Day 3: King Kong (1933)
The original and still the best. King Kong is one of my favorite movies of all time! I recently listened to the commentary track with Ray Harryhausen and Ken Ralston, and they pointed out that the jungle scenes were inspired by Dore, which I had never thought about, but once it was pointed out, I could totally see it.
Day 4: The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms (1953)
I had thought this was one of the ones I hadn’t seen before, but I was wrong. I had seen it, but just forgotten most of it. That’s probably because it was really boring. I’m as big a fan of Ray Harryhausen as anybody, but this one should’ve been called “The Guy Who Went to the Hospital,” because that’s mostly what it was about. There was definitely not enough monster. And at the end, they rode a rollercoaster up to shoot the monster and then got out of the car. They should’ve shot the monster from the moving car! Seriously, what kinds of action heroes are these guys? (Well, one of them was Lee Van Cleef, so he maybe gets a pass.)
The dinosaur was pretty great when he was around, though, and prior to my watching it my roommate dubbed it “The Beast from the Nether Reaches of Fathoms of Which There Are 10,000 (Actually 20),” so that was something, anyway.
Day 5: Godzilla (1954)
The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms totally prefigured this movie (and also The Host, but I’ll complain about The Host later). Still, the original Godzilla is pretty great. I wrote more about it a while back, over here.
Day 6: The Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954)
I have a soft spot in my heart for this movie, probably because the Creature suit is still maybe the best rubber monster suit ever designed. It holds up better than the vast majority of special effects in anything ever, and still looks incredibly great more than fifty years later.
Unfortunately, the rest of the movie doesn’t fare as well, but we had a lot of fun heckling it and observing the homoerotic tension (whether real or imagined) between the two male leads, and also all the incredibly dumb animals, which we dubbed things like the Simple Lungfish or the Amazonian Hurpdurp Bird.
So, it turned out there were no movies in this four-day stretch that I hadn’t seen before. That’ll get rectified starting tomorrow, though, with The Quartermass Xperiment, which is the movie I’m maybe most excited about out of the whole month! Stay tuned!