Tentacles (film)

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Ttentacles - Film 1977.jpg
Theatrical release poster by Claudio Casaro
Directed by Ovidio G. Assonitis
(as Oliver Hellman)
Produced by Enzo Doria
Written by Steven W. Carabatsos
Tito Carpi
Jerome Max
Starring John Huston
Shelley Winters
Bo Hopkins
Henry Fonda
Cesare Danova
Music by Stelvio Cipriani
Cinematography Roberto D'Ettorre Piazzoli
Edited by Angelo Curi
Distributed by American International Pictures
Release date
  • 25 February 1977 (1977-02-25) (Italy)
  • 15 June 1977 (1977-06-15) (U.S.)
Running time
90 minutes
Country Italy
United States
Language English
Budget $750,000
Box office $3,000,000

Tentacles (Italian title: Tentacoli) is a 1977 Italian-American horror film directed by Ovidio G. Assonitis and starring John Huston, Shelley Winters, Bo Hopkins and Henry Fonda. Although the film was intended to cash in on the success of Jaws,[1] Tentacles also bears numerous resemblances to the 1955 science fiction horror film It Came from Beneath the Sea.[2]


Solana Beach, a seaside tourist resort, has come under attack by a giant octopus, which captures and devours human swimmers and boaters, picking the skeletons clean of flesh and bone marrow. Marine expert Will Gleason (Hopkins) and crusading newspaper reporter Ned Turner (Huston) suspect the construction of an underwater tunnel by the Trojan company, owned by Mr. Whitehead (Fonda). Trojan has been using radio signals that have been "above regulated levels", somehow maddening the octopus and causing it to attack human beings. In the end, the octopus is killed by Gleason's pair of killer whales.



The film was produced to capitalize on the success of Steven Spielberg's Jaws,[3] and as such was produced on a much smaller budget of $750,000. It was shot on location in Oceanside, Pismo Beach, and San Diego, California. The aquarium sequences were shot at Marineland of the Pacific in Los Angeles County.

The film's score was done by Italian composer Stelvio Cipriani, who scored the similarly Jaws-inspired films The Great Alligator and Piranha II: The Spawning around the same time.


It was released theatrically by American International Pictures in Italy on February 25, 1977,[4] and in the United States on August 3, 1977.[5]

The film was released on DVD by MGM in 2005 as part of their Midnite Movies series. The disc was a double feature release, pairing the film with Empire of the Ants.[6][7]

The film grossed $3,000,000.[8]


On Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 0% based on seven reviews, with a weighted average rating of 2.6 out of 10.[9] In a contemporary review, Variety noted that although "John Huston, Shelley Winters and Henry Fonda may bolster prospects", they "are all squandered in this one, thanks to a leaden script plus wooden direction by Oliver Hellman (who's also producer Ovidio Assonitiz)".[10][11]

See also[edit]



  1. ^ Kim Newman. Nightmare Movies: Horror on Screen Since the 1960s. Bloomsbury Publishing, 2011, p. 93. ISBN 9780786435562.
  2. ^ William Schoell. Creature Features: Nature Turned Nasty in the Movies. McFarland, 2008, p. 139. ISBN 9780786435562.
  3. ^ Tentacles at the MGM Archive
  4. ^ "Cinema a Roma - Tentacoli (prima)" (in Italian). unita.it. Retrieved Jul 3, 2016.
  5. ^ "Movies Around Town - Tentacles". New York Magazine. Retrieved Jul 3, 2016.
  6. ^ "Empire Of The Ants / Tentacles (DVD)". dvddrive-in.com. Retrieved Jul 3, 2016.
  7. ^ "Tentacles (1977) suckered me thirty years ago". blackholereviews.blogspot.it. Retrieved Jul 3, 2016.
  8. ^ Richard Nowell. 'Blood Money: A History of the First Teen Slasher Film Cycle. Continuum, 2011, p. 257. ISBN 9781441143167.
  9. ^ "Tentacles (1977) - Rotten Tomatoes". Rotten Tomatoes.com. Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 31 October 2017.
  10. ^ Willis 1985, p. 317: "Review is of 102 minute version viewed in London on June 15, 1977"
  11. ^ Willis 1985, p. 318: "Review is of 102 minute version viewed in London on June 15, 1977"


  • Willis, Donald, ed. (1985). Variety's Complete Science Fiction Reviews. Garland Publishing Inc. ISBN 978-0-8240-6263-7.

External links[edit]