The action is wet and wild in this sci-fi thriller that pits man - and woman - against a giant octopus. Submarine commander Pete Mathews (Kenneth Tobey) and scientists Lesley Joyce (Faith Domergue) and John Carter (Donald Curtis) battle an angry sea monster driven from the depths of the ocean by anH-bomb explosion. In search of non-contaminated food, this tentacled tyrant counts among its victims a fishing trawler and its passengers, a family sunning at the beach, several San Francisco skyscrapers and even the Golden Gate Bridge! A daring attempt by the scientists to destroy the monster while saving themselves is a gripping finale to this aquatic adventure. The riveting special effects were created by Ray Harryhausen.
Two years after unleashing The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms
upon New York City, master special-effects creator Ray Harryhausen turned loose a giant (albeit six-armed) octopus on San Francisco, and the result is another enjoyable atom-age adventure that should please fans of vintage science fiction. Kenneth Tobey, who battled The Thing (From Another World)
in 1951, stars as a Navy captain who pursues a monstrous octopoid (sextapoid?) after it attacks his atomic sub. After it wreaks havoc with shipping lanes, he tracks the creature to San Francisco for a final showdown. Scripting by George Worthing Yates (Them!
) and Hal Smith and direction by Robert Gordon are perfunctory at best, which gives the always-reliable Tobey and co-star Faith Domergue little to do, but this is Harryhausen's show, and his monster, though budgetarily restrained, is still impressive. Younger audiences weaned on digital FX may find this creaky, but nostalgic viewers will enjoy its simple thrills. --Paul Gaita