Sunday, October 22, 2017

Octaman (1971)

Who's In It: Pier Angeli (Sodom and Gomorrah) and Kerwin Mathews (The 7th Voyage of Sinbad, Barquero)

What It's About: It's a Creature from the Black Lagoon remake with an octopus-man instead of a gill-man.

How It Is: It has its charms. I mean, the goofy costume (designed by Rick Baker) alone.

And Angeli is a lovely surprise as one of the scientists who discover and hunt the creature. All the dialogue in the movie sounds dubbed except for hers. I don't know why that is, but her character is the only one that feels natural. And her accent (the story takes place in Mexico) is the only one that doesn't sound like Speedy Gonzales.

There are a couple of other good actors (bad ADR aside), including Mathews (a favorite swashbuckler of mine who's slumming here just a year after his thoroughly enjoyable role in Barquero).

Another guy I liked was Jerome Guardino as a circus owner who finances the hunting expedition after the scientific community fails to come through. Rather than fall into the stereotype of Ruthless Businessman Driven to Succeed at All Costs, Guardino's character is one of the first to lose his nerve and has to be convinced by the scientists to continue.

And speaking of avoided stereotypes, I also quite like what the movie does with Davido (David Essex), a local guide who proves to be quite resourceful and courageous.

For all that I liked some of the characters and the look of the monster though, the movie plods. There's little editing, so shots and scenes drag on longer than they should. And the script pads itself out by just repeating the same attacks over and over again in different locations.

Rating: 2 out of 5 tentacled tellurians.

1 comment:

Erik Johnson Illustrator said...

This movie plays in background TVs in Gremlins 2. I wonder if Rick Baker had any say in that selection.


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