Octaman is a 1971 American science-fiction horror feature film written and directed by Harry Essex (co-writer of The Creature from the Black Lagoon). The movie stars Pier Angeli (who committed suicide towards the end of the production), Kerwin Mathews and Jeff Morrow.
The Octaman was created by Doug Beswick and Rick Baker (It’s Alive; An American Werewolf in London; Videodrome; et al).
A scientific expedition to a remote fishing village discovers high levels of radiation as well as a strange mutant-like small octopus that walks on land and has bizarre human-like eyes. The leader of the expedition teams up with a circus owner who wants to exploit the weird creature but trouble ensues when the two men discover their crew has been slaughtered and the mutant is missing.
Tales from the villagers come to light describing the local legend of a half-man, half-sea serpent, but what the expedition finds is an astounding seven-foot-tall walking octopus that has a lust for human blood! Now, the hunters have become the hunted and the race is on…
“Although Octaman’s ecology awareness fits into an early 1970s mindset, the film is an absolute throwback to 1950s monster movies (the script was supposedly laying around since that time), and as ridiculous as it is, it’s an enjoyable, undemanding piece of schlock that thankfully runs less than 80 minutes.” DVD Drive-In
” …a dull and repetitive take on the subject with uninteresting characters and no pace. And as for the silly-looking octaman costume – well, let’s just say that Rick Baker had to start somewhere, and this one should be chalked up as a learning experience for him.” Fantastic Movie Musings and Ramblings
“Featuring a truly silly (but kinda loveable) monster created by future Oscar-winning makeup artist Rick Baker (An American Werewolf in London), bafflingly inept direction by Creature from the Black Lagoon screenwriter Harry Essex (who manages to shamelessly rip off his own ‘50s classic at every turn) and an almost constant stream of unintentional laughs, Octaman definitely gets eight tentacles up on the bad movie-meter!” The Loft Cinema
“… we see a lot of Octaman. He shows up in the opening credits, wobbling around and flailing his (four) arms, and is never far from the camera for the ensuing 79 minutes. The suit is early work from Rick Baker, and while ludicrous overall, nevertheless is kind of creepy, especially it’s large green-and-orange eyes.” Radiation-Scarred Reviews
“There is something to be said about this film though, maybe in part thanks to the crazy premise and the silly costume and the way it resembles all those old monster movies from decades previous. Part of you will think it a colossal waste of time but another part of you will love it to bits.” The Telltale Mind
Cast and characters:
- Pier Angeli … Susan Lowry
- Kerwin Mathews … Doctor Rick Torres
- Jeff Morrow … Doctor John Willard
- David Essex … Davido
- Jerome Guardino … Johnny Caruso
- Robert Warner … Steve Dodd
- Norman Fields … Mort Stein
- Jax Jason Carroll … Doctor Jameson
- Wally Rose … Carlos
- Buck Kartalian … Raul
- Richard Cohen … Enrique
- Samuel Peloso … Pedro
- Read Morgan … The Octaman (as The Octaman)
Bronson Canyon in California
- 79 minutes
- Aspect ratio: 1.33: 1
- Audio: Mono
A clip from Octaman is featured on a television screen in Joe Dante’s Gremlins: The New Batch (1990).