Tag Archives: dinosaur

The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms (1953)

the-beast-from-20000-fathoms.24135Starring: Paul Hubschmid, Paula Raymond, Cecil Kellaway

Directed by Eugene Lourie

Format: DVD

Near the Arctic Circle, an atomic bomb is detonated. This fearsome experiment disturbs the sleep of a giant rhedosaurus encased in ice over 100-million years and sends it southward on a destructive, deadly rampage!”

There is a chance I attempted to watch this flick a few times, but to no avail. This particular version is part of a Sci-Fi Double Feature DVD from Warner Brothers, with Them! on the other side. I’m pretty sure I bought this DVD for Them! after hearing Joe Dante speak about it on some documentary. The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms has some incredible Harryhausen work I have only seen clips of,  so I’m excited to watch the film in its entirety. I’m particularly excited that it’s also only 80 minutes long. The perfect duration.

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Thoughts:

  • “Operation Experiment” is a terrible name for an operation. Or an experiment.
  • Ugh, the nuclear stuff is actually giving me a decent amount of anxiety.
  • AND it’s in the Arctic, mind you. Only adding to global warming. Not to mention a freaking monster is gonna be unearthed.
  • Oh wow, they did a full monster shot right away!beast
  • First stunt was hysterical. Looked like he took a sick wrestling bump. ECW! ECW! ECW!
  • Just realized that “prehistoric” literally means before written history and it kinda blew my mind. Looks like I also should go back to school and pay more attention. My wife was not as impressed.
  • I feel like if someone say a dinosaur, I actually wouldn’t think it was a hallucination. Like, there are definitely creatures in the Arctic that we don’t know about.
  • My nearly-psychologist wife is sitting next to me, and she’s really questioning this psychiatric exam.
  • I’m so bad with character names, I’m sorry, but the dude who just walked into the museum at 23 minutes has an odd accent.
  • I love that the first thing they say about the introduction of Lee Hunter is that she’s “very pretty” and that she’s “Dr. Elson’s assistant.”
  • “I made coffee strong enough to enter the Olympics.”
  • I love that Prof. Nesbitt is identifying the monster but shows no real signs of the PTSD I know I would if I saw a GODDAMN DINOSAUR.
  • People in the 50s YELLED on the phone.
  • The museum director is about to take a vacation after 30 years and BOY he doesn’t know what he’s in for, huh?
  • How much is a fathom? I can’t quite fathom it…
  • I do like that this movie is showcasing that it takes time for this monster to arrive on the coast. I feel like a lot of movies during this time, the monster just appears.
  • Man, I want to play the accordion.
  • Wow. I knew Harryhausen was an artist but holy shit, that first monster attack is gorgeous.
  • You can’t see this, but the subtitles are awful on this DVD. They are missing full sentences.
  • Our characters are at a ballet. You ever been to a ballet? I haven’t.
  • I also know nothing about the geography of Canada.
  • Oh damn, this museum director is the guy trying to save the creature. I wonder who the character would be trying to save the beast in the 2010s?
  • There is an octopus vs. shark sequence in this film that is unnerving. AND THEN THE BEAST.
  • I was worried the museum director was going to be a caricature of a greedy, money hungry businessman. Instead, he just never got to take his vacation.
  • This one cop going after the beast with a pistol is a real hero. 7-beast-20000-720x480
  • I’ve seen my fair share of monster films, but only a Harryhausen film could include a monster, show it multiple times in-full and in-motion and it wouldn’t feel cheap or “fake.” The monster’s movements are beautiful.
  • How do these guys not know where the monster went after it was on Wall Street? Is it a metaphor?
  • They really lucked into this powerline/bazooka combo to attack the creature.
  • How many war rooms exist in the U.S.?
  • The beast’s biology is a total game changer, damn.
  • Radioactive isotope, huh?

The Verdict:

Fun and short, great creature with an abrupt ending. The special features on the disc are pretty good, I’m listening to them while I write my verdict. Actually, listening to Harryhausen talk is kind of influencing my verdict, so I’ll have to put them on hold. I loved that the there were a couple factors that made the beast dangerous, not just that it was a terrifying monster. There seemed to be logic to this creature feature, not just chaos and destruction.

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