Tentacle Tuesday: The Crawling Eye, 1958

On Tentacle Tuesday we enjoy quick tutorials on making tentacles, and spotlights on famous tentacles of movie past.

in 1958, The Crawling Eye stunned moviegoers with a creature that was incredibly original and gruesome. These veiny single eyed aliens are riddled with slime and tentacles, making them absolutely other worldly.

The tentacles from The Crawling Eye made a decent impact on popular culture. If you’ve read Stephen King’s IT, you’ll recall that Pennywise manifests as the tentacled creature at one point. It has also appeared in an episode of Mst 3K.

You can watch the entire movie on youtube, complete with commercials from the day it was recorded.

I can’t seem to find any details on the construction of the beasts from The Crawling Eye, though you can see from the gif above that the movement is extremely simple. For tentacle motion it appears to be a mixture of simply waving around floppy bits and using wire to pull around flexible models.

While most of the scenes are incredibly simple in execution, the scene below is pretty impressive. I’m not even entirely sure how they got the tentacle to curl around his neck like that, there are many options. Wish I knew someone who worked on the film so I could ask.  The sequence involves what would have been the state of the art in special effects back then. There’s a shot with miniatures and then a composite shot (I think) where the scale model of the monster appears to be projected behind him. Very well done!