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The octopus attack in Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea is still as silly and lovable as ever...
Warner / 100 Minutes / 2013 / Rated R / Street Date: October 8, 2013
In Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, a brilliant scientist (Walter Pidgeon) has developed a new high tech submarine that is controversial because of its cost. Soon after being proclaimed seaworthy a senator (Joan Fontaine) accompanies the crew as part of an inspection to see how well our tax dollars are being spent. As the (very spacious) submarine cruises along under the surface it is suddenly bombarded.
The submarine rises to the surface, and the crew discovers that ice above the surface had come crashing down. The sky is blazing red. They come to find out that the radiation belts are on fire, causing the temperature to rise at an alarming rate. Aided by his able-bodied secretary (Barbara Eden) and an assistant (Peter Lorre), the brilliant scientist calculates that he can fire a missile that will put out the fire. But will Washington go along with this crazy scientist? And will the submarine be able to reach the launch location in time? Meanwhile the temperature is rising, rising, and rising.
Voyage to the Bottom of the Seahas an excellent (although unlikely) premise. If Irwin Allen had just taken this premise and treated it seriously this could have been a great movie. Unfortunately he chose the opposite direction, using thrill-a-minute tactics to over-enhance what was already a compelling story. The movie has already become ridiculous by the time the sub is attacked by (cough) an octopus. And let me tell you, Ed Wood could not have done much worse. If they tried to make the octopus as fake as possible, they could not have done a better job. This is the point in the movie when it veers toward "it's so bad it's good" territory. Unfortunately it does not quite make it.
Science and realism are almost completely ignored in this film. One of many examples occurs when they are standing outside in 140 degree heat. It is 140 degrees, and they aren't even taking their shirts off! Barbara Eden remains fully clothed! Aargh! What was Irwin Allen thinking?