Octopus is clearly an effort upon John Eyress part to jump aboard the CGI monster trend that emerged after Jurassic Park (1993). There were a good many other CGI monster movies that came out in the wake of Jurassic Park, ranging from Loch Ness (1996) to Anaconda (1997), Deep Rising (1998), Godzilla (1998), Mighty Joe Young (1998), Bats (1999), Lake Placid (1999), Eight Legged Freaks (2002), King Kong (2005) and Snakes on a Plane (2006), and an increasing horde of cheap B-budget efforts such as King Cobra (1999), Komodo (1999), Crocodile (2000), Python (2000), Spiders (2000), Fangs (2001), New Alcatraz/Boa (2002), Attack of the Sabretooth (2005), Cerberus (2005), Larva (2005), Mansquito (2005), Pterodactyl (2005), Kraken: Tentacles of the Deep (2006), Mammoth (2006) and Minotaur (2006) and numerous others. Production company Nu Image have been expecially prolific at producing these cheap CGI monster movies.
Octopus emerges as only a B-budget CGI monster movie. Moreover, the giant title creature forms a relatively minor threat compared to the main action. The film was clearly made with only an impoverished effects budget and so the octopus is only occasionally seen attacking the submarine in a series of exterior cuts, while there is only a single scene where a giant tentacle bursts into the sub. More importantly, the giant octopus never attains a particular threat in the way that say the shark in Jaws (1975) was an ever-present menace that seemed constantly on the verge of unexpectedly erupting out of the corner of the frame.
The majority of Octopus is taken up by the submarine-board drama. It is almost as though John Eyres has conceived the film as a mix of Jaws and Crimson Tide (1995) or more accurately in the vein of B-budget submarines dramas like Crash Dive (1996), Sub Down (1997) and Submerged (2001). Here the film is only notable for the ridiculous collusions that John Eyres and scriptwriter Michael D. Weiss throw together. The characters are an absurd assortment of clichés and improbabilities the rookie FBI agent placed in sole charge of escorting a dangerous terrorist; the token woman on board the sub (who also happens to conveniently be a marine biologist and able to explain the nature of the menace); the dangerous criminal who manages to affect an escape while being transported and then attempts to take over the ship; and a series of scenes with the monster of the show attacking people aboard an ocean-going cruise liner, which seem to have been copied from Deep Rising. The villains escape plan is particularly notable for its ludicrous implausibilities his cohorts infiltrate and take over a cruise liner on the apparent belief that he will somehow be able to escape confinement in the submarine just at the point when they happen to be right above, despite their having no tracking equipment or he any means to communicate with them on his person; while his actual escape involves freeing himself from his cuffs by dislocating his wrist and then putting the wrist back into place with his teeth. The films ludicrous improbabilities are surely first observed early on when the hero rendezvouses with the submarine for his transatlantic voyage where the submarine is clearly seen surfacing inside a lake!!!
The sequel was Octopus 2: River of Fear (2001), which relocated the central menace to New York but was unrelated to this film other than featuring a similar giant title threat.
(Winner in this sites Worst Films of 2000 list).
Full film available online here:-