Octaman (1971)

It's Octaman!
It’s Octaman!

A scientific expedition, financed by a circus owner, goes in search of a humanoid octopus mutation in Mexico.

poster art
Horror heap from the nuclear trash!

Written and directed by Harry Essex, who wrote IT CAME FROM OUTER SPACE (1953) and CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON (1954), this cult flick’s major (only!) selling point is the fun creature costume created by Rick Baker and Doug Beswick. The rubbery, tentacled critter is often shot and lit in less than dynamic ways, but it is on screen a LOT!

Octaman confronts Pier Angeli
Don't mess with Octaman!
Don’t mess with Octaman!
In the film the fire 'sucks' the air from around Octaman: great science!
In the film the fire ‘sucks’ the air from around Octaman, even though this is taking place outside: great science!

Earlier in the movie we get to see a small mutant octopus that can crawl on land and apparently likes to live in fresh water. Later, there’s a sequence where the characters trap Octaman in a circle of fire, sedate it and imprison it under a net, which is silly but cool. But there’s a very tedious sequence towards the end of the film, focusing on the protagonists crawling endlessly around a cave, that is far, far from cool.

As Travis J Hill Cartoonist (a moderator for the Monster Zone Facebook group) says: What’s more fun than a barrel o’ cephalopod?

For the most part, however, if you’re a creature feature fan you’ll probably find this is a fairly watchable, low budget, cheesy, painless time-waster with a very shaky grasp of scientific principles. It stars Kerwin (7TH VOYAGE OF SINBAD) Mathews, Jeff (THIS ISLAND EARTH) Morrow and Pier (SOMEBODY UP THERE LIKES ME) Angeli, who gets carried off by Octaman at one point.

Kerwin Mathews and Pier Angeli
Kerwin Mathews and Pier Angeli

On a sad note, Pier Angeli was found dead in her Beverly Hills home (apparently from an accidental barbiturate overdose) before production on the film was completed.

Octaman carries off Pier Angeli
Getting carried away…
Behind the scenes shot of Read Morgan, who wore the costume
Behind the scenes shot of Read Morgan, who wore the costume
Octaman jumps from the RV
It’s in the RV!

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