"Compared to suckers on a tentacle, claws are nothing. Nothing.”
From the time artists began creating, there were those stealing their ideas. This certainly holds true in film, where some filmmakers from around the world see one movie’s success as the opportunity to rip it off and make their own version of it. True, this often leads to litigation, but that doesn’t stop some filmmakers from trying to find ways around it anyway. After all, if it’ll make a buck, it’s worth doing, right? Steven Spielberg’s Jaws was such a success that it spawned countless rip-offs. One of the early ones was the Italian-American giant octopus production called Tentacles. Helmed by Oliver Hellman, aka Ovidio G. Assonitis, this Jaws rip-off doesn’t bring much new to the screen. But is it any good? Join us – Pete Wright and Andy Nelson – as we kick off our Aquatic Killers series with Assonitis’ 1977 film Tentacles.
We talk about the nature of rip-offs and if they can be any good (and when you draw the line – we’re looking at you, Asylum!). We chat about the bonkers cast here – John Huston, Shelley Winters, Henry Fonda, and more – and what, if anything, they bring to the table. We look at the octopus and what, if anything works about it. We discuss some of the octopus’s kills, including a baby right at the start of the film, and what they’re lacking to really make this work. And we talk about the cinematic sin of being boring, to which this film falls prey.
It’s an interesting film to kick things off with. Full of problems, a few interesting elements to entertain, but largely dull. Still, it makes for a great conversation! Check it out then tune in to this week’s show! The Next Reel – when the movie ends, our conversation begins!
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