Sunday, April 15, 2018

Gorgo, The Fall of London

Very sad! I just read that for the first time ever London has a higher homicide rate than New York City. No...New York isn't improving...rather, London is tanking. A once great city with a heroic identity.  Winston Churchill...Queen Elizabeth...Sherlock Holmes. The noble have given way to evil criminals. Perhaps a good metaphor for the fall of London is 1961's "Gorgo." In this epic, London is destroyed, along with the British military.
Joe (Bill Travers) and Sam (William Sylvester) have a pretty good gig going. They operate a salvage vessel. While diving and salvaging off the Irish coast they run afoul of a Gaelic town. The locals don't want them salvaging all the gold just off the shores. No matter, after a volcanic eruption, a 65 foot tall dinosaur monster runs amok through the town. Many will die. Joe and Sam make the town an offer they can't refuse...for a portion of their spoils, the salvage duo will rid them of the behemoth. These guys are too much and ask themselves how much a live dinosaur would be worth in London? Yep, you guessed it, they pull a "King Kong" and capture the giant and haul him to the city and sell it to a circus.
The monster sells out every night, but the poor Londoners get some bad news. This thing is only a baby and mom is on her way! Mom is 200 feet tall and goes through the navy like crap through a goose. Up the Thames like a slick John Thomas up a business girl, and now it contends with the British army. No contest! As Londoners are crushed and retreating into subways, Gorgo searches for its 65 foot offspring. As Big Ben and The Tower of London are destroyed, mom seeks son and anyone in between will be stepped on.
With the military gone, is there any hope of stopping Gorgo from sacking London? Is this 1961 film a sage foretelling of the decline of London? Is there anything wrong in cheering for the monsters in films like these? Not quite "Godzilla," "Gorgo is still a lot of fun. The cheesy effects are actually pretty good. For a very entertaining monster movie in which Tokyo isn't the victim, enjoy "Gorgo," directed by Eugene Lourie.

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