Eight 1950's Monster DVD Reviews

It was an era of radioactivity as monsters both big and small made their way upon our screens. Now we have arrived in a new millennium and these classic creatures from the 1950's have gone digital on DVD. Conveniently in time for a certain upcoming holiday, here's a list of reviews by yours truly to help relive the greatest monster movie era of all time.

It Came From Beyond Space
Some will tell you this was the inspiration for Ridley Scott's "Alien" and those people would be right. The creature design may not be as elegant, but that ship sure is crowded. It's not a classic, but a worthy time killer.

It Came From Beneath the Sea
This "It" has no relation to that "It" up there. This "It" happens to be one ticked off giant octopus (minus a few tentacles) that has a taste for large bridges. A great Harryhausen creation, this one is most remembered for a spectacular fight between the beast and troops armed with flamethrowers.

The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms
Ray Harryhausen officially started his Hollywood career here. This is a magnificent creation, one of the most realistic looking fictional monsters (it makes sense, trust me) ever created. Too many great moments to count, but a cop being picked up by his head in the jaws of the beast is probably one of the most remembered.

20 Million Miles to Earth
Hey look! It's that Harryhausen guy again! Yet another inspired creation from the master himself, the stop motion Ymir actually evokes some emotion as he tears through Rome. His battle with an elephant would be spectacular enough to be borrowed for one of Harryhausen's first color features, "The Valley of Gwangi."

The Black Scorpion
Willis O' Brien not only gave us "King Kong," but a giant scorpion flick as well. Maybe it was revenge because a scene involving arachnids was cut from the 1933 classic, but these scorpions tear up the countryside in vicious fashion. It's fairly standard, but the finale inside a stadium makes it worthwhile.

Widely considered to the grand daddy of them all, you really can't ask for much more from a giant monster movie. So many imitators failed in its wake, you really have to wonder why they even tried. The tension, the effects, and that eerie, eerie, sound makes sure this one still stands up today.

The Giant Gila Monster
Right down there with "The Giant Claw" for one of the worst giant monster movies of the era. Rumor has it that foreign terrorists use this film as torture when capturing hostages, but I can't confirm that. Know what's even worse? This movie is available on multiple DVD's.

Godzilla: King of the Monsters
Theoretically, this is the second "Godzilla" film. It's so completely different from the Japanese version released two years earlier, you can easily consider them different movies. That doesn't mean this is a bad movie (hardly), it just doesn't hold the harsh reality the subtitled version does.

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