Octopus 2: River Of Fear

Octopus 2: River Of Fear


Reviewed by: Jennie Kermode

Does the idea of a giant octopus terrorising New York City on a very low budget appeal to you? If so, this film will do everything you want and more. If not, you'll find that it lacks a single redeeming quality.

There are a lot of bad films out there, but Octopus 2 has to be one of the laziest. Where other films would at least try to create their own special effects, it creates scenes of its monster sliding past underwater windows simply by putting a screen behind them and playing a videotape that looks like it's seen better days. When people are attacked, no effort is made to give the rubber tentacles some semblance of life - they are simply thrown at the actors, who then fall over. And if you thought it wasn't possible to ham up falling over, you'll be in for a shock.

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At least these victims give their characters a bit of energy - not so the two leads, barely distinguishable Seventies-style macho men in cop uniforms who evince a singular lack of charisma. They're followed around by the mayor's research assistant, whose authority when it comes to octopuses is never adequately explained, and whose mouth hangs open all the time to make her look like a low-rent porn actress.

These three characters gradually realise that the monster lurking in the harbour is real and that it plans (this part is never very clear) to wreak havoc at the forthcoming Fourth of July celebrations. But nobody will believe them. When the time comes for action, one man must go it alone, whilst the woman, for some reason, is busy escorting a bus full of disabled schoolchildren through a tunnel underneath the water, singing as they go.

There's really not much else to be said about this film, because not much happens in it. At the start this is a problem, as it spends far too much time on boring stuff about the police investigation, with a smattering of police brutality thrown in which it seems we're supposed to find comedic. Just take a deep breath and pretend the old man whose sole possessions are being destroyed is really being punished for his acting. Later on, the film gets more violent, in its cartoonish way, and we're treated to scenes of underwater conflict. Our hero assures us that you can always get the better of an octopus by punching it in the face. One can only assume that the same logic got him through high school.

Well worth watching, if only for the scene of the octopus climbing the Statue of Liberty.

Reviewed on: 17 Mar 2009
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A giant octopus terrorises New York.
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Director: Yossi Wein

Writer: Boaz Davidson, Danny Lerner

Starring: Michael Reilly Burke, Meredith Morton, Fredric Lehne, John Thaddeus, Chris Williams, Stoyan Angelov, Paul Vincent O'Connor, Clement Blake

Year: 2001

Runtime: 91 minutes

BBFC: 15 - Age Restricted

Country: US


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