in this manner was rarely addressed.
    • Obviously they get re-absorbed by the main Tendril or they die off-screen like uprooted plants. In the Marvel Comics, Metlar tells Tendril that his clones will no longer be necessary, and then Tendril causes them to decay away.
  • What Have I Done: Bringing D'Compose to San Francisco was truly a big mistake...
    • This not only counts as Nice Job Breaking It, Hero, but also a Plot Coupon, too.
    • D'Compose himself falls into this as well; when he reanimate's Dr. Mangler's remains into the hideous Nightcrawler, he backs away in fear, muttering "What have I wrought?"
  • When Trees Attack: The Redwoods are sentient trees that give assistance to the heroes every so often.
    • Tendril, being a plant-based Inhumanoid, is a hostile version.
  • Your Size May Vary: The flaw this show is best known for is the size of the giant monsters changing between episodes or even frames. In one episode they look about 20-30 feet tall and can fit indoors; in another, Metlar is just as tall as the Statue of Liberty.

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alternative title(s): Inhumanoids; The Inhumanoids
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