Bring On Kraken!

Posted by: Loren Coleman on September 23rd, 2006


Modern images of the Kraken come via Jules Verne’s book and from remembrances of the 1954 sci-fi movie named after his book, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.


That’s about ready to change, in a small way, after the September 23nd broadcast of Kraken on the Sci-Fi Channel.

Early reviews are what might be expected, as people sometimes make more fun of the name than the subject. Take for example, Kevin McDonough of United Features Syndicate in his contribution, with the oddly headlined "’Kracken’: Well, the title’s good" :

You have to love a movie called "Kraken: Tentacles of the Deep" (9 p.m., Sci Fi). Or at least you have to appreciate how the movie got that ridiculous name.

For some years now, Sci Fi has been delighting audiences, and at least one critic, with its Saturday-night franchise of cheap, silly thrillers. In an entertainment universe where Hollywood spends a quarter of a billion dollars to produce the third remake of "King Kong," these features are a refreshing return to B-movie purity.

"Kraken" begins as a giant squid attacks a small boat containing a romantic couple and a small boy reading himself to sleep with Jules Verne’s "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea." Two seconds after getting amorous, the couple become squid food. Fast-forward 20 years and that small boy has become Ray (Charlie O’Connell), a hunky sailor who joins forces with bikini-clad maritime archaeologist Nicole (Victoria Pratt).

Victoria Pratt

She’s in search of sunken treasure, but finds a giant squid instead. Or does the giant squid find her? She also has a team of bad guys on her tail. How do we know they’re bad? They dress in black.

Originally produced as "Deadly Waters," the film was acquired by the geniuses at Sci Fi, who offered visitors to their Web site the chance to rename it. Thousands took a crack at the task, and "Kraken" was the best of the lot. Other entries included "Two Guys, a Girl and a Giant Squid," "The Squid Stays in the Picture" and "Killamari."

Victoria Pratt

Of course, what reviewer Kevin McDonough either is missing in his joking mood or unaware of is that the Kraken is an ancient name for the giant squid, once considered an absurd fiction until undisputable physical evidence of its existence became available in the 1870s. Before then, however, respectable opinion held it to be as fabulous as the mermaid, and those who claimed to have seen it could count on being ridiculed if they took their sightings to scientists.

Obviously, that tradition seems to have escaped the knowledge of some critics of this new Sci-Fi Channel movie.

Sci Fi Kraken

Loren Coleman About Loren Coleman
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading living cryptozoologist. Certainly, he is acknowledged as the current living American researcher and writer who has most popularized cryptozoology in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Starting his fieldwork and investigations in 1960, after traveling and trekking extensively in pursuit of cryptozoological mysteries, Coleman began writing to share his experiences in 1969. An honorary member of Ivan T. Sanderson’s Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained in the 1970s, Coleman has been bestowed with similar honorary memberships of the North Idaho College Cryptozoology Club in 1983, and in subsequent years, that of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club, CryptoSafari International, and other international organizations. He was also a Life Member and Benefactor of the International Society of Cryptozoology (now-defunct). Loren Coleman’s daily blog, as a member of the Cryptomundo Team, served as an ongoing avenue of communication for the ever-growing body of cryptozoo news from 2005 through 2013. He returned as an infrequent contributor beginning Halloween week of 2015. Coleman is the founder in 2003, and current director of the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine.

10 Responses to “Bring On Kraken!”

  1. busterggi responds:

    Even in his sleep, Cthulhu keeps on truckin’.

  2. Dragonheart responds:

    Killamari would have been the best title for this movie 🙂

  3. MattBille responds:

    I agree – Killimari would have been a good one.

    For those who may not have read it, Tennyson did his own take on this legend (and, since he died over a century ago, it’s out of copyright 🙂

    The Kraken

    Below the thunders of the upper deep;
    Far far beneath in the abysmal sea,
    His ancient, dreamless, uninvaded sleep
    The Kraken sleepeth: faintest sunlights flee
    About his shadowy sides; above him swell
    Huge sponges of millennial growth and height;
    And far away into the sickly light,
    From many a wondrous grot and secret cell
    Unnumber’d and enormous polypi
    Winnow with giant arms the slumbering green.
    There hath he lain for ages, and will lie
    Battening upon huge seaworms in his sleep,
    Until the latter fire shall heat the deep;
    Then once by man and angels to be seen,
    In roaring he shall rise and on the surface die.

    — Alfred, Lord Tennyson

  4. shovethenos responds:

    Haven’t there been a lot of “Kraken Deniers” and “Giant Squid Deniers” much more recently than the 1870s?

    I seem to remember reading books on cryptozoology as a kid in the 80s and some claiming that the giant squid was a myth. They even tried to explain away the large sucker scars on some sperm whales by saying that the injury happened when the whale was young and expanded as it aged.

    And I seem to remember that even one of the Discovery Channel or History Channel shows tried to claim that they didn’t exist.

  5. cradossk responds:

    No way, Two Guys, a Girl and a Giant Squid is an awesome title for a movie. If only they somehow had pizza as well.

  6. twblack responds:

    Who cares about the title? Victoria Pratt in a 2-piece, now that is what I am talking errrr looking at.

    And yes I agree the B-Movies of horror are still pretty fun to watch. I hope they never die out.

  7. shumway10973 responds:

    Now, are the three in the 3rd picture the ones in the movie? If so, this could be pretty good, at least, because the 2 men worked together on the tv show mutant x. They work well together. Anything able to survive on the bottom of any lake or sea, that does not have to work too hard to eat will get abnormally big. Are they a complete species to themselves? Well, there is no reason that there wasn’t a large sized species around the time of the dinos (everything is suppose to be larger back then), and they were able to survive by being at the bottom of the ocean. The only thing I would want to know is why would they want to surface? Think about the energy exerted. I see it kinda like me trying to exercise–1,2,3…ouch! I’m done.

  8. Mnynames responds:

    Love that Tennyson poem, sounds a lot like Lovecraft talking about Cthulhu. Not surprising, as the man ate books for breakfast Seems a little Tennyson dribbled out onto his pages.

    Except once Cthulhu and his polypi spawn rise, they don’t die- everything else does.

  9. Mnynames responds:

    I’d love to be the head of that movie studio, just so I could say, “Release the Kraken!…to DVD.”

  10. CryptoInformant responds:

    Yeah, I remember “In Search Of: The Giant Squid” put on a nice “search”, provided plausible positive positive evidence, and then conclusively debunked the Fish-Killamari b/c their search failed. In more recent ironies, Japanese scientists had a nice photo shoot with a nice, live Giant Squid as the subject, and Discovery Channel made an “In Search Of: The Loch Ness Monster” and providing plausible positive evidence and conclusively DOUBLE debunked it with the failure of their one-boat search and the occasional fallibility of our own eyes.

    “OMG! I may not ACTUALLY be typing at a computer!!” Hmm… News for 2010: Nessie conclusively confirmed by good cameras?

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