The Giant Behemoth (1959) (Blu-ray Review)
DIRECTED BY: Douglas Hickox, Eugène Lourié
STARRING: Gene Evans, André Morell, John Turner
RATED: UR/REGION A/1:78/1080P/NUMBER OF DISCS 1
AVAILABLE FROM Warner Archive Collection
As in his classic The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms, director Eugene Lourie plunges us into a thrilling stomping ground, unleashing another Thunder Lizard to stomp on everything in sight. Alarming levels of radiation have infused the water, plants, and skies, and a radiated paleosaurus rises from the ocean depths. In its path: London. In its arsenal: a strength to topple buildings (King Kong’s Willis O’Brien contributes rampaging stop-motion effects), a stride that flattens cars, a flesh-searing radioactive ray, and a ticked-off attitude. Left in ruins on land, humankind takes the fight to the beast’s undersea realm, where a two-man submarine crew must ensure the torpedo they fire is dead-on. The first chance is all anyone gets with The Giant Behemoth.
1959’s The Giant Behemoth seems a whole lot like it was meant to be the British answer to Godzilla. You might have heard some say it’s a bit too slow, dull, or even too British than one might want. If you heard people say all of that, then you can take my word on it when I tell you that they sure weren’t wrong about it. The Giant Behemoth has its moments and it tickles a few spots for anyone who is really all about these giant monster movies but at the end of the day everybody in the movie more times than not seem to all be acting very cool and dull for people being attacked by a giant monster. I mean, yeah, the people getting trampled in the streets are all about it, but the other characters in rooms trying to solve the issue handle the subject with the same tone you’d decide where you were going to eat that day and not with the panic a giant monster brought on by nukes should be bringing. So, I guess I’m trying to say that in a lot of ways this movie is a bit underwhelming because it’s all kind of being played that way by people it shouldn’t be.
The Warner Archive Collection brings this one to Blu-ray with a nice transfer. So if by chance this giant monster movie is your cup of tea, then you should be happy with at least how it looks. As far as extras go, you get a commentary as well as a trailer. I’ve seen my fair share of giant monster movies over the years and if you believe it or not I’m not just some Godzilla fanboy. I admit a lot of those movies aren’t that great unless Godzilla is smashing a city and the same could pretty much be said about The Giant Behemoth. Unless you see the monster doing his thing you’ll probably find yourself a bit bored for the most part. I probably would only suggest this one if you are a major fan of early made giant monster movies. But it’s no Godzilla by any means. It probably isn’t as bad as some of the other, but it still isn’t by any means great. The transfer is probably the highlight of this one.
– BRAND NEW 2019 REMASTER OF THE FILM
– Audio Commentary by SFX veterans Phil Tippett and Dennis Muren
– Vintage trailer for the film
– Optional English SDH subtitles for the main feature
QUALITY OF TRANSFER: 95%