Octaman (1971)

Genres - Horror  |   Sub-Genres - Creature Film  |   Release Date - Nov 3, 1971 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 76 min.  |   Countries - USA  |   MPAA Rating - PG
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Written and directed by the man who once penned the screenplay for Creature from the Black Lagoon, this goofy, low budget monster show draws inspiration from 50s era creature features and nuclear cautionary fables. Naturally, the whole point of this exercise is the Octaman, an absolutely ridiculous creation that walks upright on two tentacles, can break through a man's chest with the others, and has a permanently fixed mouth ringed with fangs. Thanks to frequent POV shots, we also know that this freakish cephalopod has compound eyes which would be more appropriate for a mutant killer bee film (see Invasion of the Bee Girls). For the most part, the monster is only interested in offing the minor Mexican characters (including exploitation vet Buck Kartalian attempting a pitiful accent), leaving the Caucasian scientists free to ponder the strange whims of nature and wonder why the human race is intent on poisoning the environment. Though the silly rubber suit affords the viewer a fair amount of yuks, Octaman is a cheap, sluggish vehicle that gets tiresome long before the monster finally gives up and dies, and bad day-for-night shooting renders many sequences murky and hard to decipher. Academy Award winning makeup artist Rick Baker began his professional career by creating the Octaman costume; for actress Anna Maria Pier Angeli, it was her last performance, as she died of a drug overdose shortly after finishing the film.