Monday, November 23, 2009

there behemoths be!

if my memory serves me correctly, I saw this fun and surprisingly scary giant monster movie before I saw the "original"- The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms.  I'm not 100 percent sure now, as I look back through the mists of time.

but it stands to reason I saw it first, since I like it more.  it's not quite as well made, but there's just something inherently likable about the entire movie.  the cast is quite enjoyable, and very sincere in their performances.  the story is nothing new, atomic bombs revive a prehistoric monster (sound familiar?) but the rather graphic effects shown are a bit disturbing.

the effects are quite well done, mostly.  the animation is very smooth for the most part.  here's a great shot of the paleosaurus (a cool, if kind of silly, name for a prehistoric sauropod) as it walks down a street in London.  the people actually look scared!  ACTING!  GENUIS!

this was a staple of late night or weekend afternoon tv viewing in the 70s and early 80s, but like many other cool movies and tv shows, disappeared once "infomercials" made their cancerous debut on the telly.  AMC showed it a few times, which then proved there were two versions around, one missing about 10 minutes of footage.  since it's not a long movie to begin with, I bet that version just booked along!

the recent DVD release looks pretty great (these are screen grabs from it).  I hate to beat a dead horse, but sadly, this is probably the worst commentary I've ever heard on ANY disc, ever.  it's from two people I admire and should have known better, since they are purported fans of the movie.  or at least had Tom Weaver there to help out with facts about the rest of the movie that didn't involve the effects.  it's not like the producers rounded up a group of people off the street to act in the movie!

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