A giant stop-motion-animated octopus (with six arms) attacks San Francisco. A pair of scientists and a nuclear sub captain try to stop it before it tears down the Golden Gate Bridge. Stunning special effects by Ray Harryhausen.
Two years after unleashing The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms upon New York City, master special-effects creator Ray Harryhausen turned loose a giant (albeit six-armed) octopus on San Francisco, and the result is another enjoyable atom-age adventure that should please fans of vintage science fiction. Kenneth Tobey, who battled The Thing (From Another World) in 1951, stars as a Navy captain who pursues a monstrous octopoid (sextapoid?) after it attacks his atomic sub. After it wreaks havoc with shipping lanes, he tracks the creature to San Francisco for a final showdown. Scripting by George Worthing Yates (Them!) and Hal Smith and direction by Robert Gordon are perfunctory at best, which gives the always-reliable Tobey and co-star Faith Domergue little to do, but this is Harryhausen's show, and his monster, though budgetarily restrained, is still impressive. Younger audiences weaned on digital FX may find this creaky, but nostalgic viewers will enjoy its simple thrills. --Paul Gaita
As with Columbia/Tri-Star's other Harryhausen sci-fi & fantasy DVDs (which include Earth vs. the Flying Saucers and The Three Worlds of Gulliver), It Came from Beneath the Sea also includes the following extras: the original theatrical trailer; "The Harryhausen Chronicles," a 60-minute documentary on Harryhausen's films narrated by Leonard Nimoy; and "This Is Dynamation," a early '60s featurette that extols the virtues of Harryhausen's optical and special effects processes. --Paul Gaita