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Tentacles/reptiilicus - blu-ray review


2 stars

Those barking mad hounds of horror over at Scream Factory are back at it once again with their latest creature double feature blu-ray release. This time they take the mutations under the water with 1976’s Tentacles and 1962’s Reptilicus. As much as I am a solid sucker for trashy B-movies, this release is definitely top heavy with director/producer Ovidio G. Assonitis’ Tentacles emerging as the true champ of this quirky contest.

Starring John Huston, Shelley Winters, Bo Hopkins, and Henry Fonda, the success of Tentacles has more to do with its cast than it does with its undersea monster. This oversized squid is angry and hungry and attacks people left and right in however manner it sees fit. While there’s a good deal of suspense created in the buildup to each attack, Tentacles is a relatively bloodless affair. Yes, you guessed it, Assonitis’ movie is another Jaws knock-off. The cinemas were full of them in the late 1970s and you can’t really blame these opportunistic B-movie releases. Everyone wanted to cash in while the fear was still vivid about things just below the surface of the water that are trying to eat you.

Tentacles is cheap and gimmicky and, with a synth score that is as interesting as it is creepy, all about its era. Part of why it works as well as it does as minor imitation is that it retains the Corman-like flair even though Corman and AIP had nothing to do with its release. The flair that I specifically want to address is the death of a baby and the fact that a couple of killer whales are what saves the small sleepy seaside village from this giant-sized marine menace. Roger would certainly go there.

Reptilicus is easily the worst monster to be featured in a creature flick. He is laughably silly (in that so bad it will make you laugh way) and, as he regrows from severed limbs, never truly dead. The film, full of horribly awful acting highlighted by Dirch Passer’s attempts at comic relief as the night watchman, has promise in its 90-foot cold-blooded killer on the loose but only delivers a product of silly scientific mumbo-jumbo. I can laugh at this all I want but – about halfway through the picture – everything stops and suddenly, without warning, the movie becomes a tourist guide for travelling Denmark. I shit you not. All the drama subsides and the picture is suddenly filled with stock footage and narration on what two people did on their date as they “discovered” Denmark.

Produced by American International Pictures and Saga Studio, Reptilicus is actually two different movies directed by two different people that was spliced together to make one single film. No wonder, then, that the film is a flop and a half of silliness. This was common practice for AIP back in the day especially when trying to salvage a pretty crappy movie. You have to know the waters with this blu-ray release. Both of these flicks are fun and inconsequential and, for someone somewhere out there, belong in their collection.


[tab title="Blu-ray Review"]

Tentacles/reptiilicus - blu-ray review


Blu-ray Details:

Available on Blu-ray - June 16, 2015
Screen Formats:
: English
English: LPCM 2.0 (48kHz, 24-bit)
Discs: 50GB Blu-ray Disc; Single disc (1 BD)
Region Encoding: A

The 1080p transfer is an upgrade from previous versions. Colors are well-saturated. Black levels are strong. The contrast is high. While there is still some damage to the source material, nothing is too distracting from watching killer whales protect stupid humans and a prehistoric creature spit nuclear slime. The release is offered in a serviceable DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 track. 



  • None

Special Features:

  • For Scream Factory, this double creature feature is a fairly bare-boned release. There are only theatrical trailers attached.


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