Film (1971). Filmers Guild/Heritage Enterprises Inc (re-release). Produced by Michael Kraike. Directed by Harry Essex. Written by Essex. Octaman costume designed by Rick Baker and Doug Beswick. Cast includes Pier Angeli, David Essex, Kerwin Mathews, Read Morgan and Jess Morrow. 76 minutes. Colour.
An expedition to a remote Mexican fishing village, led by Dr Rick Torres (Mathews) and Susan Lowry (Angeli) along with their friend Dr John Willard (Morrow), discovers dangerous amounts of radioactivity in the waters and a small octopus which can crawl along the land easily. Deciding they need more funds, the three return to the US leaving their crew behind. The owner of a large carnival agrees to finances their work in return for the right to exhibit any Mutants they happen to capture. On return to Mexico, they find their party slaughtered by an unknown creature. A young local man (David Essex) tells them of the legend of a humanoid creature said to live in a lake near-by, half-human and half-octopus, and agrees to take them there once more men are gathered for the expedition. At the lake, the party is duly attacked by a seven-foot tall Monster with both human and octopus characteristics. Some are killed; the creature escapes, returning that night to attack again. An attempt to trap the creature in a ring of fire; more deaths follow. Finally the "Octaman" is shot to death.
Essex had previously written the screenplay for The Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954); this low-budget affair is essentially a remake of that film with a much more bloodthirsty monster. Despite good performers like Matthews, Angeli and Morrow, and a reasonably effective monster costume (the first make-up or special effects work by Rick Baker), Octaman is a poor film. [GFi]
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