Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008


IT CAME FROM BENEATH THE SEA (1955). Director: Robert Gordon.

The true star of this movie is special effects wizard Ray Harryhausen and his stupendous stop-motion giant octopus, which attacks ships, snatches people off the shore, destroys the Golden Gate Bridge, and smashes unstoppably through San Francisco in search of squiggling and screaming human food. Flawed by its minuscule budget, the movie nevertheless holds the attention and has some splendid sequences, particularly those shots of soldiers using flame throwers to push back the gargantuan tentacles of the sea beast as they snake through the city. Faith Domergue is fun and sexy as a more liberated kind of lady scientist than usual, while Ken Tobey and Donald Curtis are more or less solid support as, respectively, a Navy sub commander/romantic interest and a colleague of Domergue's. Lots of creepy fun. The DVD, which has an excellent print, also features a documentary on Harryhausen and other extras.

Verdict: Great fun! ***.

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