Friday, May 26, 2017

The Atomic Submarine, Alien Octopus vs. Earth

They may be smarter and more technically advanced than we are, but invaders from space have one big disadvantage.  Yep...they're there!  1959's "The Atomic Submarine" poses some great philosophical questions about the conflict of the quest for peace versus the quest for war.  When the alien space junk hits the fan, however, a more important question takes over.  Who is uglier...a one-eyed, slimy space octopus...or humans.  This could be debatable, except for the appearance of Joi Lansing...and her seductive demeanor answers the question pretty well.
As our film begins, hunk Lt. Commander Reef Holloway (Arthur Franz) is swapping bucketfuls of spit with the steamy Julie (Landing). Uh oh...duty calls.  He is summoned back to his submarine, the Tiger Shark, as ships in the Arctic Ocean are mysteriously destroyed.  The sub will be sent into the Arctic Circle to find out what is causing the carnage.  Also manned with brilliant scientists, the Tiger Shark soon wanders into the path of a weird undersea saucer.  This saucer, nicknamed 'the cyclops' by the sub crew, continues to sink ships in the icy waters. Commander Wendover (Dick Foran) orders his crew to engage the enemy, and the torpedoes are fired. The torpedoes are neutralized by the cyclops.
Alien octopus
Not to be denied, Wendover orders the Tiger Shark to ram the alien pest...which it does.
Now the Tiger Shark and the cyclops are attached and both sink to the bottom. A boarding crew from the sub enter the alien ship and Reef soon meets the alien pilot of the cyclops.  The two get into it pretty deep, and Reef tells the space octopus that his face is ugly.  The octopus responds, telling Reef he is ugly. One might argue this exchange isn't helpful in delicate inter-galactic diplomacy. When Reef finds out the octopus' plans for Earth and the reason it is sinking ships, he is horrified and indignant.  All out war will ensue, but does the Tiger Shark have the firepower to neutralize a space UFO?
Reef and octopus trade insults
Will Reef make it back to port so he can continue to suck face with the sultry Julie? Does the alien race have any equivalent to the stunning Julie? Is it xenophobic and judgmental for us to conclude that the ravishing Julie and super hunk Reef are absolute proof that alien civilizations are, as a whole, really ugly? This 1950s scifi flick is a lot of fun, posing many important and deep questions.  The monster is slimy and scary, and the plot is ambitious and loud.  Lots of things will go boom in this film, and the navy hunks aboard the Tiger Shark will please many of you.  Directed by Spencer G. Bennet ("Superman" and "Batman and Robin"), "The Atomic Submarine" is a perfect scifi/horror flick for B movie fans.


  1. This is delightful. A human and an alien come to blows over looks? Can someone call Zac Efron? Let's remake this, stat! I love flicks like this. Tarantula, the 50 ft Woman, the list goes on and on. Great review as usual, Christopher!

  2. I am a big fan of this film as well, it has a bit of everything in it. My uncle told me he saw this as an under card for a double feature at a drive-in. People there has so much fun and were yelling and cheering outside their cars!