• Jamie Morris

Weekend Pick - The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms

Ray Harryhausen’s first tenure as a special effects director still holds up 40 years after the stop-motion maestro’s retirement…

Inspired by King Kong and the inspiration for Godzilla, 1953’s The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms is the missing link between two monster movie icons.

The film tells a straightforward narrative of discovery, denial, destruction and defeat as an atomic bomb test awakens the gigantic Rhedosaurus from its icy slumber.

It was also the first film where Ray Harryhausen had full control over special effects and – despite limited screen time – his scaly stop-motion creation is a sight to behold.

The film earned over ten times its $200,000 budget (equal to around $2 million today) at the US box office and launched Harryhausen into a fruitful career that concluded with Clash of the Titans in 1981.

It’s an oft-forgotten gem of monster movie history full of classic, city-stomping fun.