Gorgo (1961) - News Poster



Krakatoa East of Java

‘Things Blowing Up Good’ has been surefire entertainment since the beginning of cinema, but this ill-fated Cinerama extravaganza about the biggest explosion in recorded human history limps along despite some pretty darned impressive volcanic effects. It’s quite an entertaining spectacle, with various good performers in three soap opera plots, either overacting or loitering about with nothing to do. And don’t forget the from-left-field musical striptease.

Krakatoa East of Java


Kl Studio Classics

1969 / Color / 2:35 widescreen / 131 min. / Street Date September 12, 2017 / available through Kino Lorber / 29.95

Starring: Maximilian Schell, Diane Baker, Brian Keith, Barbara Werle, Sal Mineo, Rossano Brazzi, John Leyton, J.D. Cannon, Jacqueline (Jacqui) Chan, Victoria Young, Marc Lawrence, Geoffrey Holder, Niall MacGinnis, Sumi Haru.

Cinematography: Manuel Berenguer

Film Editors: Walter Hannemann, Warren Low, Maurice Rootes

Production Design: Eugèné Lourié

Costumes: Laure Lourié

Special Effects: Eugèné Lourié, Alex Weldon, Francisco Prósper

Original Music: Frank De Vol

Written by Clifford Newton Gould,
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The Savage Innocents

The original Quinn the Eskimo (no kidding) is another life-loving rough portrait from Anthony Quinn, in Nicholas Ray’s rather successful final spin as a writer-director. Despite some technical awkwardness, Ray’s sensitivity to outsider souls finds full expression. Humans don’t get any more ‘outside’ than Inuk, a primitive unequipped to deal with the modern world.

The Savage Innocents


Olive Films

1960 / Color / 2:35 widescreen (Super Technirama 70) / 110 min. / Street Date June 27, 2017 / available through the Olive Films website / 29.98

Starring: Anthony Quinn, Yoko Tani, Carlo Giustini, Peter O’Toole, Marie Yang, Marco Guglielmi, Anthony Chinn, Francis De Wolff.

Cinematography: Peter Hennessey, Aldo Tonti

Film Editor: Eraldo Da Roma, Ralph Kemplen

Original Music: Angelo Francesco Lavagnino

Written by Nicholas Ray, adapted by Franco Solinas, Baccio Bandini, Hans Ruesch from his novel

Produced by Maleno Malenotti

Directed by Nicholas Ray

It’s arguable that Nicholas Ray’s career began to fall apart as
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The Purple Plain

Fans of this show know it as the It's a Wonderful Life of war movies, an intensely moving tale that restores feeling and tenderness to people crippled by loss and despair. The stellar pairing of top star Gregory Peck and Burmese unknown Win Min Than is unique in movies and not to be missed. The Purple Plain Blu-ray Kl Studio Classics 1955 / Color /1:66 widescreen / 100 min. / Street Date April 5, 2016 / available through Kino Lorber / 29.95 Starring Gregory Peck, Win Min Than, Brenda De Banzie, Bernard Lee, Maurice Denham, Lyndon Brook, Anthony Bushell, Josephine Griffin Cinematography Geoffrey Unsworth Art Direction Donald M. Ashton, Jack Maxsted Film Editor Clive Donner Original Music John Veale Written by Eric Ambler from a novel by H.E. Bates Produced by John Bryan, Earl St. John Directed by Robert Parrish

Reviewed by Glenn Erickson

How can one convey the way a picture grows on one? I liked The Purple Plain
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Revolt of the Slaves

Let's give a cheer for the lowly sword 'n' sandal epic. This persecution and torture spectacle also takes in the martyrdom of Saint Sebastian. The impressively mounted Italian-Spanish production stars Rhonda Fleming, Fernando Rey, Wandisa Guida, and as the slimy villain, none other than Serge Gainsbourg. Revolt of the Slaves MGM Limited Edition Collection 1960 / Color / 2:35 enhanced widescreen (Totalscope) / 103 min. / La rivolta degli schiavi / Street Date February 16, 2016 / available through Screen Archives Entertainment / 19.98 Starring Rhonda Fleming, Lang Jeffries, Darío Moreno, Ettore Manni, Wandisa Guida, Gino Cervi, Fernando Rey, Serge Gainsbourg, José Nieto, Benno Hoffmann, Rainer Penkert, Antonio Casas, Vanoye Aikens, Dolores Francine, Burt Nelson, Julio Peña . Cinematography Cecilio Paniagua Film Editor Eraldo Da Roma Original Music Angelo Francesco Lavagnino Written by Stefano Strucchi, Duccio Tessari, Daniel Mainwearing from the novel 'Fabiola' by Nicholas Patrick Wiseman Produced by Paolo Moffa Directed by Nunzio Malasomma

Reviewed by Glenn Erickson

Make all
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Born Free

Do you love movies about cute animals? The original pet-lion-in-Africa romp is actually a well balanced nature film about the separation between wild animals and those raised by humans. Virginia McKenna and Bill Travers winningly play the Adamsons, game wardens that dedicate themselves to the well-being of Elsa, the lioness they raise from infancy. Born Free Blu-ray Twilight Time Limited Edition 1966 / Color / 2:35 widescreen / 96 min. / Ship Date December 8, 2015 / available through Twilight Time Movies / 29.95 Starring Virginia McKenna, Bill Travers, Geoffrey Keen, Peter Lukoye, Omar Chambati Cinematography Kenneth Talbot Film Editor Don Decon Original Music John Barry Written by Lester Cole from the novel by Joy Adamson Produced by Sam Jaffe, Paul B. Radin Directed by James Hill

Reviewed by Glenn Erickson

Savant normally becomes sullen and anti-social around overly committed animal lovers, I suppose because I think the world gets a little out of balance when people seriously consider their domestic
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Warners’ Special Effects Blu-ray Collection

I'll trade you two RKOs for two Warners', an even swap! This quartet of movie-magic wonderments offer a full course on old-school film effects wizardry at its best. Willis O'Brien passes the baton to disciple Ray Harryhausen, who dazzles us with his own effects magic for the first '50s giant monster epic. And the best monster thriller of the decade is offered at its original widescreen aspect ratio. It's all special enough to merit a mid-week review. Special Effects Collection Blu-ray The Son of Kong, Mighty Joe Young, The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms, Them! Warner Home Video 1933-1954 / B&W / 1:37 Academy - 1:85 widescreen / 335 min. / Street Date October 27, 2015 / 54.96 or 19.98 separately Starring Robert Armstrong, Helen Mack,, Frank Reicher, Victor Wong; Robert Armstrong, Terry Moore, Ben Johnson, Frank McHugh; Paul Christian, Paula Raymond, Cecil Kellaway, Kenneth Tobey, Donald Woods, Lee Van Cleef; James Whitmore, Edmund Gwenn, Joan Weldon, James Arness, Onslow Stevens,
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Trailers from Hell: John Landis on Brit Sci-Fi Monster Movie 'Gorgo'

Trailers from Hell: John Landis on Brit Sci-Fi Monster Movie 'Gorgo'
Unstoppable Monsters! week continues at Trailers from Hell with John Landis introducing "Gorgo," production designer-turned-director Eugene Lourie's final entry in his dinosaur trilogy. The third time’s the charm for Gorgo, which benefitted from a massive MGM ad campaign that made it a must-see for the moppet trade in 1960. Unlike Beast From 20,000 Fathoms and Giant Behemoth, this is a man-in-suit Godzilla style epic with elaborate production values apart from the inept sodium-vapor superimpositions. Monarch Books issued an inexplicably sexed-up paperback novelization that introduced many unsuspecting kids to the mysteries of womankind–ironic in that there’s no love interest whatsoever in the movie!
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Lookout, London! Gorgo is Marching to Blu-ray!

Seeing as how we may very well be just a few short months away from a new boom in giant monster cinema, it should come as no surprise to see more and more classic kaiju flicks like Gorgo getting the hi-def treatment.

Britain’s answer to Godzilla, Gorgo first stomped her way onto the big screen back in 1971. The final directorial effort from Eugene Lourie (The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms, The Colossus of New York, and The Giant Behemoth) starred Bill Travers, William Sylvester, and Vincent Winter and featured top-notch special effects by two-time Oscar winner Tom Howard.

Though the MGM production would prove a one-off, the ear-wiggling reptilian titan managed to spawn a 23-issue comic book by Charleton Comics and remains one of the most respected giant monster movie offerings from the golden age of creature features.

A volcanic eruption in the North Atlantic brings to the surface a 65-foot prehistoric monster.
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Olive Films Brings the Original Invasion of the Body Snatchers, The Colossus of New York, and The Boogens to Blu-ray this Summer

Olive Films is quickly making a name for itself releasing classic and overlooked gems to DVD and, in particular, Blu-ray.

That trend will continue this summer when they bring us an all-time classic to Blu-ray and a cult favorite that has never before appeared on digital.

July 17th will see the Blu-ray debut of one the greatest science fiction horror films of all time (not to mention one of the most often remade movie ever). I speak of Kevin McCarthy running through the streets to warn us of the pod people in Don Siegel’s 1956 masterpiece Invasion of the Body Snatchers.

One of the greatest and most influential Sci-Fi films of all time stars Kevin McCarthy as a doctor in a small California town whose patients are becoming hysterical and accuse their loved ones as emotionless imposters. Plant-like extra-terrestrials have invaded Earth, replicating the villagers in giant seed “pods” and
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Stills We Love: Gorgo

The monster chomps and Joe Dante chats up Gorgo.

Ok. So it’s not an exclusive interview with The King of All Monsters, but it is the featured beast of John Landis’s sole commentary on our latest DVD. It’s Gorgo and he is gorgeous. Just look at him and then read Joe Dante’s thoughts. Just look!

Click to make Gorgo-sized.

Looks like dinnertime for Gorgo. He especially likes those diving bells because of their tangy metallic taste.

How acclaimed production designer Eugene Lourie ended up directing one movie three times (The Giant Behemoth waddled out in between this one and The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms) is anyone’s guess, but he certainly had an affinity for them.

He wasn’t a fan of the “suitmation” technique, preferring stop-motion, but he did enjoy shooting the panic-in-the-streets sequences. Nonetheless he quit directing after Gorgo, claiming the repetition was just too much.
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New Release: Sci-fi The Colossus of New York DVD

The Colossus of New York, the 1958 sci-fi thriller classic that can rightfully takes its place in the pantheon of such great killer robot movies as The Terminator, RoboCop and Demon Seed, finally comes to DVD on Aug. 16 courtesy of Olive Films. It’ll carry a list price of $24.95.

Tall, dark, handsome...and mechanical!: The Colossus of New York finally comes to DVD.

Written by Thelma Schnee from Willis Goldbeck’s story, the intriguing film turns on the accidental death of a brilliant scientist (Ross Martin), a tragedy that prompts his lunatic father (Otto Kruger) and brother (John Baragrey) to transplant the dead man’s brain onto the body of a giant robot. The operation is successful, but the Colossus Robot mourns for his wife and child and doesn’t want to be the guinea pig in his father’s psychotic project and starts displaying homicidal behaviors.

Incidentally, the movie’s director,
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Actor Martin Benson Dies

Martin Benson was a dour-faced character actor who appeared in numerous film and television productions from the late 1940s. His notable genre roles include Dorkin, the circus ringmaster who aspires to hit the bigtime exploiting Gorgo, the giant prehistoric reptile, in the 1961 film of the same name. He was featured as American gangster Solo in the 1964 James Bond film Goldfinger, who had a “pressing engagement” when he refused to take part in Goldfinger’s plot to rob Fort Knox. He was shot to death by henchman Oddjob, and crushed into a metal cube in a junkyard metal compactor along with his luxury car and gold bullion. He also appeared, under heavy prosthetics, as Jeltz, the poetry-spouting alien Vogon Captain, in the 1981 British television production of The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy.

Benson was born in London on August 10, 1918. He served in the military during World War II before embarking on
See full article at Famous Monsters of Filmland »

First peek at Waiting For Gorgo short

Fango scribe M.J. Simpson gave us an exclusive first look at Waiting For Gorgo, a short film which recently wrapped production at Elstree Studios in the UK. Directed by Benjamin Craig from Simpson’s script, it pays homage to Eugene Lourie’s 1961 monster classic, in which a resurrected dinosaur attacks London in search of its abducted offspring.

“It’s not a direct sequel to Gorgo,” Simpson tells us, “but some people might call it a semisequel, because it’s set 40 or so years after the events of that picture supposedly happened. We’re using the conventions of a monster movie to satirize the bureaucracy of the British Civil Service.” Waiting For Gorgo stars veteran actors Geoffrey (Tales From The Crypt) Davies (pictured below left) and Nicholas Amer as the last remaining staff of the D.M.O.A., a forgotten department deep in the corridors of the UK’s Ministry of Defence,
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