Gorgo, this week’s Trillion Dollar Movie, might be mistaken for a British riff on Godzilla, except for one important fact: Godzilla was fashioned after The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms, made in 1953 by none other than Eugene Lourie, the creator of Gorgo. Thus, Lourie wasn’t guilty of plagiarism when he shot the widescreen Gorgo in 1961, using a radiant Technicolor. Instead, he was re-appropriating his own original concept, after it had been recycled and rejuvenated in Japan.
The premise: A volcanic eruption off the coast of Ireland awakens a prehistoric monster who wreaks havoc on a fishing village. Disaster gets temporarily averted, however, when a couple of greedy adventurers capture the creature and haul it off to a circus in London. They’re warned by a young boy, Sean, to let the monster go. “It’s a bad thing you’re doing,” the urchin cautions,”…a terrible bad thing.”
Sean speaks the truth. Soon after the bellowing Gorgo is put on public display, resigned to disgrace and captivity much like Kong Kong, who should surface but the critter’s mother, 10 times taller and 10 times more ferocious. Navy carriers, submarines, fighter jets, tanks and flamethrowers can’t stop Lady G’s quest to rescue her boy. In no time, the Tower Bridge, Big Ben, Soho and Piccadilly Circus have all been trashed and smashed. Never mind that this she-beast is really a man in a latex suit, tearing apart miniature sets. Except for her wrinkly ab muscles, she’s one mighty lean, mean and green fighting mutha.
Sadly, this is the MST3k presentation of Gorgo, because the original version, sans snark commentary, has been removed from YouTube. It’s still quite worth a look. Hope you enjoy, and do join us again next Friday for another Trillion ($) Movie.