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It Came from Beneath the Sea (1955)

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  • It Came from Beneath the Sea (1955)

    Title It Came from Beneath the Sea
    Year 1955
    Rated APPROVED
    Released 01 Jul 1955
    Runtime 79 min
    Director Robert Gordon
    Writer George Worthing Yates (screenplay), Harold Jacob Smith (screenplay), George Worthing Yates (story)
    Actors Kenneth Tobey, Faith Domergue, Donald Curtis, Ian Keith
    Plot After an encounter at sea with an unknown underwater creature, a naval commander works with two scientists to identify it. The creature they are dealing with is a giant, radioactive octopus that has left its normal feeding grounds in search of new sources of replenishment. As the creature attacks San Francisco, the Navy tries to trap it at the Golden Gate Bridge but it manages to enter the Bay area leading to a final confrontation with a submarine.
    Language English
    Country USA
    Awards N/A
    Production Columbia Pictures
    Website N/A
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    People hyping up latest comic book movie to be the GOAT and I'm like "psshh, you guys must not have seen Bigfoot rip off a man's dick before in 1980's Night of the Demon."

  • #2
    In the mood for some giant monster action, I decided to give this another shot. I can’t remember how long it’s been since I last saw it. All I can recall is that it has stop-motion effects by Ray Harryhausen.

    Now I know why I don’t get this much attention. It’s rather dull. Other than a few fleeting moments of giant octopus action in the beginning, most of the monster sequences are at the end. The Golden Gate bridge and the San Francisco attacks are good, vintage, monster moments, but everything else is involves watching a triangle romance that puts me to sleep. It doesn’t help that the story is framed like a newsreel complete with a narrator who describes exactly what’s shown onscreen.

    There are only two reasons to check this out. The first are, again, the stop-motion effects. They’re every bit as charming and entertaining as I remembered them being. The other reason is for the cast, particularly Kenneth Tobey and Faith Domergue. Tobey is one of those character actors everyone has seen in dozens of films even if they don’t know it. From Gremlins 2 to Airplane to Walking Tall, the man has nearly done it all. Domergue is an actress I’ve always found interesting. I was first introduced to her via Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Movie in which they riffed on This Island Earth. She’s also in Cult of the Cobra Woman and House of Seven Corpses. The way she pronounces dialogue and her mannerisms are just slightly off. I don’t know how to explain it. Sometimes it’s a bit too much like when she gets all squishy thinking about Tobey’s character. It’s far from subtle, but at least entertaining in an otherwise sleep-inducing scene.

    It’s curious how certain elements carry across in these 50’s science fiction films in which atomic energy and man’s meddling of the dangerous unknown are the cause of giant mayhem. Many of the American produced films mention atomic energy is the source of the problem, but often skirts around the government taking responsibility. Then you have films made outside of America. Take Godzilla for example. It’s blatantly clear the U.S. military’s atomic tests is what led to the monstrous creature to wreak havoc. It also says a great deal when the U.S. is not allowed to help Japan. Compare the Japanese version of the movie with the American cut and notice how more pro-America it becomes.

    Why am I mentioning all of this? Because the octopus in this film already existed. It’s just the atomic weapons tests simply woke it up. America isn’t really at fault here. Usually in this genre, science is the key to beating the monster. Remember when scientists were mad and deranged back in the 30s and 40s? In the 50s, they’re now the saviors to fixing major problems now that it’s a post-WWII era. How is the giant octopus stopped in this? An atomic powered submarine shoots a torpedo into it. When the octopus grabs the sub, a diver explodes a bomb in the octopus’ eye to shake them free of its grip. Seriously, octopus goes BOOM is the solution.

    Other than the AMERICA FUCK YEAH resolution and special effects, it’s difficult to recommend this to anyone if they’re not going through a checklist of films containing Harryhausen effects. I’d place it below the average mark when it comes to giant monster flicks from the 1950s. Exhaust the list of others before heading into this. I’d even suggest watching a few episodes of TV’s Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea if you really need to scratch an itch of seeing a submarine fight off giant sea monsters.

    People hyping up latest comic book movie to be the GOAT and I'm like "psshh, you guys must not have seen Bigfoot rip off a man's dick before in 1980's Night of the Demon."