The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms (1953 USA)

As the 50s started with a fascination for science fiction, Ray Harryhausen soon got his first chance to prove his talents in a solo effort when he was hired to do the special effects for Eugène Lourié’s new film, “The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms”. This sci-fi epic about a resurrected dinosaur fitted Harryhausen’s animation like a glove and gave him the opportunity to show his amazing skills. After this now-legendary motion picture, the sky itself became the only limit for the animator’s career. It would be very easy to dismiss “The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms” because of its nowadays clichéd plot (in fact, it’s idea would be improved the following year with Ishirô Honda’s very superior “Gojira”), however, one has to remember that this was among the first (if not the very first) films to tell this kind of story.  [Read more…]

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The Blob (1958 USA)

Hardly substantial enough to be a guilty pleasure, let alone a cult film: a giant quivering mound of raspberry (or is it blackcurrant?) jelly chasing – and often catching – fleeing, highly respectable teenagers on a weekend night. From the moment we hear Burt Bacharach’s opening theme song “Beware of the Blob!” we know we’re in for a good, solid, campy light hearted fun. Refreshingly free of any scientific investigation/jargon. I like to watch this stuff for historical reasons: the 50’s cars, teens in high collar shirts and high pants, crime-free suburbia, Polio posters, proper girls, crooked teeth, chess games, super friendly cops… [Read more…]

The Golden Voyage Of Sinbad (Britain 1974)

golden-voyage-of-sinbadIf you are looking for an enjoyable adventure, full of swashbuckling heroics, colourful characters, and of course the battle of good versus evil, then you’ve found it. All aspects of the production contribute to a fantastic tale of conflict, destiny and glory. This is one of a series of Ray Harryhausen (animator/story) movies about Sinbad, the legendary sailor. In the first ten minutes this film shows its true colours as a fantasy. It will pull you in and keep you musing, wondering, and entertained mostly all the way through. [Read more…]

The War Of The Gargantuas (1966 Japan)

japanese-horror-fantasyLosing the Second World War must have turned the Japanese insane. Imagine what type of films they would have churned out if they had won. Plot: From the remains of a Frankenstein monster spawns a hairy brown gargantua named Sanda. Though raised by kind scientists in captivity, he escapes one day and a part of his flesh was snagged off a rock and made its way into the sea, spawning a green gargantua called Gaira. Gaira goes on a rampage through Japan killing countless civilians, but soon finds himself overwhelmed by man’s great weapons. Before the military could finish off the beast, Sanda arrives to help his brother. [Read more…]

Jurassic World (2015 USA)

jurassic worldWhile the set up is predictable as well as it’s outcome, this is a fun two hours of distraction. I would put J W in the same category as most 21st century Hollywood films; the story line won’t make you think, the characters won’t go through any psychological changes but you will be thoroughly entertained by the special effects. That’s what many people watch movies for – to be blown away by the sheer visual spectacle. [Read more…]

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