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.