Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Octaman (1971)

While it might be overreaching to describe Octaman as the worst creature feature ever made, since the monster genre has spawned some truly ghastly cinematic atrocities, it’s fair to say that Octaman comprises 76 minutes of stultifying pabulum. The story, which borrows heavily from the classic monster flick The Creature from the Black Lagoon (1955), is the usual noise about a scientist accidentally disturbing the natural habitat of a missing-link beastie, thereby invoking primeval wrath. In this case, the beastie is an octopus who walks like a man—as depicted, I shit you not, by a dude walking around in a silly green suit with a giant green head and flailing tentacles. Amazingly, this terrible suit was co-created by future Oscar-winning effects great Rick Baker, so one presumes his best intentions were impeded by budget limitations and poor execution; even shrouding the monster in shadow and spritzing the costume with some sort of moisture would have delivered better results than showing the thing dry and in full sunlight, as happens periodically. It also doesn’t help that Baker and crew failed to articulate the monster’s eyes, which just sit there, disallowing any illusion of life. And the Octaman costume isn’t even the worst thing in the picture. For instance, Octaman has a baby, which is depicted through the use of a floppy little glob of painted rubber that gets tugged along the floors of locations by unseen strings. Writer/director Harry Essex relies heavily on stock footage, and it’s obvious that even though the story is supposed to be set in some exotic South American jungle, the whole thing was shot in and around such overly familiar L.A. locations as the Bronson Canyon caves. Making the whole enterprise seem even tackier is that fact that Essex has a screenwriting credit on the original Creature from the Black Lagoon—he’s incompetently plagiarizing himself. About the only entertaining aspect of Octaman is seeing how many pathetic attempts Essex makes to portray the titular critter as a killer. At various points, Octaman bitch-slaps enemies with his tentacles, strangles people with his tentacles, and even impales victims with the tips of his tentacles. The only fearful thing about this interminable crapfest is the prospect of actually watching the movie.

Octaman: SQUARE

1 comment:

Tommy Ross said...

"stultifying pabulum" LMAO!