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John’s Horror Corner: The Strangeness (1985), a bad tentacle monster movie with some redeeming Claymation monster effects.

April 8, 2018

MY CALL: A very, very, very boring tentacle monster movie. MOVIES LIKE The Strangeness: For more tentacle monster movies, please consider The Boogens (1981), The Kindred (1987), Wicked City (1987), Deep Rising (1998), Dagon (2001), Slither (2006), BioSlime (2010), Grabbers (2012), Night of the Tentacles (2013), Harbinger Down (2015), The Void (2016), The Creature Below (2016) and Life (2017).

I need to start by warning all you readers of how boring this film was. Very, very, very boring—with the first hour being nigh unforgivable. After 30 minutes, you see a tentacle for a few seconds; after 45 minutes, you momentarily see the monster’s face; and after 60 minutes you see most of its body for a moment. And with all these sightings, there aren’t even any off-screen kills worth mentioning! All the exposition feels needless, it takes its toll on our patience, and nothing that happens seems to serve any purpose. No funny characters, no good gore, no gratuitous nudity, no silly tropes. Why am I even here?

Now, yes, I know what you’re thinking. That’s how most early 80s monster movies were. And you’d be right. They were slow for an hour and then had 20-30 minutes of fun. This film follows that model, it’s just that those first 60 minutes were extra stale.

An industry-hired team of spelunking investigators survey an abandoned gold mine, get trapped, and are hunted by a slimy tentacle monster—a vagina-mouthed tentacle Claymation monster, at that! And for this perversely designed creature with some fun effects, we finally get to actually see one (but just one) cool on-screen death scene as it swallows whole a greedy schmuck. Yes, that was fun. But definitely not worth the wait in my opinion.

This film seems to get a lot of positive commentary on social media. I can’t help but to wonder if this film’s reputation survives by that one death scene alone or the monster itself. It really has no other redeeming aspects.

As such, I don’t recommend this. It wasn’t very entertaining.

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