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

It Came from Beneath the Sea Reviews

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September 16, 2016
January 27, 2016
It is fairly standard 1950s B movie stuff with all the usual clichés. We have the gruff, military man, the female scientist, the clipped voice over to explain huge chunks of plot, the bubbling test-tubes to show something scientific is going on, tiny, wooden sets and the musical stings that announce the appearance of the monster. Being the 50s, the sexism is pretty rife but It Came From Beneath the Sea does at least have the plucky Faith Domergue as Professor Lesley Joyce who manages to make some tentative forays into the world of feminism. So, the plot sees San Francisco terrorised by a giant radioactive octopus. It's down to the US Navy and a marine biologist to, firstly find out what has been attacking their ships, then convince the authorities that they are dealing with a monster and finally come up with a way of killing with the damnned thing. It's not complicated and whips along at a fair old pace. Where this film scores is the involvement of Ray Harryhausen who provides one of his trademark stop-motion creatures. The octopus is great, despite being a few tentacles short. There area number of classic, stand out scenes where some creature feature staples are firmly established for the future. Namely, when the octopus attacks the Golden Gate Bridge and one where it slaps it's tentacles along the street and drags off some unfortunate victims. This is a movie that has to be viewed for what it is. It is from a bygone age and would have formed one part of a double feature at the drive-in. It has a great creature and helped cement the conventions of giant monster films that we all still enjoy today. For that, it is worth watching and has much to commend.
½ January 18, 2016
Fun creature inspired b-movie horror. Why the love-interest characters decide to go for a swim whilst waiting for a scientist to turn up to a beach even though they know the marine creature exists is beyond me.
December 29, 2015
Ray Harryhausen's special EFX r the fuel that drives this B sci-fi pic
April 12, 2015
The first time i saw this film, i was very disappointed but over time,I've grown to like it. It's a Ray Harryhausen classic and one of the monster, the giant octopus, that he is remembered for. I now like this film and i recommend it.
½ May 9, 2014
it has a wierd charm to it give it a shot
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 February 13, 2014
It should have stayed underwater. Ray Harryhausen's monster is mostly a couple tentacles flailing about, and the main trio of characters are even less interesting.
½ September 24, 2013
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 hard on it, but these films really do not hold up at all, at least when it comes to the story and the characters. They can be a chore to sit through at times. Their effects are impressive, at least for their time, but everything surrounding them isn't all that interesting. I literally burst out laughing when the lead female stood up for herself in a very feministic way, then just screamed her head off when the monster pops up out of nowhere. Anyways, this just wasn't good, and neither are most of the films that Ray Harryhausen worked on during this era, I'm sorry to say.
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.

½ February 2, 2013
After his atomic submarine is attacked by a giant octopus, Commander Pete Mathews sets out to stop the beast before it can destroy all of San Francisco! IT CAME FROM BENEATH THE SEA is the second film to feature the amazing special effects of Ray Harryhausen. Although the plot is little more than a rehash of earlier Atomic Age horrors like THE BEAST FROM 20,000 FATHOMS, it is still competently played and never ceases to impress with Harryhausen's stop-motion animation. The film's signature scene involves the creature's attack on the Golden Gate Bridge. It has also become infamously well-known for Harryhausen's cost-saving techniques in giving the octopus only six arms instead of eight. Scripted by THEM's George Worthing Yates and starring Kenneth Tobey from THE THING FROM ANOTHER WORLD, IT CAME FROM BENEATH THE SEA has all of the right elements for a successful Sci-Fi adventure!

-Carl Manes
I Like Horror Movies
½ January 23, 2013
Hokey but highly entertaining early Harryhausen--Intelligent 50's Movie-making!!
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.
June 13, 2012
El momento de ver un pulpo gigante arrasando todo a su paso no soporta el hecho de tener una hora de diálogo aburrido y tonto, y no pedía nada pero el monstruo sale muy poco para lo que tuve que aguantar, eso si el pulpo es un logro menor de Ray Harryhause.
Super Reviewer
May 3, 2012
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
April 4, 2012
Ray Harryhausen's effects are really cool, and the artistry behind them still holds up, but the plot is uninspired (even by 1950's B-movie standards). That said, the creature work alone is worth a look, and Tobey is a fine, square-jawed leading man.
Super Reviewer
March 3, 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.
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.
½ December 31, 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.
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