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OCTOPUS - Skull
Rated PG-13
Copyright 2000 Nu Image Productions
Reviewed by Andrew Borntreger on 27 May 2002

The Characters:  

  • Agent Roy Turner - Our hero, the complete and utter wuss. My chief complaint is that the character somehow survived.
  • Dr. Lisa Finch - She may be the only female within several hundred nautical miles, but this marine biologist's predilection for chucking shoes would definitely start an argument. That would be after I threw it back and hit her in the head.
  • Capt. Jack Shaw - He carries a Bronze Star Medal, earned in an action which cost him his career, for good luck?
  • Mr. Brickman - The submarine's XO and a terrible poker player. Munched.
  • Henry - The older CIA agent. He makes a great "dooh!" face after noticing the bomb at his feet. Boom!
  • Casper - One mean bastard of a terrorist. Has a tentacle jammed through his stomach, then out of his mouth; at some point we can be certain it also erupted from his anus like some strange homage to "The Tommyknockers."
  • The Octopus - A huge cephalopod that has been mutated by exposure to Anthrax. I am not certain how this works, but then, neither can I claim to be a marine biologist.

Buy It!

The Plot: 

During the Cuban Missile Crisis an American submarine intercepts the U.S.S.R. (the heck) Leningrad, a vessel of the dark empire tasked with delivering some sort of nasty cargo to Castro. A tense drama plays out on the Russian submarine's bridge, but it is rendered moot when the U.S. ship fires its torpedoes. The world is on the brink of nuclear war, how about some restraint? Anyway, the Soviets are hit and plummet into the depths while barrels spill from the ruptured hull. A lot of bit part actors scream while someone pours water over their heads too. The main problem here, besides footage that looks like it was snipped from "Crimson Tide," is the location. We have to assume the submarine encounter happened very close to Cuba. But, later on that makes no sense whatsoever.

Why me?

No, really, tell me what force compels a human being into watching films like this.

*SIGH*

Henry and Roy are discussing the current state of world affairs when things pick up. The older agent complains about the lack of job satisfaction in a world without mutual assured destruction, while his partner seems more interested in daydreaming. Both take a trip to the local market, thus being luckily absent from the embassy when Casper (disguised as an old woman) destroys the building with a bomb. Despite a number of other embassy bombings, the attack was easy to conduct for three reasons: the compound lacks a wall or gate, the Marine Security Guards are conspicuosly absent, and identification checkpoints were not in place.

The two agents give chase through streets crowded with pedestrians, causing the requisite damage to a produce cart. It also spells the end for Henry when another device, dropped by Casper, explodes nearly at his feet. Agent Turner has the perfect opportunity to either shoot or detain the terrorist at this point, but Casper realizes his opponent is a wuss and gleefully climbs into a car to drive away. Good thing that Henry was not dead (yet); he shoots the vehicle's fuel tank before expiring. Now Roy can sit back and watch as the murderer cooks inside his burning conveyance, but noooo - the idiot actually drags Casper to safety. Has it been mentioned that Roy is a royal putz?

Would I have let the bastard die, slowly and in great pain? Darn skippy! Might have put some holes in his arms and legs to prevent him from crawling out. Had some spare change and a corner grocery been available, then toasting marshmallows sounds good. Wave to Casper as his flesh peels off, put another delicious treat on the stick and start singing campfire songs.

Faced with transporting the world's most dangerous criminal, the suits in Washington decide to send a nuclear attack submarine. Why not a helicopter? The likelihood of an octopus menacing a rotary wing aircraft is very low (foreshadowing, with irony), so Jack "Ego" Shaw is given the orders. After returning to the ship with Turner and the prisoner, he finds a strip poker game in progress on the bridge. Since submarines have entirely male crews, making any sort of blemishing remark about the Navy would be far too easy here, but, in their defense, the players are Lisa and Brickman. How the game began and what sort of officer allows a visiting civilian scientist, let alone his Executive Officer, to conduct themselves like this is a mystery.

Utilizing stolen intelligence photographs, the other terrorists quickly plan a rescue for their comrade. Their entire infrastructure is tasked with freeing Casper, including hijacking a cruise ship. The ponderous ship will shadow the submarine, waiting for the right opportunity. A cruise ship hunting an attack sub? The right opportunity? What the heck are these people thinking? Only in a movie. In fact, only in this movie.

The octopus briefly tangles with the submarine a few times before making a dedicated effort. The vessel bounces off an underwater ridge, then crashes into the seabed at a point under its advertised hull crush depth. Meanwhile, Casper kills one of the crewmen and escapes. Even with the confusion of a huge, mutated sea monster attacking and sailors deserting their posts (Where are they going?), the easily recognized terrorist somehow finding a place to hide seems impossible. Of course, he takes refuge in Dr. Finch's lab, providing him with a hostage who can reprogram a distress buoy to signal the other terrorists.

Tentacles lash at the stricken submarine for a while before one particularly rigid arm pierces the hull and starts snatching up crewmen. For some reason only mild flooding results, instead of the implosion expected. The respite from physics provides Lisa a chance to show off her marksmanship and save Captain Shaw from the foraging tentacle. 9 mm pistols are lethal to humans, but the octopus withstood mines and ripped through metal. Seeing it recoil from the tiny weapon was plain ridiculous. And another thing: Lisa was doing the shooting because Roy was procrastinating, the indecisive wuss.

Escaping the underwater tomb is top priority for the characters (none of the enlisted survived, they have also recaptured Casper) and Dr. Finch's fish food can help buy some time. She has loads of what appears to be, and is described as being, weight gainer for dolphins! The tentacles erupt in a flurry of action, presumably ingesting the mixture through some form of osmosis. The survivors escape in the marine biologist's research submersible moments before the submarine's reactor detonates. The octopus was still wrapped around the sub, but it is unharmed. Mere feet away from a fission explosion and still kicking, that is one mean mofo of a monster. Nothing can kill it! Except maybe for dynamite...

The submersible surfaces near the cruise liner. Once Casper and his detainers are aboard, the terrorists seize control of the ship. Roy, Lisa, and Jack are led below where a violent member of the organization will shoot them, then set a bomb nearby to destroy the liner. The device is comprised of three dozen sticks of dynamite and a rudimentary timer. Destroy the whole boat! Really! The octopus attacks the cruise ship, providing the good guys with an opportunity to save the day. Roy has yet another chance to fill Casper with lead, but wimps out again. Thankfully, the monster is just as fed up with the agent's vacillation; it obliterates the human antagonist. Now the problem is finding a way to kill the octopus.

Little love is lost between myself and the film. Undoubtedly, this is largely on account of the drubbing it visited upon my common sense gland. The annoying "hero" did not help either. Compounded with the atrocious moments of comic relief, the net result was something incredibly ugly. Were this movie a child I would quickly deposit it down the nearest well and dump in a bucket of jellyfish for good measure.

Things I Learned From This Movie: 

  • If a bomb explodes on the second story of a building the ground floor windows will blow out first.
  • Watermelon vendors should always purchase insurance.
  • Russian satellites are capable of landing on the beach to take pictures.
  • Visitors aboard submarines dress in uniforms, minus the rank insignia.
  • The first sonar ping returned by a cephalopod is always one hundred and eighty degrees off.
  • Submarines carry mines disguised as noisemakers.
  • Bulletproof vests are made out of Kevlar, vice cotton, for a reason.
  • Watertight doors are equipped with windows.
  • Octopi have long and prehensile tongues.
  • Deactivating a bomb that has a "stop" button is surprisingly difficult.

Stuff To Watch For: 

  • 7 mins - She is a little young for Roy.
  • 12 mins - I would like to point out that the fat old guy is outrunning you.
  • 18 mins - Damn! He has some good binoculars.
  • 23 mins - How did she lose her panties before the shorts, tank top, or bra?
  • 30 mins - Excellent shelf space available. There is just one thing missing. What could it be?
  • 31 mins - Bars or dividers to keep everything from sliding off in rough seas, of course...
  • 55 mins - "Crushed... ...like a crab?" Maybe he should eat at Red Lobster less often.
  • 56 mins - RANDOM ACT OF VIOLENCE AGAINST THE OCEAN'S BOTTOM!
  • 68 mins - What killed them? Hellloooooo?

Quotes: 

  • Lisa: "Are you really some kind of super spy?"
    Roy: "No, no, that's just Shaw talking. I'm trained as an analyst."
  • Roy: "Hey guys! We, uh, we gotta get out of here."
    Shaw: "What about Casper?"
    Roy: "What about the bomb? We got about six minutes."

 Audio clips in wav formatSOUNDSStarving actors speak out 

FileDialog
Green Music Note octopus1.wav Roy: "I'm better at Euro-Soviet economic relations than I am at smuggling microfilm. So what?"
Green Music Note octopus2.wav Lisa talking about the sea monster myth.
Green Music Note octopus3.wav Roy: "You think I'm gonna have regrets?"
Casper: "Of course, Roy. One of us has to and it can't be me."
Green Music Note octopus4.wav Casper: "No, not again Roy, this is disappointing! What a boring way to end this after all we've been through. You with a gun in your hand, but you can't fire, and me riding off into the sunset."

 Click for a larger imageIMAGESScenes from the movie 

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 Watch a sceneVIDEOMPEG video files 

Video Clipoctopus1.mpg - 1.5m
Lisa does the screaming, Roy stares in disbelief, and Brickman is dragged away by the awful CGI tentacle. Everybody is playing a part here, whether it is obvious or not.

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Comments:Write CommentPages: [1] 2 3
Octopus
Reply #1. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:10:12 PM by casey&erin
this movie was soooo bad that we took turns watching it.  and were both bored to the point of drinking.  we just rented "king cobra" which was also released by trimark.  it was, if humanly possible, worse than octopus.  we actually fast fowarded through scenes where there was no dialogue.
Octopus
Reply #2. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:10:12 PM by BoyScoutKevin
Isn't CGI wonderful? Before CGI, the worst octopus, we lovers of B-movies had, was the rubberly one in Ed Wood's "Bride of the Monster." Now, we have one that is even more fake looking. Enjoy!
Octopus
Reply #3. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:10:12 PM by SSG Chris H. Brown
  I was rooting for the octopus to get the wuss "hero".  I'm in the Army, Military Intelligence Corps (yes, I know, contradiction in terms), and if I had someone like Roy under my command I would've shot him during the shootout with the terrorists and blame the terrorists!
  I agree with Andrew, shoot Casper so he can't get out of the car, get some marshmallows, and sing campfire songs.  I still can't believe I sat through this entire movie without hitting fast forward on my VCR remote.
  What gets me about these movies are how they protray the military, especially the officers, as a bunch of idiots.  If we were really that stupid we would've still been a British Colony that fell to the Krauts and Japanese.  The officers in this movie would fit the bullets from British Officer Fitness Reports I found on the "Car Talk" website:
"His men would follow him anywhere, but only out of curiosity."
"This officer should go far--and the sooner he starts, the better."
"I would not breed from this officer."
"This officer reminds me very much of a gyroscope:
always spinning around at a frantic pace, but not really going anywhere."
"Since my last report he has reached rock bottom, and has started to dig."
..and the best for the last...
"This man is depriving a village somewhere of an idiot."
Octopus
Reply #4. Posted on May 28, 2002, 12:26:12 PM by Akira Tubo
This movie was horrible.  Check out a slew of other hateful comments on it at http://www.jabootu.com/octopus.htm.
Octopus
Reply #5. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM by Ashleigh
Another bad killer animal Sci-Fi Channel film. Others dependant on CGI like this one include Sabretooth (BAD), Rats (BAD), Mosquitos(with Gunnar Hansen, still REALLY BAD, with 50's like monsters), Shark Attack (one of THE worst films I have ever seen, terrible special FX, definetley shot on a budget of around 100 bucks) and most recently, Snakehead Terror (read about it in Fangoria, very disappointing that such a good magazine would promote such a bad film). Really, these killer animal Sci-Fis have GOT to stop.
Octopus
Reply #6. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM by zark169
I just saw this on SciFi over the weekend, but I had to stop after five minutes for almost the same reasons as Andrew.  I tried again near the end when the commander says their below safe depth, but I just couldn't watch.
Octopus
Reply #7. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM by Josie
I was going to say that this movie wasn't <i>that</i> bad, but then I realized that I spent most of it's running time folding origami instead of paying attention to what was going on.
Octopus
Reply #8. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM by Paul R. C.
I have this movie for DVD. It's a movie about a big monster from ocean and a terrorist. This film is about good man vz bad man. It's bad.
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