In 1961, Great Britain decided to enter Godzilla territory and make it’s own giant monster movie. The result is Gorgo, an above average giant monster flick about an underwater volcano erupting off the coast of Ireland and releasing the title creature, a giant amphibious dinosaur. But when the creature named Gorgo is captured and brought to London as a circus spectacle, it’s far more enormous and powerful mother comes to rescue her baby leaving a path of death and destruction in her wake.
Directed by Eugène Lourié (Beast From 20,000 Fathoms, The Giant Behemoth), Gorgo is a better then average giant monster thriller because it has something most films of it’s type don’t…heart. At it’s core it’s the story of a mother’s love for her child. Even if she is a 200′ tall dinosaur, Gorgo’s mother rips through everything thrown at her to get to her baby. She’s not there to feed or destroy, she wants her child back. The use of the orphaned Irish boy, Sean (Vincent Winter) to mirror the monster Gorgo’s loneliness in captivity gives voice to the creature as Sean identifies with and sympathizes with the imprisoned animal. It is Sean who is the only one that realizes that London can only be saved if the arrogant adults around him simply give the prehistoric mom her offspring back. Aside from being well directed and acted, the SPFX are quite top notch for this kind of movie using the Japanese style man in suit approach and the scenes of a London under siege are well done and dramatically intense. At slightly under 80 minutes, Gorgo is a fast paced and fun flick despite a very serious tone and it has a nice heartwarming center amidst all the destruction and chaos.
Highly recommended for giant monster fans who have yet to discover this flick. A childhood favorite that is still a lot of fun to watch. Also stars Bill Travers and William Sylvester and was co-written by Lourié, Robert L. Richards and Daniel James.
3 and 1/2 mad mommas.