Sea Monsters - Top Ten Octopus Movies cover image that's from Tentacles 1977 Movie

Sea Monsters: Top Ten Octopus Movies

As if sharks weren’t enough to scare the shit out of you next time something touches your leg in the water, here are ten octopus movies. You would think that there are a lot of them, but you would be wrong. There are just a couple of straight-up octopus attack movies with most of the creatures being either Cthulhu, Giant Squid, or Kraken. We will go through all these Sea Monsters lists eventually, just so you know. Octopuses are such fascinating creatures and I think they deserve a lot more screen-time, even as monstrous killers. Luckily, 2020 saw the release of an amazing documentary My Octopus Teacher, so hopefully, we’ll be seeing more of them in the future.

We have for you ten octopus movies and all of them are movies so bad they are good! We basically have the same situation we had with movies about bats, although here don’t have not even one straight-up good movie. They are very entertaining though. If you want to know more about the company that produced more than half of the movies here check out our Rabbit Reviews article: The rise and fall of Shark Movies.

Did you know that octopuses have blue blood? Or that they have three fucking hearts? Neither did I. The largest of the octopus species is the Giant Pacific Octopus that can reach 20 feet or six meters in length! Now, that’s a formidable creature that’s also a carnivore, so it would be pretty natural for it to eat some humans in a horror movie. It can recognize faces and in captivity, octopuses amuse themselves by squirting water at targets. And finally, octopuses do not have tentacles, they have arms.

Top Ten Octopus Movies

While you might think that the first movie appearance of our eight-armed friends was in Jules Verne’s 1870 book 20,000 Leagues under the Sea, you would be again wrong as that creature was a giant squid. Although, in some adaptation, it is indeed an octopus. What is indeed a giant octopus is the creature we see in the 1978 adventure movie Warlords of Atlantis. That wraps up our honorable mentions section. So, without further ado, let’s jump into the cold and dangerous waters of octopus movies.

10. Octaman [1971]

With a pretty self-explanatory title, Octaman is a hilarious oddity from the early seventies. Judging by its story, you might think it’s just another standard-issue eco-horror talking about pollution and our ancient enemy radiation. However, this movie is so much more. If you happen to have a rubber fetish, well, you’re in luck because you’ll be seeing a lot of it here. Unlike other, similar movies, Octaman doesn’t shy away from showing the creature in its full rubbery glory in broad daylight. The attacks are something else with our homeboy first slapping and then piercing unsuspecting prey at will.

Filled with zany music and perfect sound effects, this movie should warm you up nicely for the rest of this list. There are a lot of octopus movies where we have a mutant creature attacking people, something that’s particular to this sub-genre. The suit shown here was done by none other than Rick Baker who worked on such classics as An American Werewolf in London, The Howling, Hellboy, and Men in Black. Octaman is perfect for surprising your friends with a lost creature-feature from the seventies and it makes for one hell of a bad movie night. Plus you can always speculate were they aware they are making such a horrible movie intentionally.

9. Sharktopus [2010]

Almost 25 years after the release of Devil Fish, we finally got the opportunity to see this deadly combination in action. Sharktopus, a half-shark half-octopus creature thirsty for the blood of the innocent just entered the game. The whole ordeal started when the wicked US government hired geneticist Nathan Sands and his daughter Nicole to create the ultimate weapon. And, you guessed it, that weapon is the Sharktopus. Their plan was to use an electronic device, a sort of a harness, to control the creature. However, the device catastrophically malfunctioned, allowing the killer instincts to take over the Sharktopus.

I’m sure you either saw or heard of Sharknado, a movie that was released three years after this one, so you can guess what you’ll be in for if you check out this movie. Cheap and shlocky special effects, a lot of people in swimming suits but never fully naked, and a lot of bizarre action. Our Sharktopus can walk on land and all it’s missing are laser eyes. You usually watch these movies to trash them with friends and family and this one is perfect for that. Starring Eric Roberts it’s just the right amount of tongue-in-cheek to be fun. Enjoy and get ready for more!

8. Sharktopus vs. Pteracuda [2014]

Well, why the fuck not? SyFy has found the formula they’ve been looking for and now they are churning out these cheesy science fiction movies at an alarming rate. As I previously mentioned, just check out a volume of their shark movies. Corporation Symodyne, who created the Sharktopus has learned its lesson and changed its ways. They are still creating strange creatures alright but instead of a harness, they are now using special chips embedded in creatures’ brains to control them. One such creature is a mix between barracuda and pterodactyl that goes by the scientific name of Pteracuda.

I will leave the rest of the plot for you to discover as it’s one of the main features of these movies. You kinda want to see just how crazy the story is going to get and how are they going to get out of this one. Instead of Mr. Roberts, we have one of the Carradines’ here, Robert to be more precise. Expect more of the same bad CGI, acting, directing, editing and everything else. Blinded by Sharknado’s success, they really rushed through this one, so expect lower quality than the original.

7. Sharktopus vs. Whalewolf [2015]

All good things must come to an end. And we are there folks. The adventures of our spunky Sharktopus ended with this movie. Out of all the crazy titles SyFy has come up with over the years, this is by far the craziest. I mean, Whalewolf! Come on! And when you add Sharktopus to that you get one hell of a movie. Starring none other than the king of movies so bad they are good Casper Van Dien (Rico from Starship Troopers) and Catherine Oxenberg, this is definitely the best out of all three movies. Just look at this beautiful poster depicting two behemoths locked in battle. Pure fucking gold. And the script is also as good as it gets with many familiar clichés and some innovative concepts.

The CGI is a bit better than in the other two movies and the characters are more thought out. Our Captain Brady is an obvious reference to Chief Brody from Jaws and we even have a mad scientist present. Everybody knew they were making a bad movie for SyFy and enjoyed themselves, something that really shows throughout the movie. You get sucked into this whirlwind of zany action, cheap effects and casual sexism.

6. Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus [2009]

Before the Sharktopus was unleased upon humanity, Giant Octopus was already fighting Mega Shark in the cold waters of the Pacific Ocean. Mega Shark went on to battle Crocosaurus, Mecha Shark and Kolossus with the fifth part of the saga Mega Shark vs. Moby Dick in production. Starring another familiar face from the eighties and nineties, Lorenzo Lamas, this is a fairly entertaining bad movie. Although top-billed, Lamas is present in only a couple of scenes while cute Debbie Gibson is the actual star of this movie. Some four years before SyFy figured out they’re sitting on a gold mine, they were still trying to perfect the formula.

With a title like this, I’m sure you won’t be fooled with pretty decent cinematography and ample use of stock footage that this is a “normal” movie. Full of crazy scenes and bad acting, you can’t help but be amazed at what was accomplished here. They knew they were making this type of movie and they actually pulled it off. I reviewed this movie eleven freaking years ago, just when it came out so if you want to know more about it, check out this review. This is the fourth and last SyFy movie on this list and by now, I think you know what to expect from them.

5. It Came from Beneath the Sea [1955]

As it is customary with all natural horror movies you must have at least one release from the fifties. Of course, featuring a monster that was either created or awakened by intense radiation. Colorized and available both on Blu-Ray and streaming services, It Came from Beneath the Sea looks awesome. It offers a window into a world from almost seventy years ago and can also be watched as a period movie. With all the casual sexism and racism that goes along with it. You can play a simple but fun game while watching this movie: you guess what will each interaction yield: loss of a job, lawsuit, or prison time. It’s fun for the whole family!

Granted, they do discuss women’s rights at one point so it’s not all bad. Not to mention the openly polyamorous relationship between our three main characters. It Came from Beneath the Sea is more of a procedural thriller following our trio as they’re trying to get to the bottom (get it) of the mysterious appearances. You’ll have to wait for the last fifteen minutes for the action to really kick off. Enjoy.

4. Tentacoli AKA Tentacles [1977]

As we already know, the title of this movie is wrong as octopuses do not have tentacles but arms. We’ll let this one slide, but they better do their homework for future releases. This is an Italian-American movie about a giant octopus terrorizing a small resort town. Made after the big splash of Jaws, you can clearly feel what they were going for. Tentacles is a robust seventies movie with great cinematography and underwater footage. It follows a familiar pattern of eco-horror movies where an uncaring company makes an otherwise timid and shy octopus into a killing machine with its incessant underwater drilling. Too bad they were not throwing barrels of radioactive waste in the sea and mutated the poor octopus.

Tentacles is nowhere near the cult classic it was trying to imitate with a pretty uninspiring script and sluggish pace. And while the opening music was phenomenal the rest of the score is so strange that I can’t really decide is it good or bad. The special effects are, however, definitely abysmal and really low-budget. And the opening scene is so weird that I was like I ain’t even mad, this is amazing. All this makes it a relatively fun and campy bad movie, as it is the fate of all octopus movies. At least you’ll have the opportunity to see some very famous actors like John Huston, Henry Fonda and Bo Hopkins.

3. Octopus 2: River of Fear [2001]

Oh man, do octopus movies have cool titles or what? Octopus 2: River of Fear sounds exactly like that DVD movie you rented some twenty years ago while trying to bang this chick. The whole thing reminded me of two crocodile movies, Crocodile and Crocodile 2: Death Swamp. All four movies were written by Boaz Davidson. But I digress. You’re probably wondering how the fuck did this octopus not only get into a river but also manage to scare people. Well, to find out, you’ll have to check out this entertaining natural horror set in New York.

If you’ve seen any of the octopus movies mentioned on this list then you’ll know what to expect. Using state-of-the-art budget CGI we’ll have the opportunity to see cheesy special effects in their full glory. And don’t worry, practical effects consist mostly of our heroes fighting rubber tentacles. Strangely enough, we have a pretty well-developed story for this sort of movie. River of Fear works perfectly well as a buddy cop movie too, if you find the octopus-related plot too tiresome. Shot in and around Bulgarian capital Sofia, it resembles Shark Attack 3: Megalodon. Also written by, you guessed it, Boaz Davidson. While the original tried to be a blockbuster on a budget but this one knew that it’s just a cheesy B movie. This gave it a lot of charm and personality.

2. Monster Shark [1984]

The only reason why Monster Shark or Devil Fish as it is commonly known is not number one on this list is that it doesn’t feature a giant octopus. The creature is a mix between a Dunkleosteus and a common octopus, a deadly combination capable of destroying huge boats in mere seconds. What sets Devil Fish apart from the rest of the octopus movies is the zest and sheer amount of unintentional hilariousness. Almost every scene hides something funny and your job is to sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride. The first thing you’re going to notice is competent directing and good cinematography. However, fairly soon you’ll start getting a feeling that this might be one of “those” movies.

And when our screaming rescue team jumps into the water, your suspicions will be confirmed. Almost every aspect of this movie is a source of great entertainment. The music is campy and it doesn’t match what’s going on the screen. The same goes for the sound effects and “synthetic computer voice” that sounds eerily like an actual person with a filter on. The story is your standard-issue military experiments gone wrong with all the usual characters. With great pacing and a sturdy, Italian exploitation eighties look, Monster Shark is one of those movies you will come back to. You can read the full review here.

1. Octopus [2000]

Simply titled Octopus, this is probably the most entertaining octopus movie out there. The story is as grand as it gets and it starts in the sixties, during the Cuban Missile crisis when a malfunctioning submarine releases radioactive materials in the sea. This, of course, causes our regularly-sized octopus to grow and grow. Fast forward 38 years and we’re in Sofia, Bulgaria following two CIA agents. As you can see, Octopus features one hell of a story that I will leave for you to discover. It slowly eases you into its world and crazy scenes that are about to follow. And you won’t have to wait long for your first brush with the cheesiness and campiness that is Octopus. Everything was so perfectly horrible, from music and overacting to the special effects.

And the action doesn’t stop as you keep hopping from one plot twist to another all the time wondering how the fuck are they going to wind up fighting giant octopuses. Not a bad question to have, I’ll say. And this is not some SyFy crap but a movie produced by Nu Image and it shows. Not to mention that whatever the fuck the budget was, it was worth a lot more in Bulgaria, where this movie was shot. Finally, I just have to mention Carolyn Lowery and how they made her take off her shirt every fifteen minutes. She remained in bra each time but this was so forced and funny that I had to mention it.