In this holiday feature, we will showcase the best monster movies ever made during each day of the month, leading up to Halloween.
THE BEAST FROM 20,000 FATHOMS (1953)
Near the Arctic Circle researchers detonate a nuclear device and unwittingly thaw a prehistoric beast frozen for millions of years. The monster leaves a path of destruction across eastern North America as it heads straight for New York City. When heavy artillery proves ineffective against the towering creature, scientist Tom Nesbitt (Paul Christian) concocts a radioactive formula to neutralize the beast — and ace shot Cpl. Stone (Lee Van Cleef) will deliver it by grenade.
This film is a perfect example of a classic, old-school monster movie. They don’t get much better than this one. The movie was also one of the first atomic monster movies that was prevalent during the 1950’s.
One of the reasons The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms works so well is because of the stop motion animation effects work of Ray Harryhausen, the legendary pioneer of stop motion work in film. He brought a great many monsters to life in film that otherwise wouldn’t have been possible other than a man in a suit, ala Godzilla. Which, by the way, this film was a direct inspiration for Japan’s Godzilla, which was made only a year later.
The film had a great cast that featured Paul Christian, Paula Raymond, Cecil Kellaway, and the wonderful Kenneth Tobey.