Tentacles was a flop in the late 90s, but later became a cult hit. A real captain had nothing good to say about the movie.
A year before launching a hugely successful adventure franchise with The Mummy (1999) and helping Brendan Fraser achieve blockbuster fame, Stephen Sommers made another action-horror film that fared much worse at the box office: The Tentacles, in which a gang of smugglers (including Treat Williams, who died in 2023, and X-Men star Famke Janssen) are placed on a luxury liner that is apparently adrift in the South Seas without a leader. On board, they come across dozens of dead crew members, whose bodies are completely drained of fluids, and soon meet the creature responsible for the massacre: a giant octopus of monstrous proportions and an enormous thirst for blood.
Deep Rising, as the film is originally titled, was a box office failure: the film only managed to gross 11.2 million US dollars, on a budget of 45 million! The reviews were also quite mediocre. However, it later became a hit in video stores and a cult film among film fans. B movieswho enjoyed the practical blood effects rather than complaining about the logic problems.
But for one person, that still isn’t the case today: cruise ship captain Wendy Williams, who revisited Tentacles from an expert’s point of view for Insider on the occasion of its 25th anniversary – and almost couldn’t name a good one. moment in the long. One of the film’s first scenes, in particular, in which an anonymous person sabotages the ship’s navigation system, causing panic, was analyzed by her.
“There are lots of security backups and if the radios are not working there is (…) all kinds of satellite communication”explains Williams. “It’s almost impossible to disorganize a ship like this. Plus, the control room in the movie has a lot of people, and I’m not sure what they’re all doing. Most cruise lines — I’m not saying all — have different terminology , but we have something like a green, yellow and red state, where green means everything is running smoothly. On our bridges, at full speed, there is a captain, a team captain, a first officer or communicator and two lookouts. That’s it, that would be the composition of the bridge in reality. Five people who have everything under control”.
But that wasn’t all that was wrong with the film’s portrayal, according to Williams: “This cruise ship is equipped with sonar and I don’t know why it is necessary”, says the captain. “Furthermore, people in charge of cruise ships are meticulous about avoiding encounters with whales or other large marine animals, which is not done decisively enough in the scene in question. The credibility of this scene is probably zero.”Williams comes to a devastating conclusion.
But even though the maritime expert completely destroyed the film from her specific point of view, for most viewers, these details shouldn’t stop them from having an enjoyable cinematic experience.
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