Tentacles / Reptilicus (Double Feature Blu-ray / Movie Review)
One good, one bad. That’s what Scream Factory’s Double Feature releases of Tentacles and Reptilicus is all about. Now, can you guess which one is good and which is bad? Here, I’ll help. The good movie comes off as a Jaws rip-off, but does so in a way that actually makes the movie pretty damn enjoyable. The other is Reptilicus…
SUBTITLES: English REGION: A RATING: PG / NR PRODUCTION DATE: 1977 / 1962 RELEASE DATE: June 16th, 2015
A Creature Double Feature!
TENTACLES It’s angry. It’s hungry. It’s extremely well-armed and it’s descending on a small seaside town to sample the local cuisine! John Huston, Shelley Winters, Bo Hopkins and Henry Fonda do all they can to keep a giant marine menace from turning their sleepy village into a one-stop snack-shop in this fast-paced thriller! Directed by cult director/producer Ovidio G. Assonitis (Beyond The Door, The Visitor, The Curse), Tentacles is a menacing jolt-a-thon that’ll grip you with relentless terror and never let go!
REPTILICUS Discover the true meaning of survival of the fittest, as a terrifying creature from the past brings the future to its knees! Packed with thrills, chills and prehistoric spills, Reptilicus proves that “if cats have nine lives, monsters have even more” (Citizen News)! Directed by Sidney W. Pink (writer and producer of the cult films The Angry Red Planet, Pyro), Reptilicus is a spine-chilling creature feature about a cold-blooded 90-foot killer whose time has come… again!
Let’s get right into this movie review and start off with the good movie of the two, Tentacles and no it’s not some weird Japanese porn film, but instead it’s a Jaws rip-off, that is actually enjoyable and has some pretty nifty music in it.
Released in 1977, only 3 years after the wildly successful Jaws, Tentacles switches gears from a deadly shark to a giant killer octopus, who’s tentacles are more deadly than the teeth of a Lion… I guess. On the beaches of a small town in California, a giant octopus is awoken from the depths of the ocean and starts to feed on the locals. First up is a delicious baby, then a boat captain and some tasty scuba divers. Things are getting wildly out of hand and journalist Ned Turner (John Huston) is on the case and trying to figure out exactly what is happening. He teams up with Will Gleason (Bo Hopkins), who is friends with a couple killer whales and they work together to try to take down this giant beast. Of course, this wouldn’t be a horror movie if we didn’t have some killings and holy crap does this movie get harsh with the deaths. No one is safe in this damn film and frankly, I applaud it for having some balls and killing off who it did. The last thing I want to mention about this movie, is the wonderful music by Italian composer Stelvio Cipriani. The music in this movie is awesome. There is just something about it and honestly, I wasn’t expecting such a thumping soundtrack. The big set piece scene of the boat race and octopus attack, has the tension multiplied thanks to the music. On the other hand, the weird freeze frames are extremely out of place, which only happens during this scene.
Okay, I hope I convinced you that Tentacles is a movie that is worth checking out, cause now I got to get to the so bad it’s bad movie on this disc, Reptilicus. Released in 1962 (in colour!), the movie is pretty much terrible all around. The effects are extremely poor, with a giant monster being pulled around on strings. The actors look like they don’t want to be there (although, I do want to point out that Marlies Behrens, who plays Connie, is damn beautiful) and the overuse of dubbing is hilarious. You see, the movie was a joint American-Danish production and most of the cast is Danish, so hardly anyone spoke English. In fact, the beautiful Marlies Behrens is only featured in the American version of the movie, which is dubbed in English, as the original girl (Bodil Miller) couldn’t speak English. It’s a very strange situation and makes the movie feel very cheap and disjointed. Okay, maybe I’m being a little harsh on the movie, as it did come out in 1962, so you can’t expect everything to be spectacular, but come on, I know a bad movie when I see one and Reptilicus is a baaaaad movie. The constant use of stock footage, terrible acting and just plain terrible special effects, make this one movie worth checking out while highly intoxicated only.
Scream Factory has to be commended for trying their best on this release. Tentacles is looking fantastic, with only minimal scratching and audio (LPCM 2.0) that is loud (almost too loud) and clear. Reptilicus, which is actually a brand new HD transfer, is very rough around the edges, with a few scenes that are down right terrible looking, but this is probably the best the movie has ever looked. For the most part, Reptilicus is looking better than it ever deserves to look and the audio (LPCM 2.0) is loud and clear.
Special features are nothing special, with your standard Trailers, Radio Spots and Photo Galleries. Honestly, I wasn’t expecting anything spectacular in the features department and that’s exactly what I got.
BLU-RAY SPECIAL FEATURES
— TENTACLES —
— REPTILICUS —
The one thing I can tell you right off the bat is if you come by this double feature for cheap, pick it up. Tentacles alone is worth the price of the disc and Reptilicus is going to offer some pretty good laughs, albeit painful laughs. The features list is short, but the quality in video and audio is present, it’s just a shame one of the movies brings the score down so much. Fans of drive in monster flicks will get a kick out of this disc, but others may want to wait it out and check out the trailers before plunking down the money for it.
I would rate it higher because of Tentacles, but honestly, Reptilicus is pretty damn bad.