Wretched monster movies #11: Octaman (1971)

While words can’t always tell someone what one truly wants to express, I sincerely hope you-my loyal reader(s) will understand just how pitiful, pathetic, wretched, dismal, dreadful, abysmal and unintentionally hilarious Octaman truly is.

Octaman was released in 1971 when apparently ANYTHING could play a movie theater or drive-in. Octaman himself was a half-man/half-octopus who walked around in a rubber suit with 6 of his 8 arms dangling limp because after all, he was a guy in an octopus suit.

Now, I’m no expert on walking octopi, but I’m willing to bet there aren’t any. Does this look just a bit awkward to you? What is even more pathetic is how some “scientists” discover Octaman’s baby spawn in a freshwater pond in Mexico. Or should I say a $1.99 awkward rubber toy in a bucket. Yep-an octopus in Mexico in a FRESHWATER pond. Not saltwater. Good research guys. Shit, oh mighty.

Octaman gets pissed and goes on a rampage which seems mostly to involve his victims wrapping themselves up in his tentacles and trying to knock themselves out with the heavy rubber. We also sometimes see Octavision where we get a kaleidoscopic view from Octaman himself. It really looks more like an early Pink Floyd clip from 1967 with acid on the menu.

“See Octaman Play” the new hit single from Pink Floyd!

Watch below as Octaman swings his arms at a trailer and the people scare him with an evil car horn! At least we see Octaman dance spastically to awful beatnik Jazz as the horn terrifies him. I dare you not to laugh!

The “stars” of this debacle are Kerwin Matthews and Pier Angeli. Probably not a coincidence that Angeli died of an overdose shortly thereafter. How do you go from dating James Dean and Michael Douglas and being in quality films in the 50’s and 60’s to starring in a piece of shit like Octaman? That’s called hard living, people.

Anyway, Matthews and ‘s characters want research funding to study the toy baby octopus and find a wealthy rancher who sees it as a cash cow for a circus. Yes, this is a wise man who thinks a toy octopus in a bucket (great scientific work here, walking around with a bucket) would draw people to…a circus?

Here, Octaman slays his victims in not-so frightening fashion…

It’s worth asking at this point-is Octaman scarier, or is Octomom and her freakish children? I say Octomom. By a landslide.

Octaman sets new low standards. At least half the film has a shitty dark lens where you can see nothing (probably a good thing). The night scenes were obviously shot during daylight and look terrible, but did they forget to take the lens off when the sun set? This film has the visual quality of a Boy George nude poetry slam. The budget must’ve been $5 a piece drinking money for the crew.

“I am Octaman and I will crush you by night…or is it actually day? Well, never mind-you will perish anyway silly humans!”

“Hey ladies, I’m 8 times better than the average guy and look at the size of my tentacles. OK, my head may be bulbous and veiny, but I can sex you very well in the lake of love”.

After some truly unlistenable dialogue we get to the point where 7 people are hunting Octaman down including our stars. One of the best deaths occurs when everyone is in a trailer. Octaman is hunting the people down because he is now in love with our one lady named Missy (played by Angeli). Octaman is literally knocking at the fucking door and the boobs open it and sure enough, death follows!

Looks like Octaman is missing a few tentacles here. Few people know this, but this awful, awful scene was used in Gremlins 2: The New Batch in the background introduced by a desperate late-night TV host as Attack Of The Octopus People. I knew instantly (and sadly) what it was when it popped up on the screen when I saw that film in 1990 in theaters. “My God! It’s Octaman!” I proudly said to nobody.

Eventually, it is deemed our hunters remaining will not shoot Octaman, they will scare him with flashlights. Of course. They will then set a circle of fire around him to drain him of oxygen? Sure thing, guys-well played.

Any time Octaman kills somebody, it’s really more a case of him swinging an arm (let’s face it-it ain’t a tentacle folks) and hoping he will nail a victim. That victim will then break out into an interpretive dance and walk into Octaman or a tree or rock and fall and die. How can you not fucking laugh? I say, here’s to you Octaman!

“Where the fuck are my other 6 tentacles? You will pay for this miscalculated costume, silly humans! AGH!”.

Later on (much later it feels) with Ms. Angeli telling Octaman to “stay”, it will lure him to finally being…shot! Wow-what a novel idea, and to think the flashlights didn’t work. After the final gunshot (and I’m failry sure the ONLY shot that actually hit Octaman), our creature struggles back to the lake for a weepy final scene, probably asking himself why he wasn’t in saltwater to begin with.

I gotta give it to director Harry Essex and crew-Octaman is ass-pimple bad. But, it IS very funny, although I doubt they were going for comedy. The best scene is where Octaman-already in his shitty rubber suit-tosses an obvious mannequin off a cliff. There’s irony in that somehow, and it’s pure gold.

“Death to all mannequins! And Mannequin 2: On The Move while we’re at it! I hate Andrew McCarthy!”.

Did Octaman die of a broken heart or just his bad rubber suit? I won’t tell-you will have to watch the DVD.  Good luck getting through it-but you can do it-be strong.

Fun Facts:

1. If you can believe it, Octaman was the first chance for now-legendary makeup artist Rick Baker (of Star Wars fame) to get his work on film. He co-created the costume and actually got notice for it, because for 1971 and having no money he did create an interesting costume. And, yes-he’s rightfully ashamed of it!

2. After Octaman, Pier Angeli died of a drug overdose at age 39. She once dated James Dean. Clearly, the fall to Octaman was too much to take.

3. This is the second killer octopus movie I have reviewed. The other was Tentacles which looks like The Godfather compared to this crapfest.

Octaman (1971):

4 beagles out of 4 for awfulness (it does not get much worse than this!)

Q: Should you see Octaman?

A: You know the answer if you’ve read this far-hell yes!

About chudbeagle

My name is Pete Braidis and I'm in Haddon Heights, New Jersey and my goal is to point out how bad so many album and book covers are as well as review classic (usually awful) creature/monster flicks. I also have a book due out in June 2016 dedicated to guitar players I feel have never gotten their due. I interviewed 50 players from around the world and it took nearly 2 years to complete. It's called Unstrung Heroes: Fifty Guitar Players You Should Know and here's the link: http://www.amazon.com/Unstrung-Heroes-Guitar-Greats-Should/dp/0764350889/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1454387582&sr=1-2&keywords=unstrung+heroes Sometimes, I'll actually do something normal like a band history with album reviews but I try to do the funny stuff because it's my job to make anyone that bothered coming on here to laugh.
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2 Responses to Wretched monster movies #11: Octaman (1971)

  1. Susan says:

    Wow! That movie seems to be the biggest piece of crap ever made! I do not remember Octaman and thankfully so. I will not be viewing this garbage because it would be a complete waste of my time. However, I think Uncle Steve would make an awesome Octaman for Halloween!!

    • chudbeagle says:

      I can give you 8 reasons to watch Octaman-one for each tentacle even though he really has 2 or sometimes 3. Uncle Steve could never reach the heights of Octaman, but Octadog-maybe!

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