Friday, July 18, 2008

THE BEAST FROM 20,000 FATHOMS - David Buttolph - "Today Is X Day" (1953)

It's Friday night, and you know what that means, it's a good time for Giant Monster fun, and one surefire classic Giant Monster movie was "The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms".

Am I the only one who thinks it's pretty creepy that these guys are in charge of setting off atomic bombs at the North Pole in 1953??

Seems like a lot of the time this Ray Harryhausen production gets left in the shadows of some of Ray's other classics, but this is a great movie! Here's one of the first sightings of the creature!

Prolific composer David Buttolph shines in one of his rare horror outings, although he had done a lot of crime and detective films among other things in the 30's & 40's! Here it's music on the radio!

Gee, those cliffs in the background kind of look like a New York City skyline, imagine that!! Great sketch!!

I thought the random shot from off of the radio of "what was that guy smoking?" was pretty wild for 1953 until I realized that, oh, yeah, some of director Eugène Lourié's other shining moments have been steeped in drug culture with titles like "Confessions Of An Opium Eater" in 1962 and "Wild Weed" way back in 1949!!

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When that Monster starts tromping through New York, and the shoebox has to drive on the sidewalk, get the Hell out of the way!

Time to bring in the S.W.A.T. Team!!!! 1953 style!!!

So finally the Big Monster gets to Coney Island in New York, except it's really The Long Beach Pike in California!

And when all the little babies are through sniveling, it's time to finally bring in a real man to do the job, one of the few people on earth able to put the fear into Clint Eastwood, Mr. Bad himself, Lee Van Cleef!!

Too bad he wasn't within range and they have to ride the roller coaster to the top carrying a radioactive isotope and wearing the craziest hoods you've ever seen so they don't get nuclear burned, and you start to think maybe they're vulnerable after all!

Based on a story by Ray Bradbury, the film adaptation leans a lot heavier on the fiction than it does the science, but don't worry, because Lee's got that sucker in his sights!!!

See, here's the deal, you need to show your kids movies like this when they are really young before their little brains get jaded by modern production and they can't see the beauty of a black and white film until they are in their 20's or 30's! You see what I'm saying??? There is no present or future without the past! Go rent this movie, you'll love it, your kids's and co-workers will love it!!! You can be a hero too!!


Greg Goodsell said...

You should read the Ray Bradbury short story, "The Lighthouse." It's a very poignant read. The only scene from the film that the story is based on is (what else?) when the monster attacks the lighthouse --

buzz said...

Lee Van Cleef killed the Beast, Eastwood killed Tarantula, all that's missing is Eli Wallach taking down a big mutant monster for the trifecta!

Eegah!! & Tabonga! said...

You nailed that one Buzz!!!

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