BADass SINema Unearthed - Blu-ray Review

The Giant Behemoth (1959) - Blu-ray Review

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The Giant Behemoth (1959) - Bl-ray

It is a calm, grey day.  The surface of the water is still.  A ferry cuts calmly across the surface, careful to make gentle waves.  And then it happens.  Your worst fears become reality.  Rising from the surface of the once calm waters is a beast – a GIANT behemoth – that has to be sprung from Hell itself. 

The screams are intense.  The panic real.  The fear cannot be swallowed as this monster attacks the boat.  It swipes left and right with its head, damaging all sides of the boat and knocking people off into the waters.  The cries from the women and the children are only silenced as they sink into the depths.  Soon, the roar of the beast is all that is heard. 

"Oversized and underwhelming, The Giant Behemoth is one big SPLASH."


Everyone has perished; that last hand raised out for help is now sinking below the surface of the water.

For EXACTLY two and a half minutes, The Giant Behemoth shakes itself free of the stoic British response to some pretty incredible findings and becomes something extraordinary.  Sure, the overall design of the mutated monster from the sea – which was originally just a gigantic bubbling orb of radioactive gloop – is not that spectacular (even by the standards of the time), but it is in this SINGLE scene in which the movie finally comes alive.  The edits are quick; the pacing sharpens; and the first attack – after an incredible amount of TALKING, TALKING, TALKING – finally happens.

That’s what happens when the Brits decide they want to spend their pounds on redoing The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms.  They even got director Eugne Louri back in tow to revisit that old stomping ground of nuclear fear and terror.  Alongside writer Daniel James, credited here as Daniel Hyatt due to the blacklist, they took a story about a radioactive blob thanks to a bunch of nuclear waste dumping in the sea and molded it into the stop-motion creation of Willis O'Brien, although it was Pete Peterson who brought the mutated mutant to life. 

The live action scenes, starring Gene Evans as Steve Karnes and André Morell as Professor James Bickford, where filmed in England and all the monster scenes where filmed in Los Angeles.  This fact alone makes merging to two sources a bit of a fun trek through some pretty wonky visual effects, thanks to a radiation effect that emanates from the mutated bastard. The Giant Behemoth (1959) - Bl-ray

When attacks from the air prove insignificant, the team of scientists and military men must plunge the depths of the Thames in order to shellshock the monster into oblivion.  Translate this into fun times with bath toys as the models used in the movie appear to be exactly that and the sea creature, finally revealed as it swims way below the waters, a rather cute-looking seal.  But, hey, with a budget this low one shouldn’t expect The Lost World.

Complete with its bloated, stumbling preamble, The Giant Behemoth arrives on blu-ray this week courtesy of the Warner Archive Collection, who continue to roll out their nuclear monster creations on HD.

Oversized and underwhelming, The Giant Behemoth is one big SPLASH.

3 beers

The Giant Behemoth (1959) - Bl-ray

MPAA Rating: Unrated
Runtime:
80 mins
Director
: Douglas Hickox, Eugène Lourié
Writer:
Eugène Lourié; Daniel James
Cast:
Gene Evans, André Morell, John Turner
Genre
: Horror
Tagline:
The Biggest Thing Since Time Began!
Memorable Movie Quote: "One thing is sure. Something has happened here that isn't in the book. Something came out of the ocean and now has gone back into."
Theatrical Distributor:
Allied Artists Pictures
Official Site:
Release Date:
March 3, 1959
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
January 22, 2019.
Synopsis: Marine atomic tests cause changes in the ocean's ecosystem resulting in dangerous blobs of radiation and the resurrection of a dormant dinosaur that threatens London.

The Giant Behemoth (1959) - Bl-ray

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Home Video Distributor: Warner Bros.
Available on Blu-ray
- January 22, 2019
Screen Formats: 1.85:1
Subtitles
: English SDH
Audio:
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; single disc
Region Encoding: Locked to Region A

Warner Bros’ Archive Collection continues to roll out some hard to find titles on 1080p with the release of The Giant Behemoth. The newly minted MPEG-4 AVC transfer – framed in 1.78:1 with 2K scanning by Warner's Motion Picture Imaging facility – also sports a solid sounding lossless DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 soundtrack and a crisp black-and-white image. The film grain is solid and there is no visible dirt during the running time. Everything is smooth sailing on this upgrade.

Supplements:

Commentary:

  • Provided by special effects veterans Phil Tippett and Dennis Muren, the commentary is pretty fascinating for fans of Willis O’Brien.

 

Special Features:

This is a NEW 2019 scan from the original elements, so it looks gorgeous.  The disc also comes with a commentary and a vintage trailer.

  • Phil Tippett and Dennis Muren Commentary

The Giant Behemoth (1959) - Bl-ray

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