Sunday, March 14, 2010
TENTACLES!!!! (1977) or, Killer Whales Will Lay an Octopus OUT!
It's the weekend and everybody knows that there's no better way your old Ma loves to relax than by watching a Mutant Killer Animal movie.
This time however, it's time to move from land into the water and get into the horror that is....
Tentacles comes to us all the way from 1977 and is another Samuel Z Arkoff presentation, which is He Who What Brung You Empire of the Ants.
Tentacles and Empire of the Ants are both actually on the same MGM Midnite Movies disc, but for my money, Tentacles is the more fun of the two. It has more action, more interesting characters, and people actually try to save their own lives when attacked by the monster! Crazy!
We also start our film with a little PSA showing us what could happen when you leave your kids unattended with a mutant killer octopus around:
Let that be a lesson to you, people!
Tentacles is also the movie that inspired a trip down my TV memory lane.
The 70's are a decade that never fail to amaze me - and by that I mean by the level of cheese produced by the film and television industry. However, I am a fan of cheese - especially when it's been aged by about 30 years. I grew up during the 70's, but since I was born just before they started (literally - by days) a lot of my memories of that time is fuzzy around the edge. But give me a nudge in the right direction (like this classic of a film did) and it tends to knock the dust of other memories of things I do remember enjoying back then (and thought I couldn't live without).
The cast is pure 70's goodness. For instance, we have John Huston as the crack reporter, and Claude Akins (!) as the sheriff.
Claude Akins was the John Saxon of the 70's. Which means, pretty much every time you see him on screen, he's playing a cop of some kind. And it also means every time I see him, I'm going to yell out 'Sheriff Lobo!' to nobody in particular.
Which was a spin off from this show (sadly, Sheriff Lobo is NOT found in the opening credits)
And to borrow a quote from the great Barry White, not 'nothin' and nobody could keep me away' from my BJ and the Bear as a kid.
BTW....Now all I can think of when I watch this (and I haven't seen it since the show was on) is how much that f**king cab must REEK of monkey shit. I mean, think about the last time you went to the zoo and visited the primate building - seriously, HOW DID THIS MAN EVER GET ANY CHICKS???? Which is exactly what he did, was hook up with a new female every episode.....all of which, of course, loved the monkey. First thing BJ probably did was get them to change the damn monkey's diaper. Good Times!!! No wonder he had a new woman in every episode, who's going to hook up for a long term relationship with a stinky trucker who lives in a poop filled 18 wheeler and makes you change his monkey's diapers?
Back to the film....
We also have Shelley Winters and we even have Henry Fonda.....who phones in his small part:
I'd like to sum up what makes this movie so much fun using a new segment we've developed here at the Firefly Ranch. A little segment I like to call :
Ah, The 70's!
Where I point out features of this movie that could only exist in the 70's and nowhere else.
Here we go:
Ah, The 70's!
1. Where THIS guy can be the EXPERT on life in the sea:
This would be Bo Hopkins, who's pretty much the 70's version of Matthew McConaughey. Which is a pretty good trick, considering that Matthew McConaughey is pretty much already the 70's version of Matthew McConaughey.
But don't underestimate Bo Hopkins, he's got a pair of these and he's so NOT afraid to use them:
(Think I'm kidding, don't you?)
2. Where Shelley Winters and John Huston can be siblings.....and Shelley can be the hot mama who seduces a new man every night and tells her brother about her recent conquests the next morning:
3. Where THIS is what you wear to take your kid on an outing and five bucks to enter your kid in a sailboat race is highway robbery:
4. Where only CRAZY-ASSES put sunscreen on their kids!!
So, anyway, here's the plot:
Killer. Giant. Octopus.
Well, listen to this:
The octopus also manages to put a damper on the race:
Shit, what is a small oceanside town to do?
Well, thank our lucky stars, we've got not only an EXPERT oceanographer in our midst:
(Apparently a graduate of the Dean Stockwell School of Facial Expressions):
But also he's a Bona Fide Killer Shark Whisperer as well!
So well, apparently, that all he has to do is just ask the Killer Sharks reeeeeeeeel nice like.......
Apparently buttering up your killer whales with a few compliments doesn't hurt either:
And Killer Whales will GLADLY lay the smackdown for you:
That's a killer whale laying the smackdown on an octopus, btw.
And all's well that ends well, apparently.
Only one thing left to do....