52 - Tentacles (1977)
How did this get made? That's the question I have asked myself for the past three weeks since this garbage movie came into my life. There hasn't been a day that's gone by that this movie has not been in the back of mind: reminding me it exists, reminding me that millions of talented filmmakers will never get the chance to make anything with even a fraction of the budget this film had; it's proof that life isn't fair.
So how did three Oscar winners end up in this abomination? Nobody knows. Maybe the producers offered a nice paycheck or maybe they had compromising photos, in any case the existence of this movie and it's production is a pure enigma. Remembered by nearly nobody, Tentacles would be just another forgotten film that tried and failed to rip-off the success and formula of Jaws.
The problem with Tentacles is not that it's ripping off a better movie, it's that it's lazy; the worst kind of lazy you could imagine. It's a movie that literally laughs in your face for buying a ticket and sitting in your seat, "We got your money!". Don't believe me? Well how about the scene where Oscar winner John Huston (yes that's right, THE John Huston) decides to call the killer Octopus a Giant Squid. Not only did he or anybody else not notice this on the set, nobody in the editing bay did either, and it made it all the way to the screen; a scene in which your protagonist calls the monster octopus a giant squid. Nobody cared.
Don't think it stops there. Shelley Winters, in one of the most insane performances ever documented on film, runs around like an escaped mental patient screaming and flubbing lines like she was snorting lines right before they called action. Not only is there a scene where she dons the most baffling hat in cinema history (with absolutely no context as to where it came from and why it's in the movie) but she forgets the name of her son towards the end of the film and ad libs an entire scene about the bathroom habits of a 9 year old boy. Again, nobody cared.
Henry Fonda (two years away from winning an Oscar) almost never stands and spends over half his screen time on the phone. He apparently only worked on this film for a day and it truly shows. He could not care less, I'm not even sure he read a script or knew what he was supposed to say.
This is what's wrong with Hollywood. This movie. This is what they think the people want, more of the same, more movies like other movies. It's not that it's bad, it's that it's lazy. I highly recommend you try and sit through the movie. I patiently await your thoughts.