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Not Rated
Copyright 1978 Rankin Bass Productions
Reviewed by Andrew Borntreger on 31 October 2009

Capsule Review:    

Lots of people have hazy memories of a film with a little boy and a little girl who carve their initials into a baby sea turtle on the beach. Years later, the young man, whose name is Magnus, returns to the island to help a marine biologist catch a giant sea turtle that lurks in the deep waters of the Bermuda Triangle. He meets a mysterious woman named Jennie Haniver and discovers that she is the girl from his youth; but Jennie is not human, and their turtle is a monster created by the devil itself.

Magnus' turtle-chasing friend is Carl Weathers! Eventually, Carl gets tired of trying to catch the big turtle and shoots it with a harpoon bazooka. He gets tangled in the harpoon's cable, and is pulled into the Bermuda depths Captain Ahab style. The turtle takes out a helicopter with Burl Ives in it! In the end, Magnus is left with nothing. His lifelong friend is gone, drifting somewhere as a waterlogged corpse, and his one true love in life is a female sea demon who flirts with other men every chance she gets. Granted, Jennie plays with the men because she wants to drown them, not sleep with them, but it's still an awkward situation for Magnus.

"Hi honey, where have you been?"
"I went for a walk."
"Did you go to a club to meet some man and drown him?"
"What do you care? All you ever do is watch football on the television, and it's not even real football. It's that crap the Americans call football!"
"Listen here, you sailor suffocating strumpet!"
"Go to Hell!"

Yeah, that's not exactly what I'd call a healthy relationship.

Anyway, I last saw (as many of us did) this movie on network television sometime around the early 80s. Reviewing it now, the story is not nearly as haunting as I remembered, but that is the result of it being filtered through the brain of a ten-year-old boy. The film still does have its momements, especially when Carl is inexorably pulled to his watery death.


During October we are celebrating Monster Movie Mayhem!

Things I Learned From This Show:  

Green Dot Colored play clay is made from sea turtles.
Green Dot Always, always, always, always buy the biggest boat that you can afford; then start saving money for an even bigger boat.
Green Dot If your helicopter runs into a turtle, then you were probably flying too low.
Green Dot The best gift that you can give a captain with an obsessive need for revenge is a pair of bolt cutters.

Stuff To Watch For:  

Green Dot 7 mins - Magnus, no more of this "the whales are keeping me awake" nonsense. Go to sleep.
Green Dot 41 mins - I've seen better special effects in my bathtub.
Green Dot 65 mins - You couldn't see what it was, so you shot at it anyway? You are every responsible deer hunter's worst nightmare.
Green Dot 66 mins - And another thing: how could you not see what it was? That water is almost crystal clear.
Green Dot 83 mins - Gamera, nooooooooooo!


Magnus: "Jennie Haniver."
Dr. Paulis: "My boy, you've been had."
Magnus: "What do you mean?"
Dr. Paulis: "Eh, somebody's been kidding you. This is a Jenny Haniver. It's a fraud. A sea monster made from cured and dried sea life. They've been selling them 'round here to the superstitious and the gullible for centuries."

Harpooned Turtle: **WAARRRRBBBBLLLLE**
Magnus: "The sound it's making sounds like a scream. It sounds like a woman screaming!"
Eric: "Probably just air escaping."

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