IT CAME FROM BENEATH THE SEA (1955)
Article #573 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing date: 10-9-2002
Posting date: 3-4-2003
Scientists and the military do battle with a giant octopus from the ocean’s depths.
The recurring problem I have with Ray Harryhausen’s black-and-white fifties monster extravaganzas are the relative dullness of the scenes which do not feature the effects of Mr. Harryhausen; though I don’t expect scenes of people talking about a monster to be as interesting as scenes with a monster, they were always a few shades duller than was strictly necessary. Nonetheless, the special effects were special enough to pull them out of the mire. Unfortunately, it’s not the case with this one. It’s not that Harryhausen’s effects aren’t up to scratch; they’re just fine. It’s just that the other scenes are so singularly dull, I almost get the feeling that everyone was putting forth only the barest minimum of effort in the belief that the special effects would make up for it. And though the effects ARE quite good and exciting (particularly the bridge sequence), there aren’t enough of them to make the movie; except for a short sequence in which the octopus destroys a boat, the first three-quarters of this movie is one of the dullest stretches of celluloid I’ve ever viewed. It’s so much so, in fact, that by time the last quarter rolls around, I’ve almost completely lost my interest. In short, IMHO, this is one time the effects didn’t pull the movie out of the mire.