Sunday, 19 May 2013

It Came from Beneath the Sea (1955)
















The second big monster from the deep for Harryhausen and again its all down to those pesky atomic bomb tests the US keep doing. This time they have disturbed a gigantic octopus from the Mindanao Deep, but not only have they upset this big boy, they have also made him radioactive which makes it very hard to catch his usual meals. So up he comes to the surface to chow down on lots of yummy humans in and on board various vessels, canned food.

So if you just scratch beneath the surface (no pun intended) you will easily see the similarity with his previous film 'The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms'. Cut down this is simply the exact same film with a slight change in story and of course a different beastie. Instead of a mighty lizard we have a mighty octopus.

To be really brutally honest I found this film a tad on the dull side, I'll say this again and again but these films are all about the creatures and unfortunately this film doesn't have as much. Now I'm not saying its a bad film, its just not as thrilling, there is a lot of dialog revolving around trying to find out what is causing the damage and deaths, and then how to kill it, plus there's a fair bit of dull romance too. So overall we don't get tonnes of monster mashing I'm afraid.

On the plus side this enormous cephalopod looks terrific! possibly even better than the lizard from '20,000', its actually quite realistic too. I love the way the tentacles reach out from the depths and crane over bridges, ports, buildings etc...slowly slithering their way along feeling for food. The Golden Gate Bridge sequence is still awesome to see, watching this sea monster coil itself around the bridge stanchion.

Love how these films always have a few good looking heroic male characters that take control. One old guy who is the brains behind all the plans and just one attractive female to keep things exciting for the boys during the action hehe. Its all so chauvinistic yet curiously charming and amusing at the same time. Another fun thing to point out in these old films is the large amount of (well spoken) narration, the way it explains the simple plot clearly because they thought people wouldn't understand haha hmm maybe we should have more of that these days.

The film comes to life towards the end as we see the Octopus strike. The use of flamethrowers to push the monster back into the sea is another really well created sequence. Up to then I can't deny its a bit of a struggle in places leaving you gagging for some in your face Harryhausen effects, but overall its still classic stuff. Ironic that weapons of mass destruction always create these ferocious problems yet they still resort to using them to attempt to solve the problem. Its all very nautical yet not a salty seadog in sight.

6.5/10