Monday, May 25, 2009

Reach For It: Tentacles(1977)

There are a multitude of giant monster movies on DVD that are likely relished only by those fans of the giant monster movie or "kaiju" movie genre. One such film is Tentacoli, an Italian movie directed by Ovidio G. Assonitis and widely considered a "Jaws" rip off. This film, which opened in Italian theaters in early 1977 would reach American theaters the summer of the same year as Tentacles.

It's not generally considered a quality movie but it has just enough to hold my attention. The film's story is simple: a giant octopus is antagonized by the pipeline work of a local company(Trojan Construction) and begins terrorizing a seaside community nearby. Various characters react to the rising tensions created by the giant mollusk's attacks: a reporter(played by curmudgeonly John Huston), the head of the company contracted to do the pipeline work(played by a hostile Henry Fonda), and a marine biologist(played by Bo Hopkins). Throw in Shelley Winters and Claude Akins(as Solana Beach's local head of law enforcement)and you've got one seriously unusual group of actors thrown together. In the end it's up to the marine biologist and his pair of specially trained orcas(killer whales) to deal with the ornery giant octopus once and for all. (no other spoilers)

The movie has been released by MGM, paired with Empire Of The Ants(1977) as a "Midnite Movies" DVD release. The aspect ratio of Tentacles is 2:35.1 widescreen and the "Midnite Movies" print looks good.

To see the MGM Midnite Movies DVD of this feature for sale at click the title of this blog entry.

The film's trailer: