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 (1720 Posts)

Craig McClain is the Assistant Director of Science for the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center, created to facilitate research to address fundamental questions in evolutionary science. He has conducted deep-sea research for 11 years and published over 40 papers in the area. He has participated in dozens of expeditions taking him to the Antarctic and the most remote regions of the Pacific and Atlantic. Craig’s research focuses mainly on marine systems and particularly the biology of body size, biodiversity, and energy flow. He focuses often on deep-sea systems as a natural test of the consequences of energy limitation on biological systems. He is the author and chief editor of Deep-Sea News, a popular deep-sea themed blog, rated the number one ocean blog on the web and winner of numerous awards. Craig’s popular writing has been featured in Cosmos, Science Illustrated, American Scientist, Wired, Mental Floss, and the Open Lab: The Best Science Writing on the Web.

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