Pioneering stop-motion animator Willis O’Brien is best known for bringing a towering ape to the screen in the original 1933 King Kong, but many also admire the work he did with the very talented Pete Peterson in the 1958 creature feature The Giant Behemoth. A new DVD edition of the film will be released on June 26 as part of Warner Home Video’s Cult Camp Classics Collection.
A few years after helming the Ray Harryhausen classic The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms, director Eugene Lourie teamed with O’Brien, Harryhausen’s mentor, to unleash another prehistoric monster on an unsuspecting metropolis. In The Giant Behemoth, atomic radiation causes a paleosaurus to rise from the ocean depths and terrorize London, toppling buildings and crushing everything in its path. O’Brien oversaw the film’s effects work and the lion’s share of the animation was handled by Peterson, who worked with O’Brien on 1949’s Mighty Joe Young and 1957’s The Black Scorpion.
In addition to having a new DVD of the movie, fans can look forward to hearing commentary by veteran special effects supervisors Dennis Muren and Phil Tippett, who were inspired by this and other classic monster flicks to go on and win Academy Awards for visual effects in Jurassic Park and a number of other modern favorites. The film will be packaged with two other sci-fi thrillers from the same year, Attack of the 50 Foot Woman and Queen of Outer Space.
Three other volumes in Warner’s Cult Camp Classics Collection will also be releaed on Jun 26, featuring such time-honored guilty pleasures as Trog (1969), Hot Rods to Hell (1966) and Zero Hour! (1957). Each volume will carry a suggested retail price of 29.98. Each film will also be sold separately for $14.97.