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DVD to tell tale of 'Oklahoma Octopus'



Remember the sightings of a so-called giant octopus terrorizing Oklahoma lakes? We even wrote a cover story about it ("Eight arms to kill you," Aug. 15, 2007, Oklahoma Gazette).

The mythical man-eater is the subject of an episode of "Lost Tapes," an Animal Planet series on cryptozoological creatures, coming to DVD on Oct. 6. The 30-minute presentation, titled "Oklahoma Octopus," tells its story via found (fake) footage from a student's camera.

That young whippersnapper is Sean Conklin, on a senior trip to the lake with some of his friends, including a douchebag character named Tyler. Because Tyler is the kind of guy who screams "woo-hoo" while driving and makes fun of women's menstrual cycles, the viewer hopes he gets tentacled to death first.

And that's exactly what happens, as if the Oklahoma Octopus wants to smack Tyler with some karmic payback for his stealing a canoe. Two other pals get sucked under, and survivors suffer from "unexplained blisters on their limbs," but you don't see anything; it's all about suggestion. It's like "The Blair Witch Project," minus the thrills, F-words and cultural impact.

The scariest thing about it may be the ellipses-filled subtitles that provide the background: "Many locals believe that a mysterious creature inhabits the lakes of Oklahoma. A ferocious monster ... rumored to be responsible for drowning deaths in the state. The beast is alleged to resemble an octopus the size of a horse ... having long tentacles and reddish-brown, leathery skin ... Each arm of the octopus has massive strength. Suckers on its arms help trap its quarry. A powerful beak kills the prey and bites it into pieces."

Whatevs. Everything about the program feels as false as its subject. For example, you know it wasn't even shot in Oklahoma because the water is too clear.

Oh, well. There's always the "Cave Demons," "Megaconda" and "Death Worm" episodes.

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