A bizarre legend wrapped in terror and written in blood.

A team of researchers led by Dr. Rick Torres (Kerwin Mathews) and his girlfriend Susan Lowry (Pier Angeli) are in Mexico on a mission to investigate reports of radiation in the waters near a small village. In addition to unsafe levels of radiation they find a small mutated octopus that crawls on land.

Rick attempts to get additional funding to continue his research; unfortunately he is denied the money he needs. In desperation he makes a deal with a rancher and sideshow oddity exploiter Johnny Caruso (Jerome Guardino). Rick gets the funding he needs and Caruso gets whatever rubber and latex oddities they find. While Torres and Lowry are gone the mutated Octaman raids the camp to rescue a mutated baby octopus. In the process he kills whoever is in the camp.

When Rick and Susan return to camp in their RV they find it deserted and no baby octopus. One of the villagers, Davido (David Essex) tells Rick the story of a local legend concerning a creature that is half man and half sea serpent. He offers to take them to where this creature lives. Octaman follows the expedition killing people and rescuing baby octopuses as it travels.

Octaman keeps attacking the RV. When it kidnaps Susan, the rest of the team devise a way to rescue her and trap the beast at the same time. The monster is secured with a net and tranquilized. During the night a storm revives it and it escapes only to return again with unfinished business.

“Octaman” was released in 1971 and was written and directed by Harry Essex. It is a Mexican/American venture. The Octaman suit was created by Rick Baker and Doug Beswick. Probably something Baker did as a child and had hanging in the back of his closet. I believe it may have been his first monster so we will cut him some slack. Actually that’s not fair. Baker was 21 at the time and the monster is loads of fun. It’s the best part of the movie.

One can’t help but compare this movie to “Creature from the Black Lagoon” in some ways. (which Harry Essex also wrote) The creature’s home is invaded. The creature falls for the woman and takes her to a cave. The men try to rescue her. The monster even devises a trap blocking their path. Perhaps that’s why it seemed more like a 50’s style “B” movie.

If you are looking for Jeff Morrow you will be pretty disappointed. He only appears for a minute or two towards the beginning of the movie.

The movie is OK. It’s a so bad it’s good movie. The acting is so-so and, other than the Octaman, the feel of the movie is a little off. Could be the directing or the dialogue or both. It doesn’t matter. What matters is the silly monster. It’s what makes the movie endearing. Whenever it is on screen, none of the other draw backs matter. If you like silly monsters, just the visual of this creature slapping people in the face with its rubber tentacles is adorable.