Tentacles (1977)

If 1977’s “Orca” was the B-movie version of “Jaws,” then “Tentacles” is its cheapie, rock-bottom refuse. Despite a cast that includes Oscar veterans like John Huston, Shelley Winters, and Henry Fonda, this is downright grindhouse fodder: The Italian setting makes a poor substitute for Los Angeles, there’s a noticeable lack of octopus action, while the movie’s main focus seems to be long-winded conversations between its tired-looking Hollywood royalty of a leading cast. In particular, its treatment of Winters is glaringly problematic, turning the acclaimed actress into a boozy, poorly dressed embarrassment. Similar to 1978’s “Avalanche” and equally deserving of a Rifftrax or Mystery Science Theater 3000 treatment, it at least manages to grab your interest once in a while thanks to the sheer lunacy of watching such a distinguished cast in such a bottom-shelf production, and there’s Stelvio Cipriani’s superior, striking score to liven things up once in a while, but most of its value comes from the ‘WTF’ factor.

Rating: ★★ (out of 5)

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