Octaman (1971)

OCTAMAN (1971)
Article 2206 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 3-31-2007
Posting Date: 8-27-2007
Directed by Harry Esssex
Featuring Pier Angeli, Kerwin Mathews, Jeff Morrow

Pollution results in the creation of an octopus/man mutation that terrorizes some researchers.

One of the disadvantages of trying to cover a movie a day is that sometimes you don’t have the time to research and track down the very best copies of movies, and you have to settle for whatever copy you get. My copy of this movie is almost impenetrably dark during the night scenes, and I don’t know if the problem is the movie itself or just my copy. Please bear this in mind during this review.

You know, the night scenes being so dark wouldn’t be so bad if it didn’t seem as if seventy-five percent of the movie took place at night. The first twenty minutes are well lit enough, but after that, every other scene seems too dark. It’s hard for a monster attack scene to be scary when you can’t see the monster or the victim or much of anything else. And what happens when it becomes light again? Why, they take the first opportunity they can to move the action into Bronson Caverns (where it’s dark) so you can struggle some more. Still, I wonder if it would be worth it to seek out this third-rate copy of THE CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON ; from what I could tell, it was a dull and repetitive take on the subject with uninteresting characters and no pace. And as for the silly-looking octaman costume – well, let’s just say that Rick Baker had to start somewhere, and this one should be chalked up as a learning experience for him. It has an interesting cast, though, with Pier Angeli (who died of a drug overdose during filming), Kerwin Mathews, Jeff Morrow, and Buck Kartalian. Still, the Mexican characters are stereotypes, and I really got tired of the one that incessantly whistled the Mexican Hat Dance. All in all, this one is pretty bad, as well as preachy and not much fun.



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