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Written by / 11/18/2017 / No comments / , , , , , , , , , , ,

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

Year of Release: 1977 aka Tentacoli
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 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...

Cult Curve Score: ****1/2
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, seems too good to be true, or to last...  who is the true main character here....

A cross between Robert Shaw's hunter Quint but with the friendly countenance of Richard Dreyfuss, Bo seems more the "ringer" than even the veterans. The only downfall is how much time's spent on, like in JAWS, an adventurous third act in which this Hooper-Quint hybrid takes way too long in the open sea to finish off — along with the endearing Orca duo (who both thankfully survive!) — the eight-armed monster for good. 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... the (in this case fairly long and entertaining) metronomic buildup.
Opening credits credit for TENTACLES directed by Ovidio G. Assonitis
Delia Boccardo as Vicky Gleason in TENTACLES aka Tentacoli
Delia Boccardo in TENTACLES aka Tentacoli with Bo Hopkins
Sherry Buchanan in TENTACLES aka Tentacoli
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