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Octaman (1971) – Episode 118 – Decades of Horror 1970s

“The octopus is the most intelligent species in the ocean.” And yet, an anthropomorphic version of an octopus saw fit to appear in this film. Join your faithful Grue Crew – Doc Rotten, Chad Hunt, Bill Mulligan, and Jeff Mohr – as they try to figure out exactly what the filmmakers were going for in Octaman (1971).

Decades of Horror 1970s
Episode 118 – Octaman (1971)

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Synopsis: A team of researchers discovers a strange mutation of man and octopus who proceeds to terrorize them.


What does Octaman have going for it, you might ask? It is special effects maestro Rick Baker’s first film credit and it is written, directed, and produced by Harry Essex. 

Jeff points out that Essex also wrote The Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954), It Came from Outer Space (1953), Man Made Monster (1941), and even The Sons of Katie Elder (1965) but he can’t figure out where things went off the rails with Octaman. Doc sees an obvious connection to The Creature from the Black Lagoon and Bill affirms that the suit is the best part of Octaman but with some strong caveats. Doug Beswick’s involvement is emphasized by Chad. And they all wonder, what were they thinking?

Your decades of Horror 1970s Grue-Crew gives a cautious recommendation to Octaman for lovers of schlocky horror films and possibly to Rick Baker or Doug Beswick completists. 

Gruesome Magazine’s Decades of Horror 1970s is part of the Decades of Horror 2-week rotation with The Classic Era and the 1980s. In two weeks, the next episode in their very flexible schedule will be Cry of the Banshee (1970) with the great Vincent Price.

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Jeff Mohr
Jeff lives smack dab in the middle of the cornfields of Iowa and is a long-time horror fan. His first remembered encounters with the genre were The Wizard of Oz, Tarzan gorilla chases, and watching the first broadcast of The Twilight Zone episode, "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge." While he now qualifies as an old fart, he strives to be an Old Boy. Paraphrasing Robert Bloch, he has the heart of a small boy. He keeps it in a jar on his desk. Jeff has written for and SQ Horror Magazine. He currently writes for Gruesome Magazine and is a co-host of the Decades of Horror podcasts - The Classic Era, 1970s, and 1980s - and the Gruesome Magazine Podcast.