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Tentacles / Reptilicus – Double Feature (Blu-ray Review)

Tentacles-Reptilicus-Double-FeatureInvincible…Indestructible! Two underwater creature shockers on Blu-ray for the first time! Scream Factory proudly presents the monstrous arrival of Tentacles and Reptilicus in a double feature Blu-ray.  This double feature is part of a continued effort to put more dual disc midnight movie features together.  We’ve seen an increase in them this year from the house of Scream Factory and there will be more on the way the rest of the summer.  Some of which will include some upgrades on films that had been previously released on multiple feature marathon DVD discs.  This double feature has some old school nature/monster films that definitely reflect the schlock theater popcorn spilling flicks of their respective eras of release.  One of which representing the 1970s and the other the 1960s.

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Tentacles 

It’s angry. It’s hungry. It’s extremely well-armed and it’s descending on a small seaside town to sample the local cuisine! John Huston, Shelley Winters, Bo Hopkins and Henry Fonda do all they can to keep a giant marine menace from turning their sleepy village into a one-stop snack-shop in this fast-paced thriller! Directed by cult director/producer Ovidio G. Assonitis, Tentacles is a menacing jolt-a-thon that’ll grip you with relentless terror and never let go!

As a fan of The Visitor, which the director of Tentacles produced and co-wrote, I was hoping for another in the long lines of crazy Italian horror productions.  Unfortunately, that’s not really the case here.  While yes, its in the spirit of them by being a knock of a popular American blockbuster (This time its Jaws), its more content with playing it safe and just sort of hanging out and really holding back on some things.  There is fun whenever the octopus is around, but its not much.

The film features a nice slew of people down on their luck, namely John Huston (Also in The Visitor) along with Henry Fonda and Shelley Winters.  They sort of add some classiness to this joint, but not a whole bunch.  This movie never really settles on main characters and kinda passes the buck around to the end.  There are some entertaining moments in this trashy Octopus-Jaws movie, but ultimately I just couldn’t find myself having the fun I’d have liked to with it.  Maybe I was in the wrong mood when I started or needed to view it with someone else to really get it.

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Reptilicus 

Discover the true meaning of survival of the fittest, as a terrifying creature from the past brings the future to its knees! Packed with thrills, chills and prehistoric spills, Reptilicus proves that “if cats have nine lives, monsters have even more” (Citizen News)! Directed by Sidney W. Pink, Reptilicus is a spine-chilling creature feature about a cold-blooded 90-foot killer whose time has come… again!

While this one came out in 1961, its still hot on the heels of the 1950s.  Its got all of its heart in the radioactive monster fad that loaded both the horror and science fiction genre for that decade.  This is also very much a non-Godzilla, giant monster attacks a model city film.  But, its even poorer by those standards.  Instead of a guy in a costume, its pretty much a puppet on strings doing the damage.  Amusing as it is, the film really isn’t able to relish or sustain the fun factor that comes with it.

There was a moment in the beginning with the discovery of Reptilicus’ tail that got my attention and had me thinking this might be a treat.  It was kinda gory for at film of the 1960s.  They were cutting it open, finding skin and other goopy things.  However, that’s the only part of the movie remotely like this.  And there’s just way too much jibber jabber bullshit conversation scenes trying to hold off some Reptilicus carnage.  And when it gets to the carnage its entertaining, but just not enough.

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Video

Tentacles 

Reptilicus 

Encoding: MPEG-4 AVC

Resolution: 1o80p

Aspect RatioTentacles – 2.35:1 / Reptilicus – 1.66:1

Clarity/Detail:  Both films don’t come with the prettiest of transfers.  Tentacles looks to have a rougher looking print it was sourced from.  There are some solid moments of detail and impressive shots, but they don’t sustain throughout out.  The film’s detail and clarity does get better as the film moves forward, though.  Reptilicus fairs better with some stronger detail and a sharper image.  The image is consistent as it goes throughout and detail is good in still static shots.

Depth:  Both films feature a more flatter image.  Movements and the like are decent as smooth as they could muster.

Black Levels:  Blacks for both film are solid and some detail is lost in darkness and black hair and clothing.

Color Reproduction:  For both films color is a bit dingy.  There is a bit of a limited palette on display.  Tentacles stronger suit is blues, while greens are stronger for Reptilicus.

Flesh Tones: Skin tones on Tentacles are a little washed and consistent.  Close up static shots will feature some decent detail.

Noise/Artifacts:  Both films feature grain, dirt and scratches.  Some minimal compression issues are abound as well.

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Audio

Tentacles  

Reptilicus  

Audio Format(s)Tentacles – English 2.0 Stereo DTS-HD MA / Reptilicus – English 2.0 Mono LPCM

Subtitles: English

Dynamics:  Neither track is going to blow anyone or their home theater away (Or out of the water, yok yok yok).  However, these do a decent job of making the source sound a little more fresh, well rounded and distinct.  No, this isn’t pristine, but its decent and that’s about all you could hope with these two movies.

Low Frequency Extension:  N/A

Surround Sound Presentation:  N/A

Dialogue Reproduction: Both are clear and audible throughout with little ADR analog sounding bits present.

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Extras 

The reverse side of the cover insert for this single-disc Double Feature Blu-ray has a lobby card image for each film.

Tentacles

Theatrical Trailer (HD, 1:01) 

Photo Gallery (HD, 2:01) – A video montage of promo photos, lobby cards and posters from the film.

Radio Spot (HD, :58)

Reptilicus

Theatrical Trailer (HD, 1:58)

Photo Gallery (HD, 2:41) – A video montage of promo photos, lobby cards and posters from the film.

Radio Spot (HD, 1:00) 

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Summary 

Well, these are pretty much what you’d expect to be getting into.  Personally, I was looking for more camp value and some more unintentional laughs.  These were largely disappointing in any regard as I was more bored than anything most of the time (Don’t get me wrong, there’s some funny in both these, just not enough to carry them).  Coming in with mediocre at best transfers and audio for presentation and minimalist extras, I’d throw on the side of caution that these are mainly for fans and those who seemingly collect Scream Factory titles no matter (Raising hand as a big time guilty party) only.

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Writer/Reviewer, lifelong obsessive film nerd. As eager to educate in the world of film as I am to learn. An avid lover of horror, schlock and trash, Brandon hosts the Cult Cinema Cavalcade podcast on the Creative Zombie Studios Network (www.cultcinemacavalcade.com) You can also find more essays on his blog Naptown Nerd (naptownnerd.blogspot.com).

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