Tentacles (1977)

PG | 102 mins | Horror | 1 June 1977

Producer:

E. F. Doria

Cinematographer:

Roberto D'Ettorre Piazzoli

Editor:

A. J. Curi

Production Designer:

M. Spring

Production Company:

Cherkawy Limited
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HISTORY

According to a 28 Apr 1976 Var news item, “Oliver Hellman” is the directing pseudonym of Italian producer Ovidio Assonitis. As stated in Var, Yul Brynner was initially set to star in the picture but was unable to perform due his commitment to a stage tour.
       While a 3 Dec 1975 DV article announced that Assonitis would be producing Tentacles “on and off the Florida coast” in early 1976, Var production charts on 1 Sep 1976 stated that the film began principal photography 20 Jun 1976 in CA. A 14 Jan 1977 DV news item reported that the film had recently finished in Italy. The Italian scenes were shot by Nestore Ungaro and the film’s total budget was $5 million, according to a 13 Jul 1976 DV article.
       Tentacles generally received negative reviews typified by the 2 Sep 1977 LAHExam characterization of the film as “a cheapie Italian rip-off of Jaws” (1975, see ... More Less

According to a 28 Apr 1976 Var news item, “Oliver Hellman” is the directing pseudonym of Italian producer Ovidio Assonitis. As stated in Var, Yul Brynner was initially set to star in the picture but was unable to perform due his commitment to a stage tour.
       While a 3 Dec 1975 DV article announced that Assonitis would be producing Tentacles “on and off the Florida coast” in early 1976, Var production charts on 1 Sep 1976 stated that the film began principal photography 20 Jun 1976 in CA. A 14 Jan 1977 DV news item reported that the film had recently finished in Italy. The Italian scenes were shot by Nestore Ungaro and the film’s total budget was $5 million, according to a 13 Jul 1976 DV article.
       Tentacles generally received negative reviews typified by the 2 Sep 1977 LAHExam characterization of the film as “a cheapie Italian rip-off of Jaws” (1975, see entry).
More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
13 Jun 1977.
---
Daily Variety
3 Dec 1975.
---
Daily Variety
13 Jul 1976.
---
Daily Variety
14 Jan 1977.
---
Films and Filming
Aug 1977.
---
Hollywood Reporter
22 Jun 1977
p. 3, 19.
LAHExam
2 Sep 1976
---
Lawrence Journal-World (KS)
31 May 1977
p. 18.
Los Angeles Times
2 Sep 1977
Section IV, p. 15.
New York Times
4 Aug 1977
p. 14.
Variety
28 Apr 1976
p. 34.
Variety
1 Sep 1976
p. 32.
Variety
15 Jun 1977
p. 20.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
A film produced by Ovidio Assonitis
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Dir and coord of marine and underwater seqs
Asst dir
2d asst dir
2d asst dir
PRODUCERS
Assoc prod
In a film produced by
Exec prod
WRITERS
PHOTOGRAPHY
Cam op
Cam op
Cam op
Asst cam
Set photog
Set photog
Underwater still cams by
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITORS
Film ed
Asst ed
COSTUMES
Cost
MUSIC
Mus comp, arr and cond
CAM Music Publishers
Mus rec at
New York, N.Y.
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff cam op
MAKEUP
PRODUCTION MISC
Exec in charge of prod
Prod asst
Prod asst
International shippers
Diving equip furnished by
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Tentacoli
Release Date:
1 June 1977
Premiere Information:
New York opening: 3 August 1977
Los Angeles opening: 31 August 1977
Production Date:
began 20 June 1976 in CA and Italy
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
Technicolor®
Widescreen/ratio
Technovision®
Prints
Color prints by Movielab
Duration(in mins):
102
MPAA Rating:
PG
Countries:
Italy, United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

In Solana Beach, California, a baby named Jane disappears from a coastal park. Elsewhere, a local man is mysteriously pulled from his boat in the marina and his body later pops up, stripped of all tissue. That night, Sheriff Robards wants to keep the investigation under wraps to prevent people from jumping to conclusions. However, one of his officers wonders if the deaths are related to an underwater tunnel construction project, and veteran journalist Ned Turner suggests a looming catastrophe. Ned works all night on his story and in the morning, his sister, Tillie, expresses her concern for his health. Later, Mr. Whitehead, the president of Trojan Inc., the company digging the tunnel, reads Ned’s story in the newspaper and asks the project manager, John Corey, if there is anything connecting the company to the deaths; Corey denies the claim. At the coroner’s office, a medical examiner confirms to Robards and Ned that both skeletons were stripped clean, but he has no idea how it happened. When Ned suggests bringing in marine biologist Will Gleason, Robards tells him that Gleason has already sent two divers to explore the tunnel site. Later, Ned visits Gleason at his research facility, where he has developed a special bond with killer whales while studying them. Ned asks why Gleason did not personally investigate the deaths and learns that the marine biologist is recovering from a case of decompression sickness, also known as the bends. Meanwhile, Gleason’s divers discuss Corey’s attempted bribe to keep them from inspecting Trojan’s operation on the seafloor. Their dive is later thwarted when they are attacked and killed by a giant octopus. That evening, at a restaurant, Ned confronts ... +


In Solana Beach, California, a baby named Jane disappears from a coastal park. Elsewhere, a local man is mysteriously pulled from his boat in the marina and his body later pops up, stripped of all tissue. That night, Sheriff Robards wants to keep the investigation under wraps to prevent people from jumping to conclusions. However, one of his officers wonders if the deaths are related to an underwater tunnel construction project, and veteran journalist Ned Turner suggests a looming catastrophe. Ned works all night on his story and in the morning, his sister, Tillie, expresses her concern for his health. Later, Mr. Whitehead, the president of Trojan Inc., the company digging the tunnel, reads Ned’s story in the newspaper and asks the project manager, John Corey, if there is anything connecting the company to the deaths; Corey denies the claim. At the coroner’s office, a medical examiner confirms to Robards and Ned that both skeletons were stripped clean, but he has no idea how it happened. When Ned suggests bringing in marine biologist Will Gleason, Robards tells him that Gleason has already sent two divers to explore the tunnel site. Later, Ned visits Gleason at his research facility, where he has developed a special bond with killer whales while studying them. Ned asks why Gleason did not personally investigate the deaths and learns that the marine biologist is recovering from a case of decompression sickness, also known as the bends. Meanwhile, Gleason’s divers discuss Corey’s attempted bribe to keep them from inspecting Trojan’s operation on the seafloor. Their dive is later thwarted when they are attacked and killed by a giant octopus. That evening, at a restaurant, Ned confronts Corey, who refuses to be interviewed. Ned learns that Corey is there to meet with Will and his wife, Vicky. Will tells Ned that the deaths of his divers have made the investigation personal for him. Later, at their hotel, Will promises Vicky that he will not dive deeper than 150 feet. The following day, Ned’s sister Tillie registers her son Tommy and his best friend, Jamie, for an upcoming open-water yacht race. Meanwhile, Robards and Ned discuss what they know about the four deaths and Ned points out that there was radio usage prior to each fatality. During a dive, Will and his assistant, Mike, investigate the scene and discover dozens of dead fish on the ocean floor. Afterwards, Will hypothesizes that Trojan’s illegal use of high-pitched frequencies is wreaking havoc undersea and a giant octopus may be responsible for the deaths. Elsewhere, Vicky’s sister, Judy, and two friends, Don and Chuck, get lost on a sea cruise, where they are attacked and killed by the octopus. Later, Ned calls Whitehead for a reaction to the marine commission findings that attribute the deaths to the tunnel project; Whitehead warns Ned to get a good lawyer if he is going to make baseless accusations. That night, Vicky and two men search for Judy’s boat and become victims to the octopus. The next day, Whitehead reigns in Corey, who admits that he has pushed Trojan’s tests beyond legal limits to save time and money. At police headquarters, a grief-stricken Will shares his findings with Robards and Ned, and Ned asks if Will can kill the octopus. As the junior yacht race begins at the harbor, Robards orders the danger zone to be expanded beyond thirty miles and the race is halted. A Coast Guard helicopter warns the boaters to return to shore, but most of the boats capsize in the high winds and the octopus pulls Tommy and Jamie’s boat under; however, two boats rescue the boys and return them to shore. Tommy is safe, but Jamie is not among the survivors. Later, Will and Mike enlist the help of their killer whales, Winter and Summer, to track down the octopus. As their ship rocks and the whales appear to leave, Will and Mike don their scuba gear and enter the water. There, the octopus strikes. Will is pinned beneath rocks and loses his tank, but the whales return and attack the octopus while Mike shares his oxygen with Will and guides his friend to the surface. The whales continue fighting the octopus until they destroy it. Back aboard the ship, Will assumes the whales have left for freedom and tells Mike he is thinking of going on safari in Africa. However, Summer and Winter return to the ship and serenade the men. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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