Happy new year! Here’s to a happier, healthier year for us all- and we hope you’ll be with us again right here on MeTV for another year of frightful fun! Tonight-rather fittingly for this time of year- our movie starts out in the winter-like wonderland of the frozen north- where a not-so-wonderful atomic blast releases a different kind of visitor from the North Pole than we saw last month- a prehistoric creature! Ray Harryhausen’s stop-motion artistry brings mankind face to face with the “Beast from 20,000 Fathoms”!
This 1953 film begins with an experimental crew at work up near the Arctic Circle, ready to document the results of a nuclear bomb test. Checking out things near ground zero after the blast, two of the men see what looks like a dinosaur lumbering through the snow! The movement of this massive and mysterious beast causes an avalanche- from which there is only one survivor!
Hospitalized and returned to civilization, that survivor, Prof. Tom Nesbitt, finds that no one will believe that that a real creature he saw was not a hallucination- and that such a thing could exist. However, before long, some unexplained attacks seem to provide proof that what he saw was real- and he finds some support from the young female assistant to an expert in prehistoric history. They are determined to prove to the world that something is out there-and, after corroborating the story with a survivor of a mystery attack by the same beast, Tom finally gets the military and even expert Prof. Elson to join him in the search for what they believe is a rhedosaurus- a beast long thought to be extinct!
Their search for the creature not only brings just a definite sighting, but additional tragedy caused by the beast. Things get even more frightening when the prehistoric monster attacks a major city – with some deadly unexpected effects ( that might strike a chord with some current events) beyond the physical destruction!
This film features the amazing stop-motion work that Harryhausen is famous for, and utilized some of the techniques he created and developed to have the monster inserted into live footage. One of the most memorable scenes involves a policeman confronting the creature! We’ll tell you about the actors, as well as about the production, thanks to information from Roy P. Webber, author of “The Dinosaur Films of Ray Harryhausen”. And, as usual, there’s a song and Sven shtick a plenty!
“Beast from 20,000 Fathoms” surfaces tonight on MeTV at 8pm eastern/pacific, 7 pm central- if you don’t know the time and channel in your area, please check your local listings or at www.metv.com . MeTV invites you to join the many viewers who live-Tweet during the show on Twitter, using the hashtag #svengoolie - make SURE you add that hashtag to your posts! Chicago area viewers get an encore chance to get caught in the web of the 1950s horror “Earth VS the Spider”- at 11 am this morning on our main local station, CW 26.
Again, best wishes for the new year-if you lean towards making resolutions, please make one of them to join us tonight when the bomb ( not the ball) drops !