Octaman

Horror heap from the nuclear trash!

Horror Heap From The Nuclear Trash!

If Creature From The Black Lagoon was the quintessential monster movie then Octaman is the quintessential bad monster movie. In fact, it’s basically Black Lagoon remade with a negative budget. Such a travesty would be enough to warrant a Movie Of The Week pick, but Octaman does have a few other virtues: the monster is rather good for instance and… and… ahem: Octaman was unleashed in the world in 1971. It feels almost unnecessary to explain that a bunch of scientists travel to a strange land known as Latin America to investigate odd mutations in octopuses. This happens within the first five minutes of the movie. Chaos ensues when Octaman (a larger mutation) appears and stalks the scientists for the remaining 80 minutes or so. It’s all so bad that you immediately fall in love with the movie: the acting is bland, the writing is dumb and you must sit through countless scenes of Octaman capturing the damsel in distress (maybe there were just two of them, but they really felt countless). Another very wrong thing about this movie is that you get to see the monster in question (clearly, entirely, very slowly) during the introduction credits. Yes, you got that right: the number one reason for watching a monster movie, that is, to actually see the monster, is effectively trashed as soon as you hit the play button. Octaman is also notorious for being the last movie of its lead, Pier Angeli, who was shortly found dead of a drug overdose after working in it. Apparently, hitting such a low in her career was too much for her. Finally, a short sequence of Octaman was featured in Fright Night – if you seen it, then you have basically seen the entire movie.

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15 Responses to “Octaman”

  1. mercury says:

    Fantastic, now this seems to be a must see für me (no, normally i don’t rhyme ;)). You just gotta love a man in a Monstersuit. I didn’t really know about this Movie till now, probably because i never concentrated on the 70s (they mostly sucked ;)) But this one could be right up my alley, i will definitly check it out :), thanks for the good introduction :).

  2. Agustín says:

    “The 70’s mostly sucked”? Are you out of your mind?! O_o

    Anyway, remember that you should approach this movie with care… and love. It’s bad as in REAL BAD 😀

  3. mercury says:

    Yea well, the 70s are not yet the “splattertrash 80s” und not anymore the “glorious Sci-Fi 50s” oder the “highclass-horror 60s”. Lets face it, exploitation is about the worst that ever happened to cinemas. It’s like realy bad porn without the porn. There have been good movies in the 70s but whenever i see those experimental psychadelic lightshows and colors i get sick ;). Sorry, thats my oppinion. I know some people love those filmes for exactly that reason, but somehow i’m not into that. It completely misses my taste.

    Well, i do hope its really REAL BAD, you know, i love real bad… or at least that kind of real bad, that is good… you know… (and no, the kind of real bad that is Uwe Boll ist not good, its just terrible, horrible torture).
    Ok, lets put it this way, if it can top “Robot Monster” or “Creature from the haunted sea” i am impressed and delighted all at once :D.

    I can’t find a region code 2/free PAL-DVD at the moment, but the movie stays on my list. It has appeared in germany but it is really rare to find, so it might take some time to get a hold of it (this information is also for anyone who is looking for that film).

  4. Agustín says:

    I would argue that the “splatter” genre was basically an extension of the exploitation wave, but ultimately it’s a matter of tastes 🙂

    Don’t forget that the 70’s had possibly the moodiest horror though. Remember Hammer films, the finest moments of some of the greatest actors that graced the genre (Cushing, Lee, Price), outstanding classics such as The Wicker Man, Let’s Scare Jessica To Death, the best stuff by Lucio Fulci, Dario Argento… phew!!

  5. mercury says:

    Splatter was the extension of exploitation, as well as a mouse and Keyboard where an extension to punchcards, now what would you rather have, a mouse and keyboard, or punchcards? 😉
    Na, it is all a Matter of opinion and taste. I just don’t like the style :).

    With Dario Argento and Lucio Fulci, i would sort of agree, eventhough they both had their fines moments in die 80s with Argento only having two interesing movies (profondo rosso und suspiria) being released in the 70s and Lucio Fulci having only released some 6 or so movies nobody knows today. With Hammer, i would give you a hard time, since the best Hammerfilms (in my opinion) were back in the 50s and 60s. Most filmes released by Hammer in die 70s are rightfully being forgotten. Yet, there have been some that should be mentioned, like “When Dinosaures ruled the Earth” (which, being released right 1970, arguably belogns zu the end of the 60s) and perhaps “Blood from the Mummy’s Tomb” or some of the 3 70s Dracula movies from Hammer. in the 70s they released about 30 movies, in the 60s it was about 60 movies. It was noch their decade anymore. Memorable Hammer movies like Dracula where all back in the 60s.

    But the 70s had some great filmes like Logan’s Run, Westworld, Futureworld, Planet of Dinosaurs, The Land That Time Forgot, The People That Time Forgot, At the Earth’s Core, Warlords of Atlantis etc. but all in all its just not my decade ;).

    Btw.: You really need a Forum, i already feel like i’m spamming you great page to oblivion, and that is definitly not what i want. These discussions need more space and time. I really feel like i want to go into this topic with more depth. Just researching for this answer made me all interested :).

  6. Agustín says:

    Well that might be true, that the 70’s were better for sci-fi than horror.

    Anyway, I’m done for the time being setting up websites and forums 😛 We’ll see if there’s enough interest in the future, but right now the amount of users is not enough to have a forum.

  7. mercury says:

    I’d rather put Sci-Fi into the 50s and 60s… to be honest, thats exactly the period my collection is most concentrated on appart from 80s splattermovies and some absolut must have action-, fantasy- and drama-gernremovies.

    Well, I agree as long as it’s just a handfull of people a forum wouldn’t be that interesting. So, if you mind me hitting your comments more then just for the sake of commentating, please tell me ;). I do this, because it interests me and i want to exchange knowledge here and there. I find this blog to be a rather good space for such ideas and discussions, i am exited to see what the future might bring :).

    A sudden twist of fate gave me an enormous opportunity to gain access to Octaman. So sometime next week i will finaly be able to enjoy the fine art of Rubbersuit-Sci-Fi-Trash once more :). I will give a short opinion of what i think about it when i’m done ;).

  8. Agustín says:

    Spam away, no problem! It makes me feel like I’m not alone in my eccentric taste for movies 😛

    Hope you enjoy (somewhat) Octaman! Remember that the movie can be suicide inducing O_o

  9. mercury says:

    Well, i guess we are not alone. I am registered in a german forum for such movies and i know there are others… But you are right, it is a pretty misunderstood and lonesome hobby and it is hard to find someone to share it with, or at least to explain the fascination to someone who isn’t into it.

    Don’t worry, i think i will enjoy Octaman all the way. Everything i’ve read, seen or heard makes my trashheart beat faster :D. Well, i guess it will be here sometime at the end of next week (i hope).

    By the way, are we going to see more reviews of such films? How about “attack of the giant leeches” or “island of terror”? Have you seen “the killer shrews”? Oh there are so many… perhaps i will put some reviews up on my blog sometime.

    Anyway, this is about Octaman, so i have some more to say about that topic:
    On Youtube you can find a clip that looks like it could be the ending. In case you do not want to spoil it for you: BEWARE!!! Other than that not much can be found, which surprises me.

  10. Agustín says:

    Could be, although the upcoming reviews I’m working on are rather about more modern yet underdog movies. For now, I’ll be focusing on rarities of the 80’s, but I have way many picks for the future!

    On the other hand, if you meant Movie Of The Week picks, those can be from any era and really eclectic choices… I basically decide them arbitrarily during the weekend 😛

  11. mercury says:

    I would most probably do the same, the pool of possibilities is nearly exhaustless and i would hate to follow a list i made myself month ago on such a variable topic.

    Do you know “Bildstörung”? Its a german label that concentrates on movies which somehow never fitted into their time, meaning, they where very experimental and often more than just underdogs.
    Their page is in german, but if you translate it with Google you will gest the gist of the page (although the translation is far beyond recognition and takes a lot of imagination to understand ;))
    I hope its ok if a post the link in here (else please remove it, i can’t :():
    http://translate.google.at/translate?hl=de&sl=de&tl=en&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.bildstoerung.tv%2Fblog%2F
    It could be something that might interest you. Ignore the trailers and teasers you find on the page, they are done all wrong and make the movies seem boring and uninteresting. But perhaps you can make something of some of the titles. These films are really way off the beaten path.
    I do have my problems with that lable since it trys so desperately to be “artistic” and to define what “art” is that they end up being rather arrogant and unknowing (heck, even the name of the label has some deeper meaning, i means something like “image interference” or “phantom image” and relates to those movies being exactly that in their own time. They go as far as to affirm that those films are the reason for the development of movies… :D). This should be ignored, they didn’t make the movies so they can have whatever believe they want to follow as long as they give me the good stuff ;).
    I hope you can make something of it – if you have questions abut the titles or the translations, please just ask.

  12. Agustín says:

    I honestly had no idea about that label, but I am familiar with some of those movies. I certainly know about La Bête and Possession. I would argue about the genre classification of some of those movies, but I guess they are overall stranger than the usual.

  13. mercury says:

    I’m glad i could help 🙂
    Yea, you are not alone with the will to argue with those people. They dug deep, no doubt, but they don’t really, completely know what they are doing. Another problem is the way the movies als splattered all over those DVDs. It is just a mess, some have forced-on subtitles (nobody likes subtitles), some come in 2-3 different languages… Maybe that is the best they could do and at least they warn you (i’ve had worse), but the way these movies are presented its sadly not much more than a good way to save some of those films from decay. Interesting for hardcore freaks ans historians, but never even close to being useful for a broader audience or even a relaxing movienight with friends. I know, that they are not going for that, but it would be great if they did.

  14. mercury says:

    Ok, Yesterday i finaly got to see it.
    I was surprised, this movie really has something to say, its not bad, it just did not have the budget it would have needed, so they took the monster formular and ran with it all the way to a fantastic monster movie. It reminds me of “Creature From The Haunted Sea” in many ways. That one also hat quite a deep political statement, and the monster was just thrown in for good measure and because its cool. Even though the statement in octaman is rather shallow and easy to spot, it is still there, and i belive, that someone really wanted to make this movie to get his word out there.
    Apart from that, it was a rush. this movie makes no prisoners, the monster is not just there some of the time, its there throughout the movie. When i Think of Dinocroc, were you never really get to the monster untill the end, in this one, the director could not get enough of his rubbersuit monster. Fantastic!

    Thanks for the Info, i really like this one, and its a rightfull addition to my collection.

  15. Agustín says:

    I’m glad you enjoyed it! I’ll admit it had some charm to it 😀