Thursday, October 20, 2016

31 DAYS OF FRIGHT: Is GORGO Really TAKEN With a Giant Monster Instead of Liam Neeson?

The Japanese have GODZILLA and its numerous sequels, reboots, remakes and whathaveyou. The Americans have KING KONG and all its sequels, remakes and a crossover with Godzilla. The British have GORGO, one of the better giant monster flicks not in the previous two franchises. The Brits may have a reputation as a stuck up lot, but GORGO proves this doesn't apply to the destruction of London.

A volcanic eruption off the coast of Ireland unearths a giant monster. Joe (Bill Travers) and Sam (William Sylvester) see only dollar signs in their eyes and decide to take the monster back with them and sell it to the circus. But, in a plot device not utilized before, they discover that the 65-foot-tall monster is only the infant - with the parent being over 200-feet-tall! Soon, the parent emerges from the ocean and begins trashing London in search of its offspring. Will the army be able to wipe out this creature? Or will parent and child be reunited?

What makes GORGO such an excellent film is that, despite appearances, the monster is not the villain here. Instead, villainy is placed at the feet of Sam and Joe, whose greed and opportunism is the catalyst to London's destruction. Unlike, say, GODZILLA, where the monster, though created by human meddling, is the villain and we are to root against it, GORGO asks audiences to sympathize with the monster. It's not out to harm anyone. It just wants its child back. Essentially, GORGO is TAKEN with a giant monster instead of Liam Neeson. Awesome.

But what's a giant monster movie without some destruction? GORGO has plenty of that. Watch as Big Ben, Waterloo Bridge and Piccadilly Circus are trashed, smashed and thrashed! The model work is exemplary, especially for its time. One awesome shot has Gorgo taking a huge chunk out of Waterloo Bridge: looking closely, you can see people falling out of it to their deaths. The blue screen might be a bit dodgy here and there, but it's better than many productions from the same era. GORGO even contains a small homage to the original GODZILLA: the army attempts to stop him with powerlines, much like the Japanese did in GODZILLA.

And I just have to mention how cute Gorgo and Son look when they wiggle their ears like a small puppy.

Overall, GORGO is an excellent time at the movies. With stuff like SHIN GODZILLA threatening your insomnia (Editor's Note: stop back tomorrow for Evan's review of the latest Toho monsterfest meets bureaucratic primer), why not spend some time with something that ISN'T gonna put you to sleep? Something like GORGO, one of the best giant monster flicks out there.

This review is Gorgo Approved. – Evan Romero

Evan Romero is a regular contributor to the pages of ER and spends much of his time reading morally questionable books and watching movies no sane person would touch. He is the vocalist/bassist for the punk band Porno Holocaust (you can find them on Facebook and listen to some demos if you’re inclined). You can read more of his reviews at or at He last wrote about NIGHT OF THE ZOMBIES.

GORGO is available from Amazon.

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