A giant octopus threatens a beach community. During the course of the movie, the octopus eats a baby, chows down on a one-legged sailor, shoots ink at some scuba divers, swallows up a fatty, gorges itself on a chick in a bikini, and threatens a bunch of kids during a boat race. John Huston (reporter), Bo Hopkins (marine biologist), Shelley Winters (slut), Claude Akins (sheriff), and Henry Fonda (shady industrialist) star and all look thoroughly miserable.
Director Oliver (Beyond the Door) Hellman was responsible for this extremely slow moving and boring killer octopus flick. Instead of concentrating on delivering a handful of quality octopus attacks, Hellman instead gives us a lot of badly edited scenes where former Academy Award winners shamelessly collect a paycheck. Seriously Huston, Oscar called; he wants his award back. The underwater scenes are all waterlogged and there are way too many false scares for the human mind to take. The musical “score” (if you can call it that) will have you reaching for the Excedrin.
Tentacles isn’t the WORST Jaws rip-off of all time but I’ll be damned if it doesn’t come close. (That dubious distinction goes to Deadly Jaws.) There are brief flashes of unintentional humor; although they are few and far between. The scene where the octopus attacked a “yacht” that was clearly a toy boat (Toy boat, toy boat, toy boat, toy boat, toy boat…) was pretty funny; as is the sight of Winters wearing an oversized sombrero for no good reason whatsoever. The most memorable part though comes when Bo Hopkins gives his two trained killer whales a pep talk before sending them out to slay the octopus. That’s right folks; the octopus gets killed by a pair of killer whales!
Now you would think that Bo Hopkins + Killer Whales X Giant Octopus = A Good Time. Sadly, Tentacles is not only the Worst Giant Octopus Movie Ever Made, it’s also the Worst Shelley Winters Movie Ever Made. Quite a feat if you ask me…