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THE BEAST FROM 20,000 FATHOMS - 3 Slimes
Not Rated
Copyright 1953 Jack Dietz Productions
Reviewed by Andrew Borntreger on 30 October 2007

Capsule Review:    

Nuclear bomb tests in the area of Baffin Bay, in addition to spawning a crop of four-eyed seals (to the delight of SeaWorld audiences), release a prehistoric monster from its icy prison. One scientist sees the creature before being critically injured by an avalanche. The broken nuclear physicist is medevaced to New York City. His biggest problem is not medical, it is convincing the authorities that he is not a Class A mental patient. Even a rash of sea serpent reports and unexplainable ship sinkings does little for his credibility. Working with a survivor from one of the ships, the scientist convinces a world-renowned paleontologist that the beast exists.

Of course, after the dinosaur emerges from the New York City harbor and goes on a rampage, people start taking this monster business seriously. There is a great scene with a group of NYC's finest, in trench coats and carrying shotguns, engaging the beast in the middle of a city street. Unflappable though they may be, the NYPD is poorly equipped to deal with the real menace posed by the prehistoric creature: its blood carries a deadly plague.

The movie culminates in fiery destruction as the physicist and a young soldier (Lee Van Cleef) corner the dinosaur in the middle of the Coney Island roller coaster. Their weapon is a rifle grenade filled with radioactive isotopes that will burn the infection from the beast's bloodstream and put it down for good.

The dinosaur, a carnivorous quadruped called a "Rhedosaurus," is a landmark Ray Harryhausen creation. After all these years, seeing it tromp down a city street crowded with cars is still great fun for a monster movie lover. I even like the scene stolen straight from Ray Bradbury's story "The Fog Horn."


Things I Learned From This Movie:  

Green Dot Public telephones pop up in the strangest places.
Green Dot "Sea legs" means growing sticky pads on the soles of your feet.
Green Dot New York City vigorously enforces its leash laws, regardless of the pet's size.
Green Dot Rifle grenades are precision weapons and often used by Army snipers.

Stuff To Watch For:  

Green Dot 5 mins - So, he encountered a huge prehistoric dinosaur during his time in the Army as a radar operator, got out, bought a boat, survived being trapped on an island full of giant shrews, fell in love, fell out of love, got a dog, and eventually became the sheriff of Hazzard County?
Green Dot 20 mins - "I hate rain. When I retire, I'm buying a house in Nevada."
Green Dot 59 mins - Huh, must not be a union dock...

Buy It Now Online:  

Buy it from Amazon.com   (United States)

Buy it from Movies Unlimited   (United States)


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Comments:Write CommentPages: [1]
Re: The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms (Capsule Review)
Reply #1. Posted on November 06, 2007, 06:36:30 PM by peter j/denny c
You really can't say enough good things about this film --
Looks even better on a really big screen, so if you know anyone with video projection capabilities, you should show this one on the back of a garage one night for the neighborhood kids --
Didn't Bradbury get actual screen credit for this?  So, not really a steal? . . .
peter johnson/denny crane
Re: The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms (Capsule Review)
Reply #2. Posted on November 09, 2007, 06:39:21 PM by Nev
This movie is so good.  Special effects are always top notch from ray.  One of my favorite classic american monster movies. 
Re: The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms (Capsule Review)
Reply #3. Posted on November 12, 2007, 11:53:37 AM by Flangepart
Too much exposition, not enough monster, solid B cast, first time someone hands Lee Van Cleef a gun! ( I'd have used a Garand, myself, but hey...)
Fun time in the world of B&W.
Re: The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms (Capsule Review)
Reply #4. Posted on April 29, 2008, 06:52:44 PM by George

What happens when movie producers see a monster movie script and decide there is entirely to much monster in the story?.
Well you get The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms!.
It could of been so much better,but for some reason,Jack Ditz and Hal Chester (our producers),said "Way to much Monster",what did they want?,you know he was originally to be called Godzilla,but at the last minute Warner Bros. decided this title would be a better eye catcher,(good thing,for a three years later that name would be given to one of the most famous monsters in history!,though I still like Gamera better,and landed Raymond Burr the role as the country's most famous defense attorney in TV history,up to the time of Matlock,today they are both the most famous attorneys on TV).
Anyway,yet another A-bomb test unleashes the Beast,Paul Christan(Tom Nesbit) is the only one who survives the first encounter and tries to convince everyone else as to what he has seen.
You know no one believes him,until he meets Dr.Elsion and Miss Lee Hunter,who's played,believe it or not, by non other than Gracie Allen!!,the first straight role she's ever had!.
Oh I'm sorry,that's not our queen of confusion,it's really Paula Raymond,who just happens to look like a young Gracie Allen.
Meantime the beast goes on the rampage,needing to eat after all those thousands of years,he eats the following,Icebergs,Canadian fishing boats,with nice Canadian Fishermen morsels,Lighthouses,Divingbells,and finally he comes to New York City!.
Where he's amazed by the well paved road to walk on,stopping only to eat cars and policemen!,with special guest screamer Aunt Bea!,and crashing through The Jeffersons deluxe east side apartment!,now where else are you going to find a monster movie like this one?.
He also carries a prehistoric disease,and so at Conny Island while the monster eats his last meal,(that rollercoaster),Tom gives a grenade rifle to non other than Mr.Ugly,Lee Van Clef himself,(I know he was the bad one in the Clint Eastwood picture,but in another western movie he's referred to as Mr.Ugly,unfortunately I don't remember the name of that movie right now).
Lee shoots the radioactive isotope into the monster and he screams out in horrible pain and dies.
Loosely based on a Ray Bradbury story in the Saturday Evening Post called The Fog Horn,in which a sea monster hears the foghorn,thinking it's another monster,he rushes to meet it,needless to say when he sees it's a lighthouse,he dies of a broken heart.
Re: The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms (Capsule Review)
Reply #5. Posted on June 26, 2009, 09:25:15 AM by El Misfit
this was the beast of the time, stop-motion movies! TeddyR TeddyR TeddyR TeddyR TeddyR TeddyR
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Lesson Learned:
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