STARRING: Gene Evans, Andre Morell, John Turner, Leigh Madison, Jack MacGowran

1959, 80 Minutes, Directed by:
Eugène Lourié

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 . . .



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