A giant, radioactive octopus rises from the Philippine Trench to terrorize the North American Pacific Coast.A giant, radioactive octopus rises from the Philippine Trench to terrorize the North American Pacific Coast.A giant, radioactive octopus rises from the Philippine Trench to terrorize the North American Pacific Coast.
Ray Harryhausen's name so far is still the only special effects man that I know who's name will actually encourage people to buy a movie ticket. He created some marvelous film monsters and this was one of his best.
The octopus we are told comes from the Mindinao Deep, a spot on our planet still not totally explored because it is the deepest part of our ocean's bottoms. Presumably there are a whole lot more like him around and in point of fact to this day we don't know all the creatures of the sea.
That perennial villain of Fifties Science fiction, atomic testing and/or radiation has made this big guy move out of the depths and try to capture Captain Kenneth Tobey's submarine. He barely gets away and Tobey's is the first of several incidents involving the creature. Scientists Faith Domergue and Donald Curtis are also on the job and the creature ends up in San Francisco Bay. He does a number on the Golden Gate bridge and then tries to beach himself at the Embarcadero. Army flame throwers see that doesn't happen.
Faith Domergue was a really beautiful woman who became known again through the Howard Hughes biographical film, The Aviator. She was at one time Hughes's main squeeze. This is probably the film she's most known for though. There's one scene where Domergue uses her best asset to convince a merchant seaman whose ship has been sunk by the octopus, but is afraid of being given a section 8, to fess up about the monster. Kind of campy, but fun.
The monster's no villain here as in some films. He's just a creature whose habitat man has disturbed that's trying to survive. Unfortunately we can't have him roaming the Pacific destroying all kinds of civilian and military activity. So he has to be killed. For me it was a bit sad seeing the outcome. I think other viewers will feel the same way.
- Apr 25, 2006