“Attack of the Octopus People”
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Daniel Davis has returned home after fighting in the war to find that things have changed in his small town. Something sinister is happening and it is connected to the Octo-Pie factory where he is now employed.
What this film lacks in budget and experience, it makes up for with heart. This is the first film from, at the time it was made, 16-year-old, writer, director, producer, editor, and star, Joshua Kennedy. It is, in a word, brilliant. It captures the spirit of the classic b-grade and drive-in creature features. Complete with dramatic music, stop-motion creature animation, filmed in black & white, and using everything but the kitchen sink to create special effects, this film is a worthy tribute to the classic greats such as Coreman and Harryhausen.
The story is an effective combination monster movie and world domination flick, with a few entertainingly mad soliloquies by the Octopus leader. It makes about as much sense as any of the classic creature features, perhaps a little more than some. The young cast, presumably friends and family of Kennedy, does a wonderful job of playing up the stereotypes often portrayed in the 50’s b-grades to which this film is an homage. The body language of the the main characters, Daniel Davis, played by Joshua Kennedy, and Janet Lawton, played by Andrea Negrete, is wonderful. It is obvious that they did their research and successfully give the audience the romance we expect from the classic 50’s b-grades.
I strongly recommend this film to those who appreciate low budget, indie film and can look beyond inexperience and lack of budget. I will be actively seeking out other projects from this young film maker to see how he improves as he learns from each new film he creates.