We were walking on Maoming Lu near Huaihai Lu recently when we spotted (behind the watch/bag/shoe hawkers announcing to us that Xiangyang Market was no longer) a rather large image of the Statue of Liberty being attacked by a giant octopus. This caught our attention. The advertisement adorning the west-facing wall of the Cathay Theatre was for the movie Octopus 2: River of Fear (also known as “OCPOTUS” on some local posters). We generally try to stay on top of the latest goings on in the film world, and we were curious as to how we failed to notice the release of a movie about a massive cephalopod that attempts to take over Manhattan. So we did a little research.
Octopus 2 was released straight to video in Germany in 2001, just one year after the no doubt rousing success of its predecessor Octopus, which, curiously, was set during the Cuban Missile Crisis. The sequel was set in present day New York and IMDb offers us the following plot summary:
Dead bodies are being found in the New York harbor. The police have no clues nor suspects until Nick and his colleague realize the killer is a giant octopus. Everybody, especially the police captain, refuses to believe Nick’s story, and soon the harbor will be filled with boats for the 4th of July celebrations …
The movie got an average user rating of 2.6 out of 10 at IMDb, based on 225 votes, which means at least 225 people have seen this movie and admit to it. There are amusing user comments about the film, as well, which come with headlines like “Get rid of it!” and “Utter garbage” and “This movie hurts my head.” At Amazon, Octopus 2 somehow managed a 2.5 star rating, but one commenter warns, “This movie should only be watched on a system that has a working fast-forward button.”
Octopus 2, like Octopus, was filmed — naturally — in Bulgaria. It’s director, Yossi Wein, is the same man who brought you Cyborg Cop III and Death Train. It took three people to write this movie, and they collectively have been involved in their share of classics: Boaz Davidson (Spiders, Crocodile, Mansquito), Danny Lerner (Operation Delta Force, Operation Delta Force II: Mayday, Operation Delta Force 3: Clear Target) and Michael Weiss (I’ll Always Know What You Did Last Summer). And if you are looking forward to the Sly-Stallone-directed Rambo IV in 2007, we’re happy to inform you that both Davidson and Lerner are listed as producers for that film. It’s a can’t miss!
You can view a trailer for Octopus 2 here. it comes with this promise:
Our taxi drove by the Cathay yesterday and the Octopus 2 poster had been covered up by Superman. That got us worried — had the movie split town before we got a chance to tell you about it? Thankfully, no. Assuming you missed today’s 10:40 am showing, you can still catch Octopus 2 (in Chinese only, which might actually make it better) at the following times: Today, 21:25 (30元); tomorrow, 11:40 (25元), 16:45 (50元) and 21:25 (30元). The Chinese name for the movie is 《章鱼河东惊魂》 (Zhangyu Hedong Jinghun, which literally translates to “Scared By Octopus At The East Side Of River”).
If this counts as one of the 20 foreign films China is allowed to import this year (does it?) … well then, that’s just sad.