It Came from Beneath the Sea - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

It Came from Beneath the Sea Reviews

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Super Reviewer
½ May 15, 2013
The second big monster from the deep for Harryhausen and again its all down to those pesky atomic bomb tests the US keep doing. This time they have disturbed a gigantic octopus from the Mindanao Deep, but not only have they upset this big boy, they have also made him radioactive which makes it very hard to catch his usual meals. So up he comes to the surface to chow down on lots of yummy humans in and on board various vessels, canned food.

So if you just scratch beneath the surface (no pun intended) you will easily see the similarity with his previous film 'The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms'. Cut down this is simply the exact same film with a slight change in story and of course a different beastie. Instead of a mighty lizard we have a mighty octopus.

To be really brutally honest I found this film a tad on the dull side, I'll say this again and again but these films are all about the creatures and unfortunately this film doesn't have as much. Now I'm not saying its a bad film, its just not as thrilling, there is a lot of dialog revolving around trying to find out what is causing the damage and deaths, and then how to kill it, plus there's a fair bit of dull romance too. So overall we don't get tonnes of monster mashing I'm afraid.

On the plus side this enormous cephalopod looks terrific! possibly even better than the lizard from '20,000', its actually quite realistic too. I love the way the tentacles reach out from the depths and crane over bridges, ports, buildings etc...slowly slithering their way along feeling for food. The Golden Gate Bridge sequence is still awesome to see, watching this sea monster coil itself around the bridge stanchion.

Love how these films always have a few good looking heroic male characters that take control. One old guy who is the brains behind all the plans and just one attractive female to keep things exciting for the boys during the action hehe. Its all so chauvinistic yet curiously charming and amusing at the same time. Another fun thing to point out in these old films is the large amount of narration, the way it explains the simple plot clearly because they thought people wouldn't understand haha hmm maybe we should have more of that these days.

The film comes to life towards the end as we see the Octopus strike. The use of flamethrowers to push the monster back into the sea is another really well created sequence. Up to then I can't deny its a bit of a struggle in places leaving you gagging for some in your face Harryhausen effects, but overall its still classic stuff. Ironic that weapons of mass destruction always create these ferocious problems yet they still resort to using them to attempt to solve the problem. Its all very nautical yet not a salty seadog in sight.

6.5/10
Super Reviewer
February 11, 2012
Standard 50's B movie trash that is complete with cheesy dialogue, unnecessary narration, wacky science, military stock-footage, and stiff acting. The only reason to see this movie is for the Ray Harryhausen giant octopus, but even then the giant octopus is only in the movie for a total of ten minutes.
FilmFanatik
Super Reviewer
January 2, 2012
Here is the last film in the Ray Harryhausen boxed set. It Came From Beneath the Sea contains enough boring dialogue, character flaws and bad acting to be crammed into ten other bad films. Yeah I guess I'm being a bit cynical, but these films really do not hold up on any level. Like the rest, their effects are impressive for their time, but don't hold up because of the lack of magic in the other areas. I burst out laughing when the lead female stands up for herself in a very feministic way, then just screams her head off when the monster pops up out of nowhere. Talk about your character flaws. Anyway, like I said, this wasn't good, and neither are most of the films Harryhausen worked on during this era. Trash B movies to the core.
Super Reviewer
September 5, 2010
The title says it all, this movie is about a giant sea creature. They have to stop it. This is probably my favourite giant monster movie.
Super Reviewer
½ December 29, 2009
I saw this movie on TNT when i was like 10 on late night T.V.TNT's Monster Vision it was awesome! The Stop-Motion Octopus effects are great & look very realistic & still hold up today, Harryhausen did a great job! The Film is about atomic testing in the pacific. The H-Bomb Tests that mutate an already gigantic Octopus octopus into an even bigger monster & it becomes radioactive. Submarine commander Pete Matthews played by Kenneth Tobey (The Thing From Another World '51, The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms '53 & The Vampire '57.) he & his crew get attacked by it in the beginning. Then he meets up with beautiful marine biologist Leslie Joyce brilliantly played by Faith Domergue,(Cult Of The Cobra '55, This Island Earth '55, The Atomic Man '56, Voyage To The Prehistoric Planet '65 (M>TV), Legacy Of Blood '70 & House Of Seven Corpses '73) She & John Carter another biologist discover an enormous octopus after several attacks on ships, & boats plus an encounter they live themselves action must be taken, to protect the people & city of San Francisco. In the climax the monster attacks San Fran. even the famed Golden Gate Bridge & Embarkidaro Tower are demolished. Great entertainment with thrills & chills. Got this on DVD in 2004 My favorite Harryhausen Film! Looking forward to the Jan. 2008 Colorized 2-Disc Special Edition DVD Release which Legend Films will not be colorizing it as they did 20 Million Miles To Earth (1957) which I have & is pretty impressive. West Wing Studios are supposed to do It Came From Beneath The Sea I hope it has some nice exclusive special features like the Colorized 20 Million. Audio Commentary, Video Interview with Ray & an Image Gallery those at least. I am not sure if it will include the B&W Version. Columbia Tri-Stars recent DVD wasn't that great only extra it has was the trailer. I got It Came & Earth vs. 2-Discs they are really awesome! & have the movies remastered in Hi-Def with 5.1 Surround why didn't 20 Million have 5.1 Surround? oh well. I love the colorized versions for both films & the technology has improved & looks much better then the 80's Colorizing Process like done to King Kong which looked awful. I am not hip on Colorization but Legend Films has been doing a great job on Films like Ray's & others. Anyway if u hate Colorization so much both Discs also include the original B&W Versions with a toggle between feature which I found annoying on my one DVD Player every time the chapter changed a small camera popped up in the corner & I couldn't make it go away quite annoying! otherwise perfect DVD's with nice special features. Far surperior to the old Columbia Tri-Star DVD Releases from a few years back.
flixsterman
Super Reviewer
½ February 4, 2009
Never trust an octopus with less than eight tentacles.
dietmountaindew
Super Reviewer
December 20, 2007
one of the early stop motion animations about monster beneath the sea, and this time the haunting creature shall be a giant octopus which was made six feet just becuz the filmmaker'd like to save some budget and also the fluency of its operative motion.

the premise of nature striking back against human exploitive tramping is apocalytically enlightening, and the notion of h bomb driving a deep-sea creature away from its marine lodge to the ocean horizon is offbeat. further the chemical radiation cause nausea of the giant octopus to enjoy its rountined seafood, so it's compelled to eat humans to survive.

the storyline is densely built in good action flick sequence, and one of the best subplots would be the affirmed female individuality which is condensed in the role of the woman scientist whose interllectuality and determination are well strategied. and one remarkable scene would be the de-constructive collapse of the golden gate bridge in san franscisco.

despite this production is roughly made under the lack of progressive technology, but the sense of exerted human touch under the raw stop motion technique is childlikely endearing as if one boy who plays his giant big toy contrived by his vivid imaginations about monster.
Super Reviewer
October 8, 2008
A solid giant monster movie that is suffering from the limitation due to the choice of the giant adversary of mankind. Yes, Harryhausen did his best to animate the giant octopus and hell, it looks good as usual, but there is only so much you can do with a giant beast living in the water. Once it took on a ship and a bridge, that's about it, which is plenty but not enough to make this a masterpiece because there is essentially no showdown between the heroes and the monsters as they cannot come face to face. Also, the Octopus is kind of less menacing than it could be, because it's motivation is kind of innocent and feral instead of vile (like a giant spider or shark), so I kind of feel bad for it. All in all, you will enjoy this if you are a fan of b-movies, Harryhausen, science mumbo jumbo and cheesy acting. Kenneth Tobey is actually quite good but there is not much material to work with here. The forced 'love interest' is going nowhere. I am not sure if the director tried to create something edgy but the bizarre love-triangle thing really puzzled me, but it does not matter, because it feels out of place in the first place anyway.

Good for genre enthusiasts and Harryhausen fans
alanjayh
Super Reviewer
½ November 13, 2008
Kenneth Tobey once again plays his standard character (smoking a cigarette, womanizing, and with a cup of coffee in his hand)..this time he is up against a huge octopus. The special effects for their time truly are special; this classic lacks suspense and tends to drag in the middle of the story...the love triangle also seems awkward and out of place and only detracts from the plot ....despite these flaws, those who enjoy the 50s sci-fi flicks should give this a go!
April 24, 2014
The effects are great, but the characters and plot is pretty stale. The ending is a bit meager and the action doesn't take off enough. There aren't a lot of monster scenes, but each one is pretty memorable.
½ July 19, 2012
I have to admit, the Octopus creature looks very good in this film, especially for it being 1955. There were a lot of slow parts in this film, which made it an ok 1950s B-movie.
½ October 6, 2011
As far as 50's monster movies go, this is quite good. For its time, these special effects where crazy awesome. As they stand now, they still look pretty good as far as stop-start animation is concerned.

The acting isn't great, but it isn't terrible either. Tobey plays the same womanizing, chain-smoking d-bag he played his entire career, and comes dangerously close to date-rape in several instances. Pacing is a bit of a concern, as the plot dwindles for the entire middle of the film, but picks up quite a bit towards the climax. A couple scenes actually manage to be fairly frightening; the first scene on the submarine first and foremost.

A major drawback for me was the narration of the film. It just instantly removes you from any sense of realism. The script is also a gripe as alot of the dialogue seems pretty forced. In addition, the romance angle between Domergue and Tobey doesn't add much to the story and its clear that neither actor enjoyed having to lock lips with the other.

When all is said and done, this isn't a great movie, but it is solid. Its also quite apparent the influence that this movie had on later films, and for that, its should be considered a classic.
½ December 6, 2011
As far as 50's monster movies go, this is quite good. For its time, these special effects where crazy awesome. As they stand now, they still look pretty good as far as stop-start animation is concerned.

The acting isn't great, but it isn't terrible either. Tobey plays the same womanizing, chain-smoking d-bag he played his entire career, and comes dangerously close to date-rape in several instances. Pacing is a bit of a concern, as the plot dwindles for the entire middle of the film, but picks up quite a bit towards the climax. A couple scenes actually manage to be fairly frightening; the first scene on the submarine first and foremost.

A major drawback for me was the narration of the film. It just instantly removes you from any sense of realism. The script is also a gripe as alot of the dialogue seems pretty forced. In addition, the romance angle between Domergue and Tobey doesn't add much to the story and its clear that neither actor enjoyed having to lock lips with the other.

When all is said and done, this isn't a great movie, but it is solid. Its also quite apparent the influence that this movie had on later films, and for that, its should be considered a classic.
November 18, 2011
Starring: Kenneth Tobey, Faith Domergue, Don Curtis, and Chuck Griffiths
Director: Robert Gordon

A giant octopus-like sea monster rises from the deepest canyons of the Pacific Ocean to attack experimental nuclear submarines and the San Francisco waterfront.



A bit slow-moving by modern standards, this is nonetheless a fine example of the "giant sea-monster runs amok due to the radiation from atomic bomb tests" that was kicked off by "The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms" and "Gorjira" (aka "Godzilla").

The main attraction of the film is, of course, the rampaging creation, which is "octopus-like" because it actually only has six arms. It's not bad as far as these movies go, particularly during the sequence where it's tearing down the Golden Gate Bridge. According to movie legend, the notoriously budget-conscious producer Sam Katzman only gave animator Ray Harryhausen enough time and money to build a six-armed creature. (I suspect there are many execs at present-day Warner Bros., Disney, Universal, and Sony Pictures [formerly Columbia] who would give their right arms for someone like Katzman or Mario Bava to come back from the dead and share their methods for making good looking movies on the cheap with the current crop of big spending producers and directors.)

As for the human cast, the acting and characters are typical for a 1955 sci-fi flick. The most interesting character in the film, especially considering its vintage, is Dr. Lesley Joyce, played by Faith Domergue. While early in the film she seems to be mooning over her male scientific colleague and rival early in the film, and ultimately shifts her affections to a submarine commander, unlike most women characters of this period finding a hubby and giving up her career in exchange for staying home and having kids and mixing his martinis at night. Domergue's character is strong-willed without being shrewish and career-oriented without being frigid--as her final lines of the film drive home when she puts off a romantic advance by Kenneth Tobey's naval officer by stating that they can continue when she's back from her long-time planned scientific expedition to the Nile river.

Although the budgetary constraints are occasionally evident--I really think Katzman and Gordon's vision for the Golden Gate bridge sequence mixing live action actors with animated monster mayhem outstripped the money and time at their disposal--this is still a film that's well worth the time of anyone who enjoys 1950s sci-fi flicks.
December 13, 2009
It Came from Beneath the Sea (1955) -- [4.5] -- This atomic-age monster movie features a giant octopus that attacks San Francisco. With the help of special effects maestro Ray Harryhausen, the creature topples some skyscrapers and whacks a piece out of the Golden Gate bridge. Unfortunately, the visual effects are the only reason to recommend this flick, which suffers from many of the same ailments you find in other atomic-age fare, including pointless narration and annoying characters from a long-outdated gender paradigm.
½ May 8, 2009
Maybe I've watched too many giant monster movies lately and that's why I couldn't get into this one very well. Still it is a well made film with a giant octopus attacking San Francisco. Will most likely be enjoyed by fans of the genre.
½ April 8, 2009
I love these type of sci-fi movies from the 1950's. They are so entertaining. This one is better than most, good special effects. It's hokey but great fun to watch.
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