Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|It Came from Beneath the Sea|
Actors: Kenneth Tobey, Faith Domergue, Donald Curtis, Ian Keith, Dean Maddox Jr.
Directors: Richard Schickel, Robert Gordon
Genres: Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy
A giant stop-motion-animated octopus (with six arms) attacks San Francisco. A pair of scientists and a nuclear sub captain try to stop it before it tears down the Golden Gate Bridge. Stunning special effects by Ray Ha... more »
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Damian M. (ratchet)
Reviewed on 3/11/2009...
A middle-of-the-road effort from FX wizard Ray Harryhausen. Of course his portion was top notch, but the story wasnt as good as some of his later works. A giant octopus is attacking ships at sea and is eventually tracked to the San Fran bay. Why they didnt just let attack the city I will never know. But they do.
1 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
Out of primordial depths to destroy the world!
cookieman108 | Inside the jar... | 03/17/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Legendary producer Charles H. Schneer, the man behind such films as Earth vs. the Flying Saucers (1956), 20 Million Miles to Earth (1957), The 7th Voyage of Sinbad (1958), Jason and the Argonauts (1963), and Clash of the Titans (1981), and technical effects master Ray Harryhausen (back in the day they were called technical effects, not special effects), the man behind the eye popping effects of all the movies listed above, comes It Came From Beneath the Sea (1955), a rousing tale of scary sea beast from the greatest depths of the ocean floor rising to satisfy its' insatiable hunger on us tasty humans. The film stars Tobey Keith, who many may remember from the quintessential sci-fi thriller The Thing From Another World (1951) and Faith Domergue from This Island Earth (1955) as Cmdr. Pete Mathews and Professor Lesley Joyce, respectively.
The movie opens on the maiden voyage, or shake down cruise, of the United States newest, most advanced, and spiffiest atomic submarine, with Cmdr. Pete Mathews in charge. Things seem to be going well, that is, until a large object is appears on the ping ping machine, sonar I think they called it, making a beeline for the sub. What is it? What could it be? If you've seen the front of the DVD case, then you probably know it's a giant octopus, so I don't feel I am giving anything away here. Why does a giant octopus attack the submarine? It's actually explained pretty well further into the movie, so I will leave it to that. After some tactical maneuvering, the submarine gets free with the crew unable to determine what actually happened. Once in port for repairs, a huge piece of organic material is found caught in the flaps or something of the submarine, and some specialists are called in to investigate. Enter Professor Joyce and some other dude (actually, it's Donald Curtis, an actor who appeared in more movie than I care to count throughout the 40's and into the 50's). Commander Pete gets the google eyes for Professor Joyce, but is unsure of her relationship with the other scientist dude, and thus sets up the screwy romantical subplot someone thought needed to be in the film. Finally, after weeks of intensive research, the scientists believe they have identified the organic material to be from a humongous cephalopod (octopus to you and I...yeah, those scientist types have odd names for everything. They need to learn to speak English good like you and me). The military big wigs are skeptical, which infuriates Professor Joyce, but their reaction seemed the right one as not to run around starting a panic and go off half-cocked. Anyway, the octopus starts tearing into shipping lanes, thus confirming the fact that it is real, and the hunt is on. The United States Navy vs. the giant, grabby octopus...get your tickets now, as they are going fast.
The special effects by Harryhausen look great, with the octopus attacking a ship for the soft, chewy occupants, dragging itself on to coastal areas to grab a few landlubbers, and ripping up the Golden Gate Bridge. I had read that the octopus only has six arms, as budgetary constraints did not allow for the extra expense of animating all eight limbs, so it was proposed that the two limbs we don't see are always submerged. The action during the scenes with the octopus is pretty fast and intense, so I didn't even notice this minor issue. The acting was pretty good, for the most part, and there is copious amount of stock footage, some of which the quality was pretty poor, making it stand out against the really good-looking picture quality. At least the footage used was relevant and pretty exciting stuff, most dealing with naval ships and depth charges being set off in the water...BOOOOOM!!! The idea of a giant octopus dragging itself on land to feed on the puny humans (the cephalopod was HUGE) seemed pretty `out there', but allowed for some cool scenes of the creature trashing buildings and such. Maybe next time those civilians will heed the civil defense sirens, those that didn't get all squished or ate up...hee hee...I will admit, the movie was a bit campy at times, but it's a lot of fun, and fairly fast paced at a run time of 79 minutes.
The quality of the print is really nice and clean, and presented in wide screen anamorphic. Special features include a trailer for the film and other Harryhausen movies, along with one for Close Encounters of the Third Kind. The featurette `This is Dynamation' is here, along with documentary `The Harryhausen Chronicles', both of which I've seen on other releases.
Good Film But More Bland Than Most Harryhausen Films
Kent | Iowa United States | 05/04/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I had never seen the film until this past week when I picked it up at a local Borders store for $15. To tell you the truth, I had some high hopes for the films, but like most monster films of the era, the monster's time was limited and short. So I wasn't expecting too much.
The film starts out pretty slow with Ken Tobey and his sub crew trying to figure out what they got themselves caught up in (the octopus).
The human parts of the film are like any other monster film where a man falls in love with a beautiful woman and they love each other in the end. The acting is pretty decent but seems to drag on for FAR too long! Plus the monster scenes were much shorter in this one compared to other Harryhausen films which was disappointing.
Overall, the film does deliver and is an enjoyment. But the overdone human drama and very few scenes of the octopus make this movie somewhat dull. A good film, but not one of Harryhausen's best as far as entertainment value."
Kent | 03/12/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Finally Kenneth Tobey's Sci-Fi movies are coming out on DVD. I'm waiting for the Beast from 20,000 fathoms and The Thing from another World. I would like to see all 3 colorized. I think all three movies are great, especially The Thing from Another World. I would definitely buy them all. The thing is 5 stars and 4 stars for The Beast from 20,000 fathoms. These were 3 of my favorites as a young boy."