Tribes of October – A Post Apocalyptic Thriller

The Hollywood Reporter reported today that former FBI agent Robert Duvall, pictured in the new movie Top Gun, will star as a leading character in a new film called Tribes of October. Tribes of October is being directed by Philippe Martineau, who also produced the film. The movie is expected to star Matt Damon, Russell Crow, Yul Brynner, Edward Norton, and Ed Harris. No release date has been set for Tribes of October yet.

Another interesting bit about this potential film is that it will be the first film of director Philippe Meyer since he helmed the Italian version of The Pirates of the Caribbean. In that movie, Charlton Heston played Jamaican pirate captain Barbossa and Frank Capra played Capra’s foil Captain Lauderdale. Both men are set to reprise their roles in the upcoming sequel to the successful Pirates of the Caribbean film franchise.

So, what’s so special about this film? The story is said to follow the plot of the book The tribes of Octopus by Peter V Brett. In that novel, the main character is an octopus who is called Nel. In the book, Nel is not an ordinary octopus. He is a member of an extinct group of insects called the reloads which have inhabited earth for millions of years. Following the death of his mate and in search of a home, he becomes stranded on earth and sets up residence in a mountain.

In the plot of the film, Nel is forced by his brother to become part of a special division of the mafia called the Peacekeepers. The division is created as a way for the peacekeeper’s members to go on a hunting trip in an attempt to bring in large amounts of game. Except for Nel, most of the other members do not believe in such practices. This causes tension between him and another detective called Fabio who suspect Nel of being involved in some unethical activities. The two detectives soon come to know each other when a shoot out takes place in a post-apocalyptic thriller styled city. Fabio ends up dying in the fire, however Nel manages to save the day and the two become good friends.

The movie opens with a series of shots of the barren wastelands as the peacekeepers hunt for game in the post-apocalyptic west. Soon, they spot a figure walking through an irradiated landscape. The name of the figure is Octavo but our protagonist is called Nel. The three tribes of octopuses gather around and Nel transforms into a huge, muscular neloid which almost resembles the head of a dinosaur.

Although Nel is strong, his new features give him a look more like a hulk than that of a sporty super hero like Sam Raimi’s version. Although there are a few occasions where he has to use his fists (like in the penultimate chase scene where he smashes a couple of vehicles), the majority of the fighting is done with his large arms which he also uses like a spear. The design of the arms and the bulk of the body, however, lend him a more muscular look than the comic book renderings of the characters in the earlier phases of the film’s development.

The late sequences of the film, which takes place in small New Mexico towns and desolate areas across the desert, are arguably the funniest parts. The most obvious setting is an old Spanish mission, where two drunk vigilantes discover a group of strange beings in cages. The men proceed to attack them but are too tired from beating up the prisoners to actually do any damage. Instead, they inadvertently kill one of the aliens and capture the other foraging on their flesh.

It makes for an interesting contrast between a future in which humanity has spread out into the desert to start farms, and a future in which a government has been installed in which a private company has control over the means of transportation due to pollution. In the first instance, the movie clearly depicts the futility of trying to improve conditions for tribes living in the post-apocalyptic wasteland; in the second, it’s simply impossible to have a society based on such equality. This makes tribes of October an interesting watch as they try to adapt to their surroundings despite the circumstances.

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