Gorgo (1961)

The film begins off the Irish coast. A crew is looking for sunken treasure when a storm hits and the ocean floor is torn apart by a volcanic eruption (near Ireland?!). As a result, some weird primordial creatures are unleashed. However, despite a HUGE Godzilla-like creature stomping about, the greedy jerks STILL stick around and try to salvage the wreck. And, in the process, they manage to capture the monster and they bring it back to London to put it on exhibition (like King Kong)–not realizing that it is just a baby and mama is NOT at all pleased about losing her kid!

I noticed that one reviewer talked about how impressive the special effects were, though I assume they couldn’t have been talking about ‘ol Gorgo. This monster was similar to the Japanese giant monsters but managed to look even more fake…and more obviously just some fat guy running about in a rubber reptile suit. The red eyes especially looked silly as did the weirdly hinged lower jaw. And, like many of the Japanese films, it has the annoying cliché of the all-knowing child who KNOWS that the creature is good and thinks he has some weird psychic connection with it–just like in many of the Godzilla and Gamera films. Stupid little know-it-all kids!

So is it worth seeing? After all, the plot idea is pretty ordinary has been done many times previously (not just Kong and Gozilla, but in films like “20 Million Miles to Earth” and “It Came From Beneath the Sea”). As a result, it loses some originality points. It also has way too much stock footage of Naval ships (some a bit fuzzy). While this footage is sometimes effectively integrated into the plot, it seem an awful lot like padding after a while. And, I loved the stock shots of American planes flying over the desert (in England?!?) as well as those flying during the daytime–even though the monster is stomping about at night!! However, at least the ending is a bit different–a nice plus. It’s worth seeing if you adore these sort of films or were dying to see a British giant monster flick, but frankly it’s not terribly original and there are many better giant monster films out there–so it’s easy to skip.