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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 Show:  

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...

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Earth is visited by a GIANT ANTIMATTER SPACE BUZZARD! Gawk at the amazingly bad bird puppet, or chuckle over the silly dialog. This is one of the greatest b-movies ever made.

Lesson Learned:
  • Osmosis: os·mo·sis (oz-mo'sis, os-) n., 1. When a bird eats something.

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