Saturday, April 26, 2014

The Beast From The Deep!

Tales of Horror #7 contains a curious story about a dinosaur that rises from the depths of the ocean to create some relative havoc. You can read that comic book here. It's an unauthorized adaptation of Ray Bradbury's story "The Foghorn". You can read that story here

"The Foghorn" was originally titled "The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms" when it was first published in The Saturday Evening Post in 1951. Under that title it inspired a seminal science fiction movie directed by Eugene Lourie and which featured evocative special effects by Ray Harryhausen.

As you can plainly see, the look of the Beast was derived very closely from the illustration which accompanied the story.

The "Rhedosaurus" as it was called confronts a lighthouse in the film, though it is a tiny portion of the destruction the Beast causes after it reaches the streets of New York City.

The success of The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms sparked interest in such giant monster movies and the following year Ishiro Honda gave us his variation on the theme, a little gem called Gojira which we famously know as Godzilla, King of Monsters.

Parody cover by Sol Brodsky
It's a rare thing when the creative process for such a major cultural icon can be so effectively divined. It enriches the character from where I sit, to know that its genesis was at once so prosaic and so vividly wonderous.

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  1. You can read the Tales of Horror story here...
    Even though it's unauthorized, it's a far more faithful adaptation than the movie.
    Unfortunately, the story suffers from bad printing, but it's worth reading, anyway.


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