Directed by: Amando de Ossorio
Starring: Timothy Bottoms, Taryn Power, Ray Milland
Who doesn’t like Italian monster movies? Besides… basically everybody but me. Most people just don’t want to sit through 70 minutes of boring people acting badly just to get to the 20 minutes of hilarious low-budget monster footage, I guess. Just think of all the Timothy Bottoms movies they’re missing out on…
A fishing boat captain sees a sea monster one day and it causes him to wreck his boat. Nobody believes that he saw a monster, for some reason, and they blame it on his well-known alcoholism instead. He hears about a woman who’s been institutionalized because she also said she saw a monster, so he breaks her out and they try to convince a crotchety old professor that they aren’t crazy or drunk. He begrudgingly believes them and the three go out to kill the beast before it strikes again.
Ray Milland as the angry old scientist is by and far the high point of this film, even beyond the stop-motion serpent puppet. He’s just so outlandishly angry about everything, even when he agrees with whatever’s going on. When the necessary romance reaches its climax, Milland busts between the two lovers, shouting profanities and dismissing love as the most worthless of all emotions. It was magical.