Written by / 4/21/2022 / No comments / , , , , , , , , , , ,

BO HOPKINS IN THE ITALIAN-IMPORT JAWS-TERROR OF 'TENTACLES'

Sherry Buchanan in TENTACOLI Year: 1977 Rates: ****
The haunting techno keyboard riff by one of Quentin Tarantino's long list of sampled bits of soundtrack, Stelvio Cipriani, opens the 1977 Italian-made JAWS-clone exploitation, TENTACLES, on an ominous level that deserves more praise and appreciation to the overall underrated motion picture it envelopes...

With creative camera angles, including a ghost boat being towed in to bay while onlookers both move forward and recede slowly from a reverse crane shot, director Ovidio G. Assonitis, who'd produce THE VISITOR two years later and with a list of cult b-flicks under his belt, works stealthily alongside his stock composer to, like the 1975 Steven Spielberg shark summer blockbuster, not spoil the killer octopus all at once, maintaining some good old fashion implied slowburn suspense in an Alfred Hitchcock fashion...

Poster Art for TENTACLES
While the acting isn't as good as the overall visual, including underwater shots that look nice but tend to obstruct the body count storyline, and anticipating a boat race regalia for an inevitable mid-peak, the acting is good. And yet, John Huston, Shelley Winters (both in THE VISITOR) and Henry Fonda don't have much to do... the first plays a snoopy journalist while the other's young son prepares for that forbiddingly formidable race as Claude Akins's stalwart Sheriff wanders around looking for answers: but it's the always dependable Bo Hopkins... working at at an oceanic theme park with two trusty killer whales and a gorgeous girlfriend Delia Boccardo (with equally gorgeous sister Sherry Buchanan)... seeming too good to be true... 

With experience of Robert Shaw with the scientific know-how of Richard Dreyfuss, Hopkins seems more the "ringer" than even the veterans. The only downfall is how much time's spent on an adventurous third act, taking too long in the open sea to finish — along with the endearing Orca duo (who both thankfully survive!) — the eight-armed monster for good, with the music a typical gallant symphony than the previous mid-tempo dirge, which had supplied the best TENTACLES had to offer with... like in most horror flicks... a great hypnotic buildup.
Opening credits credit for TENTACLES directed by Ovidio G. Assonitis
Delia Boccardo in TENTACLES with Bo Hopkins and John Huston
Delia Boccardo in TENTACLES with Bo Hopkins
Delia Boccardo in TENTACLES 
John Huston and Bo Hopkins in TENTACLES 
Cute sign-in girl from TENTACLES 
Shelley Winters in TENTACLES 
John Huston and Claude Akins in TENTACLES 
Shelley Winters in TENTACLES 
Bo Hopkins from TENTACLES 
Delia Boccardo as Vicky Gleason in TENTACLES aka Tentacoli
Delia Boccardo as Vicky Gleason in TENTACLES aka Tentacoli
Cesare Danova (whose fault everything is) and John Huston in TENTACLES
Sherry Buchanan in TENTACLES
Sherry Buchanan in TENTACLES
Sherry Buchanan in TENTACLES
Delia Boccardo in TENTACLES 
Delia Boccardo as Vicky Gleason in TENTACLES aka Tentacoli
Sherry Buchanan in TENTACLES
Sherry Buchanan in TENTACLES
Sherry Buchanan in TENTACLES
Bo Hopkins, John Huston and Claude Akins in TENTACLES
Bo Hopkins in TENTACLES

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