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Monday, September 3, 2012

Don't Open That Door! #11: The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms (1953)

The latest in my ongoing column over at PopMatters is focused on The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms, Ray Harryhausen's excellent 1953 dinosaur-on-the-loose flick that was inspired by the original King Kong, and in turn inspired a host of similar films, including Ishiro Hondo's Godzilla.

My article begins:

"Nuclear tests have sent the earth out of its orbit—no, wait, that’s a different movie. Nuclear tests have unleashed a swarm of giant killer ants—no, wait, sorry. Here it is: nuclear tests up in the Arctic have roused a dinosaur from its suspended animation (that’s “sleep” to you and me, kids) and sent it swimming and waddling down the Canadian coast in search of its old breeding grounds in America’s northeast. After its amorous advances toward a Canadian fishing vessel and a Maine lighthouse go unheeded, the scaly critter grows annoyed and sets about laying waste to everything in sight. Meanwhile, intrepid scientist Dr Tom Nesbitt, who first spotted the thing up at the North Pole, has identified the creature as a rhedosaur (from Latin saur = “lizard” and rhedo = “this audience will believe anything”). Dr. Nesbitt confers with elderly Dr. Elson—you can tell he’s a scientist by his pipe—who suspects that the rhedosaur might soon come ashore in search of a mate."

And so on. There's much more hilarity to be had, and I encourage you to read the whole column here. If you care to Like it on Facebook or Tweet about it and so forth, thot's all fantastic too.

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