I love TCM’s Monstrous Thursdays. Tonight’s features are just what I needed after this crazy week, although one still has to be digitized!
I just finished watching the original Godzilla. The Americanized version, with Raymond Burr, not the Japanese classic of Gojira. I’ve seen this movie so very many times (I’m a bit of a Godzilla fanatic) — and in fact, I can (and did tonight) recite the dialogue by heart for most of the scenes. As usual, when watching the film, I found myself contrasting the American version with the Japanese original and speculating what the lost scenes, cut from the Japanese film, might have looked like and what they might have added to the story. Or would they have have slowed down the pacing, and ruined the film? Since the cuts have never been found, we’ll probably never know.
The second feature has just started — The Creature from the Black Lagoon. I positively love this film. Yes, the opening is a bit hokey. Yes, as the commentator pointed out, I, you, and the audiences of the 1950’s all know that the monster is nothing more than a man in a good rubber suit. And yet, it’s a truly scary movie — a combination of clever lighting, eerie music and an almost-Hitchcockian suspense in the timing of the creature’s attacks.
The water of the lagoon always seems to be murky, yet the innocent swimmers weave their way through the fronds of seaweed. They swim along, and nothing happens, They go back in the water and nothing happens. And then, suddenly, with no warning, the creature strikes.
Reminds me of scenes from Jaws, and makes me wonder if the creators of Jaws were inspired by Creature?
Later tonight, we get the third movie — It Came From Beneath the Sea. A giant octopus attacks San Francisco. A Ray Harryhausen monster — an octopus with only six arms, well, six that can move, thanks to the limitations the budget imposed on Mr. Harryhausen. And you get a bit of comedy in the movie as well, watching a woman scientist shoot down her interested suitor because he’s interfering with her ability to do Science!
Perfect movies to watch on a stormy night and relax from the week’s stresses! All three being shown on TCM are available digitally, too, and ultimately I’ll add them to my collection. However, the Japanese Gojira is not digitally released — and that one should, and must be, digitized!