It’s called Bermuda Tentacles, it’s directed by Nick Lyon (Grendel, Species: The Awakening, Rise of the Zombies), and it’s the Next Big Thing from mockbuster studio, The Asylum, in collaboration with the SyFy Channel. It stars singer/popstar/actress Mya Harrison, Trevor Donovan, Luke White, Jamie Kennedy, John Savage (Carnivàle), Darren Anthony Thomas (1313: Giant Killer Bees!), and the original Sarah Connor, Linda Hamilton, who has set aside hunting killer robots to take on a Monster From The Deep. Hamilton plays “…an admiral of a U.S. Navy aircraft carrier dispatched to the Bermuda Triangle to rescue the President after Air Force One crashes, when her team accidentally awakens a monster …”
Note: the above picture is NOT from the movie.
Military-type activity awakening big monster that goes on a rampage. It’s a familiar trope, especially in the light of a certain upcoming giant monster pic — one with a higher profile than Bermuda Triangle could ever hope to muster. So the real question is: is this film the Asylum’s “mockbuster” for 2014 — their attempt to cash in on the imminent release of Gareth Edwards’ Godzilla revamp?
Undead Backbrain’s kaiju ninja Avery Guerra put this (and some other questions) to cinematographer Alexander Yellan.
Yellan: Although I can’t speak for the marketing gurus at the Asylum, I don’t believe this film is associated with the release of the Warner Bros. Godzilla. As far as I know this is an original concept developed in coordination with SyFy.
AG: What can you tell us about the monster or monsters then, apart from the obvious (as suggested by the title)?
Yellan: I’m afraid I can’t tell you anything about the creatures in the film as frankly it would spoil the fun. But I will say that the Asylum and Syfy both like titles that are direct and to the point.
AG: Who are the stars? In what locations does it take place?
Yellan: The film stars Linda Hamilton as a US Navy Admiral, Trevor Donovan as a Special Forces team leader, Mya Harrison as a team specialist, Jamie Kennedy as a military scientist, and John Savage as the President. The film is set primarily in the Bermuda Triangle but also along other parts of the Eastern seaboard of the US.
AG: If not Godzilla, what are the inspirations that lie behind Bermuda Tentacles?
Yellan: I couldn’t tell you every film that was drawn upon for ideas, but the director’s style guide referenced Peter Berg’s Battleship quite a bit. I’d say Michael Bay’s style came up in conversation frequently as well.
AG: Does the film have an air date? Has it wrapped production?
Yellan: We have certainly finished production. I believe the film is slated to air on the Syfy Channel on Saturday, April 12 at 9 p.m. EST.
So there you have it. The actual monster design is up-in-the-air, though the tentacles definitely suggest images of the Kraken — that mythological seabeast that was said to terrorise ships in the early days (as depicted on this ad for Kraken Rum, a substance that no doubt contributed to many sightings):
The Kraken has subsequently re-entered the public consciousness thanks to both Ray Harryhausen’s mythological Clash of the Titans (US-1981; dir. Desmond Davis) and the more recent remake, Clash of the Titans (US-2010; dir. Louis Leterrier) — as they say, “Release the Kraken!”
Above picture is of Harryhausen’s stopmotion Kraken (from the 1981 film) and below is a painting by GENZOMAN, drawn as a splash page for a comic prequel to the modern Clash of the Titans remake.
Giant tentacled sea-monsters have been plentiful in fiction and on films. Putting aside the king of tentacled horrors, H.P. Lovecraft’s Cthulhu and the films he has inspired, I will mention four (so I can add pictures). Firstly, there’s Tentacles [aka Tentacoli] (Italy/US-1977; dir. Ovidio G. Assonitis (as Oliver Hellman)), which involves people disappearing at sea, a huge mutated octopus, and a bunch of well-known US actors slumming it in a 1970s Italian exploitation pic.
Don’t you just love Japanese posters?
Next is a favourite of mine, made by a director who went on to have several effective big-budget box-office successes only to completely lose control when given even more truck-loads of money to work with — Deep Rising (US-1998; dir. Stephen Sommers). This one involves a huge luxury liner, a bunch of modern mercenary pirates, and the most multi-tentacled horror to ever hit the screen:
Thirdly, a little-known gem from Ireland — Grabbers (Ireland-2012; dir. Jon Wright). This one involves a bunch of Irish patrons in a pub by the seaside — and a huge tentacled monster. Very funny. I highly recommend it.
Finally, we have a 1950s scifi classic, It Came From Beneath the Sea (US-1955; dir. Robert Gordon), featuring the stop-motion work of the great Ray Harryhausen (again). H-bomb tests give rise to a mutated, mega-gigantic five-tentacled octopus (there were budgetary restrictions), which comes to the California coast to party. One of the greats!