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During the Cuban Missle Crisis, a Russian sub is sunk while en route to Havana. As the sub goes down, the hold is breached and barrels full of some mysterious substance tumble out. Years later, an American nuclear submarine is transporting a captured terrorist to the States. The terrorist's henchmen, however, are planning to hijack the sub and rescue their leader. Meanwhile, a large, unidentified creature is approaching the sub at high speed... Written by
Jean-Marc Rocher <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The best straight-to-video creature flick I've ever seen.
7 out of 10
And yes, I realize my one-line summary is damning with faint praise. But seriously, however silly this movie may be, it accomplishes what it sets out to do, and that's to deliver as much wet and slimy action-packed fun as it can in 100 minutes. And no matter what negative things one may say about it, you've got to give it credit for choosing Crimson Tide (and more than a dash of Deep Rising) for inspiration rather than Jaws, which every other movie would have done.
The plot? An inexperienced CIA agent (Jay Harrington) has been assigned to escort a deadly terrorist by submarine. Heading the sub is Captain Shaw (David Beecroft) and along for the ride is a pretty oceanographer (Carolyn Lowery). Anyway, things get bumpy when they encounter a gargantuan octopus (which is actually even larger than the sub) that's been mutated by toxic material from a sunken Cold War Russian submarine.
Straight-to-video creature features are always going to be silly movies; the question is whether or not you can make it into a silly movie that's fun for the right reasons, and Octopus certainly succeeds. In fact, if a few of the submarine sets were cleaned up and made just a tad more elaborate, I could have seen this as a theatrical release (though, don't get me wrong, some of the sub sets, especially the flooded corridors, also look really good). It's about as much fun as Deep Rising, a movie which it borrows liberally from.
Octopus moves at quite a non-stop pace. The opening ten minutes features both a sinking sub AND a present-day chase/shootout sequence that's highlighted by huge explosions and even flipping cars. Director John Eyres continuously mounts the excitement factor once the monster goes on its rampage, concluding things nicely on an oceanliner in a climax that had me grinning. Surprisingly enough, we get competent acting from the likes of Jay Harrington, David Beecroft, and Carolyn Lowery, who make for a likeable and believable trio. Most of the special effects are obviously CGI, but considering the obvious budget limitations, the visuals are really quite good, much like the rest of this silly, but fun flick.
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