SAN FRANCISCO DOOMED! A giant octopus (with five tentacles, making it a quint-o-pus) terrorizes the SF waterfront and tears down a big section of the Golden Gate bridge. Ray Harryhausen designed the creature and claims the budget would not allow for an eight-tentacled model. Whatever the facts are, the monster is rather terrifying, more for its behavior than its appearance. Harryhausen's animated models always look like models to me, because they're filmed in stop-motion, so I never feel as if I'm watching a real monster. Instead, I admire a well-manipulated model of a monster while trying to pretend that the actors are threatened by something more dangerous. This quibble aside, I don't think there's been a better movie made about a giant, violent cephalopod. One doesn't expect an octopus to come up out of the ocean and start wreaking havoc downtown! This one manages to do so while keeping its head under water, more or less.
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The human interest portion of the movie is actually quite interesting, as beautiful Faith Domergue, again impersonating a scientist, gets involved in a romantic triangle with another Ph.D. and a submarine commander. Domergue has one memorably suggestive scene where she eyes a BIG test tube while flirting with a military man she's just met. You'll never guess who gets the girl!
The storyline isn't wildly original, but it is competently constructed, and the climactic assault on San Francisco (probably the scene around which the entire movie was conceived) is exciting.
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