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The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms (1953) – Episode 69 – Decades of Horror: The Classic Era

“From Marquette, Canada today comes word of a second ship destroyed by an enormous beast according to her Captain, George LeMay. He really ought to stop smoking that stuff and try Virginia Golds.” Well, as you might have guessed, it wasn’t the stuff he’d been smoking. Join this episode’s Grue Crew – Chad Hunt, Whitney Collazo, Joseph Perry, and Jeff Mohr – as they leapfrog from the arctic to New York City to join the battle to stop The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms (1953)!

Decades of Horror: The Classic Era
Episode 69 – The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms (1953)

A ferocious dinosaur awakened by an Arctic atomic test terrorizes the North Atlantic and, ultimately, New York City.


The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms is a landmark film for many reasons. Inspired by the success of a re-release of King Kong (1933) in 1952, it’s success, in turn, inspired Toho to move forward with the production of Godzilla (1954). It also gave Ray Harryhausen his first shot as head of special effects on a feature film and provided one of Ray Bradbury’s first paychecks for a feature film. The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms was also the first film featuring a giant creature that exists as the result of an atomic explosion. Put Eugène Lourié in the director’s chair, John L. Russell behind the camera, and enlist a supporting cast of topnotch character actors and you have a recipe for success.

All members of your Classic Era Grue-Crew love this film and appreciate its place in film history. They gush over Harryhausen’s stop-motion animation skills and dedication, the direction, cinematography, script, and cast. If you haven’t seen this film for a while, it might be time to revisit The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms. It’s a gem of a film. 

Gruesome Magazine’s Decades of Horror: The Classic Era is part of the Decades of Horror 3-week rotation with the 1970s and 1980s. In three weeks, the next episode in their very flexible schedule will be Abbott and Costello Meet the Mummy (1953).

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To each of you from each of us, “Thank you so much for listening!

Jeff Mohr
Jeff lives smack dab in the middle of the cornfields of Iowa and is a long-time horror fan. His first remembered encounters with the genre were The Wizard of Oz, Tarzan gorilla chases, and watching the first broadcast of The Twilight Zone episode, "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge." While he now qualifies as an old fart, he strives to be an Old Boy. Paraphrasing Robert Bloch, he has the heart of a small boy. He keeps it in a jar on his desk. Jeff has written for and SQ Horror Magazine. He currently writes for Gruesome Magazine and is a co-host of the Decades of Horror podcasts - The Classic Era, 1970s, and 1980s - and the Gruesome Magazine Podcast.