Ahh, the memories I have of the inconsistent search for this movie. I first saw a brief portion when I was 7 or 8 and was channel surfing one Saturday afternoon and caught the end of a movie where this octopus man is hiding in an RV and starts attacking people. This was back in the days before internet and easy access to being able to find almost anything so I was never really able to find out what the movie was. Then, years later I was home sick and watching daytime TV (like you do) and lo and behold, a movie came on about an octopus man. So I finally learned the name of the movie but it would be decades later before I would actually get around to buying today’s movie, Octaman.
The plot: Dr. Rick Torres and his partner Susan Lowry are doing a study of the water near a remote Mexican fishing village and find that it is contaminated with high levels of radiation. Rick is planning on cutting his trip short to report his findings when his assistant Mort shows up with a strange looking octopus that he caught in a pail. Going with Mort to where he captured the octopus, they release it and observe it crawling on land towards the river but recapture it and Rick plans on taking it with him back to the states to ask for more funding, unaware that they are being observed by the octopus’s parent. After Rick and Susan leave, a second octopus is found and one of their team is starting to cut it when he is attacked by a humanoid octopus, which quickly kills the man before grabbing it’s offspring and heading back into the river. In the states, Rick goes to show his boss, Dr. John Willard, the octopus but discovers it has died while being transported. Despite his arguing for more funding, John doesn’t see much of a connection between Rick’s work and the creature and says he won’t be able to help so Rick decides to look elsewhere. He ends up going to see his friend Steve, who is a horse wrangler/animal trainer for Johnny Caruso, a circus owner, who agrees to help fund an expedition so long as he can find something that will make a great circus attraction. Heading back down to Mexico in an RV, they find the camp deserted and the dead body of the worker in the tent. The next day, Mort returns with some men from a nearby village and tells Rick what happened. One of the villagers, Davido, tells Rick of a legend his grandmother tells him of a creature that is half man/half sea serpent which lives in a lake and killed his father and offers to take Rick there. Rick and the others leave with Davido while the two other villagers head back to the village but they are attacked and killed by the octaman. As Rick and the others are making their way to the lake, they find another specimen of the octopus but are unable to catch it so Rick decides to make camp in the area. As Rick, Susan, Mort, Steve, and Davido go out looking for more of the octopuses, Johnny is attacked by the octaman and calls for help but he is soon rendered unconscious while Carlos is killed. When the others return, Johnny is unable to tell them what happened and he stays in the RV with Susan while the others search the area. The octaman returns and starts attacking the RV but Susan starts blowing the horn to alert the others while Johnny tries shooting it. The octaman disappears and Rick decides to try and capture it. Rick, Mort, and Stevehead out in the boat but as the look for it, the creature grabs Mort and drags him overboard. Rick and Steve are able to rescue him but the creature heads back to the RV and manages to capture Susan. It starts trying to take her to the lake but Rick and Steve use their flashlights to blind the creature. As the creature sets Susan down, Rick uses some gasoline to make a ring around the creature then sets it on fire, then quickly grabs Susan and carries her to safety while the fire burns up the oxygen around the creature and causes it to fall unconscious. Using a net to hold the creature down, Steve shoots it with a tranquilizer while Rick and Johnny argue about whether the creature should be killed or not. That night, a storm manages to revive the creature and it gets free from the net but Susan is able to communicate with it and get it to leave. The next day, Rick and the others continue towards the lake when they come across some fallen trees blocking their path. As they work on clearing the way, Davido looks around and sees the creature heading into a cave and tells the others. Rick and the others decide to let it be but when Davido insists on going after it, they reluctantly follow. Making their way into the cave, they soon discover the creature has managed to get behind them and causes a cave in, trapping them in the cave. Noticing some water trickling down from an opening, Davido climbs up it and finds a way out for them and they all climb to safety. They make their way back to the RV only to discover the octaman waiting for them inside. The creature starts attacking them, killing Johnny in the process, but Susan manages to convince it to just take her. As it starts to carry her towards the lake, Rick and the other try to rescue her and while they distract it,F Susan pulls out a gun she was carrying and shoots it. The creature lets Susan go and after she gets to safety, the others start shooting at the creature until it finally falls into the lake and sinks to the bottom as it dies.
One of those 70’s low budget sci-fi movies that are so much fun to watch. The acting was pretty decent and while I don’t know for sure if some of the voices were dubbed or the actors were just using bad accents but either way, some of the characters sounded bad. The story was honestly a pretty typical sci-fi piece, using the 50’s popular theme of radiation to explain how the creature came about. The special effects were definitely on the low end but to be fair, there were some even worse monster costumes to come out at that time so it was definitely not the worst to come out. If you like low budget monster movies, then this is one you might want to watch.
Rating: 3 out of 5