STARRING: Gene Evans, Andre Morell,
John Turner, Leigh Madison, Jack MacGowran
1959, 80 Minutes, Directed by:
A giant radioactive Godzilla-like creature
menaces London in this Black & White 1950s British creature feature.
While The Giant Behemoth
may be distributed on DVD under Warner Home Video’s “Cult Camp Classic” label,
the movie is simply too, well, British to be truly campy and unintentionally
humorous. As stodgy and well-mannered as it lead protagonists, even the
creature’s rampage —
which finally kicks off at the 50 minute running time mark
is too polite to be any real fun.
Instead of trashing any
well-known landmarks, the giant stop-motion creature designed by the legendary
Willis O’Brien (best known for the original groundbreaking 1930s
King Kong) merely saunters past the British House of
Parliament and Tower of London without giving them so much as a second glance;
instead preferring to hurl two hapless passengers in a car into the Thames. At
least the Japanese and Americans know that for good value for your admittance
ticket your giant monster has to demolish at least one well-known landmark!
With no outrageously
over-the-topic bad acting (such as in Attack of the 50
Ft. Woman, also bundled with this movie as part of the Cult Camp Classic box
set, for instance) to latch onto, the viewer is left with nothing except to
count off the clichés of 1950s creature features. We get: lab-coated scientist
heroes, stock footage of nuclear bomb testing and an open ending that, in this
case, promises more monsters washing ashore in the United States. Maybe these
monsters will have the common decency to wreck at least the White House or maybe
the Statue of Liberty or perhaps some lesser known landmark . . .