Wednesday, October 8, 2014

31 Days of Halloween - Day 8: The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms

For the last few years I always do a 31 days of Halloween month. The past few years I re-read all the original Goosebumps books and before that I'd watch 31 horror movies. However I realized every single time I watched 31 Horror movies I exclusively picked ones I enjoyed. I decided to do something slightly different. I composed a list of every horror movie I owned and put them in alphabetical order. Then using a random number generator I generated 31 numbers and watched the movies that corresponded with those numbers. Some are great films and others… well… are less than fun let's say. I hope you enjoy!

Day 8: The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms (Movie #36)

When I first purchased The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms on DVD I hadn't see it before. I was actually trying to purchase Them! but the cheapest copy was a double feature with this film. This was not a bad thing as a child one of my all-time favorite movies was Jason & The Argonauts largely because of the stop-motion of Ray Harryhausen.

The film starts off with a group of scientists testing an atomic bomb in the Arctic. What they unknowingly do is awake a carnivorous dinosaur. The only witness is declared as delirious and released from the rest of the expedition but he persists in New York desperately trying to warn people of the danger that awaits them.  Eventually the dinosaur walks ashore and attacks New York.

Like many sci-fi/horror films from the 50s the film is mostly a slow burn. However I do applaud the immediately introduction of the claymation beast. Most films of that era (and beyond) would just hint at the creature and reveal it in the last 10 minutes but with a creature as impressive as this one I can imagine their excitement to show it off immediately. It truly is the star of the show.

This is not the greatest Harryhausen work of career (I'm still gonna give that to Jason & The Argonauts and 7th voyage of Sinbad) but it is a damn impressive creation regardless. This film doesn't feel at all like a Halloween film though and while I'm sure I'm watch it again and again for years to come I doubt it'll ever become a Halloween tradition for me.

Matt Kelly is the host of the popular podcast The Saint Mort Show, a frequent contributor to, the founder of Chords for Cures and the co-writer/co-director of the upcoming comedy Describing the Moon. He also loves it when people surprise him with purchases from his Amazon Wishlist… just saying.

No comments:

Post a Comment