17 December 2009 | Coventry
Let me take you by the tail and demolish the streets of London
The British must have been really jealous of the legendary Japanese monster Godzilla destroying the city of Tokyo, as they insisted on having their very one mega-giant critter destroying the city of London. The result is Gorgo, a charming and easily aggravated sea lizard of Irish descent with adorable bright red eyes. The film opens with a diving expedition witnessing an underwater volcano eruption in the middle of the ocean. The impressive ecological phenomenon brings a lot of fake and inexistent species of rubber fish to the surface, but also awakens the bad-tempered sea monster Gorgo. See, Gorgo is a really cool monstrosity that doesn't waste any time and that's something horror fans will definitely always appreciate. Unlike most monsters in the film industry, Gorgo doesn't start by picking off sole victims somewhere in the middle of the sea; it promptly attacks entire seaside villages at one. That way, there are witnesses aplenty and the few hysterical survivors don't have to waste half of the script trying to convince the authorities about what they saw. Greedy fishermen catch the prehistoric critter and sell him/her/it to a sleazy circus owner in London. But then, and inevitably, it turns out that they only just captured Gorgo Junior, and mommy obviously doesn't like that her baby is downgraded to being a circus freak. "Gorgo" isn't a great or even highly memorable monster classic, but at least it's never boring. The titular monster is pretty cool, the special effects are reasonably astonishing considering the time of release and there are a few admirable attempts to generate sequences of mass hysteria and mayhem. The majority of miniature sets are delightful and let's not forget the various and hilarious use of stock footage! Military battleships and U-boats are firing off artillery into the open water and Gorgo isn't anywhere near the point of impact. The rampage through London itself is not as overwhelming as the aforementioned Godzilla crushing down Tokyo, but it's nice and exhilarating to look at nonetheless. Recommended if you have a soft spot for late 50's/early 60's ecological monster movies.