Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Octaman

Thanks to the marvels of digital television, I now have access to the ThisTV network. It is a wondrous thing, worthy of its own entry. But today, we're going to discuss the film they showed in prime time on November 1, 2009. Because it was OCTAMAN.

OCTAMAN is a slightly obscure 1971 movie that features, yes, a rampaging octopus man. If it's notable, that's because 1) it was written & directed by one of the scribes of THE CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON, 2) Rick Baker helped create the Octaman suit, 3) star Pier Angeli died of a drug overdose during filming and 4) it is really terrible.

Trust me, I've seen terrible movies. OCTAMAN is one of them. From the comical "Look at that!" pointing at stock footage (cliched even then!) to the languid pacing to the slapdash look to the editing and/or directing, OCTAMAN doesn't ever pose as a good movie. But I've got to say, I wasn't expecting it to be one. It doesn't disappoint if you're looking for schlock.

Pier Angeli's untimely demise during the shooting may have contributed to some of the choppiness that plagues it. I'm not going to play armchair psychologist about her state of mind, but I can't remember seeing a leading lady looking more haggard and unenthusiastic than she does in this movie. I can't say I blame her in that regard, but I'm stunned to read that she was only 39 at the time. She looked older. Maybe that is a bit telling in and of itself.

I admire OCTAMAN for delivering on its premise in spades. Most movies hide the monster for a good portion of the running time. Not OCTAMAN. You came to see an octopus man, and you certainly are going to see him. He's all over the screen! Pity he's not particularly terrifying.

OCTAMAN - fun, undemanding way to kill some time. Just please, don't expect it to be any good.

1 comment:

Xenorama said...

and they had to rebuild the suit after it was destroyed to add the footage of it wrestling with the alligator (if I remember my octo-lore correctly).

it's too bad the suit wasn't used in a better movie.