Man, a lot of things seemed to happen around Halloween of 1999. AMC was doing a multi-day horror movie marathon and in between the movies, they were showing portions of a new Roger Corman special called The Phantom Eye in between the movies. I was watching the marathon and taping the Corman portions and at times, just leaving the tape recording when I had to leave. Man I wish I still had those tapes because I would love to watch that again. Anyways, one of the times I left the VCR recording was in order to tape Frankenstein Conquers The World, which I had been wanting to see for years. But after that movie, this documentary came on and I probably watched it as much as the movie I wanted to tape.
Hosted by Cassandra Peterson herself, as Elvira of course, and narrated by Bill Mumy, this is a must see for anyone that is a fan of giant monster movies, like me. From the first movie to ever feature a giant monster, 1912’s The Conquest Of The Pole, to (at the time) more recent movies, such as Starship Troopers and Mighty Joe Young (1998), this doesn’t just talk about the movies, but how the giant monsters are brought to life on screen, as well as the genre’s effect on society. From the stop-motion animation work of Willis O’Brien and Ray Harryhausen, to the suitimation used in Toho’s Godzilla and Mothra, to the use of lizards and animals in costume shot using rear-screen projection; the mad, drive-in craze during the 50’s and 60’s to the decline in production values during the late 70’s and 80’s. The documentary didn’t just focus on movies as it also talked about several TV shows that had giant monsters in them, such as Lost In Space and Voyage To The Bottom Of The Sea. With a slew of movie historians and other knowledgeable experts (including Ray Harryhausen), this documentary gives a lot of insight into a movie genre that has entertained fans for generations. Like I said earlier, this is a must see for fans of giant monsters and something that any fan of sci-fi or horror movies will probably want to watch as well.
Rating: 5 out of 5