Calamari Wrestler


Urged by a reader and previous buzz, I finally managed to watch the Calamari Wrestler. The movie is an over-the-top satire of Rocky with a Star Wars twist finish. Fortunately it is much better than the festering heap of movie, Rocky XXXIV. The plot is the tale of a wrestler and son of a geisha, Kan-Ichi Iwata, reincarnated as a squid who fights for more than a wrestling title.


The Calamari Wrestler is from the hills of Pakistan and may be related to the Pacific Northwest Tree Octopus. Kan-Ichi easily defeats his first opponent due to the fact “joint locks don’t work on an invertebrate, they’re too slippery” and because he is “incapable of fighting to lose.” There is the antagonist who claims, “You’re no hero! You’re just an ugly, disgusting, giant squid!” and urges him to take a dive in match. “By seeing a mysterious creature defeated, anxiety will turn into hope.” A minor subplot involves Kan-Ichi’s girlfriend overcoming her fear of loving a squid and the Calamari Wrestler waking in a cold sweat from dream about her. Overall, I found the movie hilarious although the ending had me torn who to cheer for. In the words of one of the characters, “I’m sure it will be a tasty fight.” You can also read PZ Meyer’s review.

“Will you perish as a mere desire-ridden terrestrial, or will you endure the rite of 365 points and sublimate yourself as a creature of the ocean? “

Dr. M (1729 Posts)

Craig McClain is the Assistant Director of Science for the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center, a National Science Foundation supported initiative. He has conducted deep-sea research for 20 years and published over 50 papers in the area. He has participated in and led dozens of oceanographic expeditions taken him to the Antarctic and the most remote regions of the Pacific and Atlantic. Craig’s research focuses on how energy drives the biology of marine invertebrates from individuals to ecosystems, specifically, seeking to uncover how organisms are adapted to different levels of carbon availability, i.e. food, and how this determines the kinds and number of species in different parts of the oceans. Craig’s research has been featured on National Public Radio, Discovery Channel, Fox News, National Geographic and ABC News. In addition to his scientific research, Craig also advocates the need for scientists to connect with the public and is the founder and chief editor of the acclaimed Deep-Sea News (, a popular ocean-themed blog that has won numerous awards. His writing has been featured in Cosmos, Science Illustrated, American Scientist, Wired, Mental Floss, and the Open Lab: The Best Science Writing on the Web. His forthcoming book, Science of the South (, connects cultural icons of South such as pecan pie with the science behind them.

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