By - Steve Mezo
Today I was in the mood for some Atomic Age Monster Action, and "The Monster That Challenged The World" fit the bill.
Well the good news is humans had nothing to do with this monster for once. Nope, a big old underwater earthquake cracked open the floor of the Salton Sea (Which is in the middle of the lower part of California). And the monster "Gornaxis" swims out of the fissure hungry and ready to lay eggs.
And wouldn't you know it a Navy Skydiver testing a new parachute design that landed in the Salton Sea gets to be Gornaxis dinner. It's funny how the people sending Lt. Hollister up there gave him a false sense of security by saying "It's okay, if the chute doesn't work you'll land in the water." Only problem is if you hit the water at a couple hundred miles an hour from any height, it's like hitting cement.
After the splash down Navy Boaters are sent out to retrieve him. And as they are searching Johnson gets eaten too after jumping in the water and Sanders brain just runs away after seeing Gornaxis.
Lt. Commander John Twillinger is sent to investigate and he has a talk with Dr. Jess Rogers about the events. This is one of my favorite parts because they sneak in some Atomic Age Talk without blaming the military testing, because Gornaxis has enough Atomic Energy of his own.
Then another Seaman Morty Beatty and his girlfriend "Jody Simms" go missing after swimming and what's left of their clothes are found. Now the real investigation starts.
A couple of Navy Divers are sent below by Dr. Rogers and one of them "George Blake" who is also Dr. Rogers lab assistant. They find Gornaxis newly formed cave and one of it's eggs. After the egg is taken out of the water and put on the boat, the divers find what's left of Jody Simms and George winds up getting caught up in the same seaweed that Jody is. That part always freaked me out because you actually see what's left of Jody Simms and then George's face sucking in from being drained of his blood and water by Gornaxis.
And if that weren't enough Gornaxis tries to get it's egg back and get some more free eats while it's at it.
But one of the crew destroys one of Gornaxis eyes and drives it under the water. Then Dr. Rogers has the area bombed sealing that Gornaxis back into it's underwater cave.
But a few escaped into a canal and made lunch out of some kids and a worker at one of the flood gates. Shortly after that they were all tracked down to a well and taken out with explosives.
Now Dr. Rogers has the recovered egg in a temperature controlled water filled metal container (With no lid and a control knob for the temperature out in the open) in the lab. So yeah something goes wrong and that Gornaxis is out and about looking to give someone a beatdown and drain them dry.
And just when it seems like this Gornaxis might make it, the Navy M.P.'s get there in tme and save the day!
I've always loved these movies because the monsters were so amazingly cool and built with practical F/X.
Now I'm not bashing on CGI, if it's done right and used in conjunction with practical F/X it looks amazing. I just hate when they put so much work into sets and costumes and the monster looks like it's something out of an okay video game.
I'd have to say Jurassic is one of my favorite movies that blends Animatronic and CGI just about seamlessly.
You were so drawn in and the artistry was done so well that you didn't have time to think "Oh here's the CGI stuff". I mean there's the obvious, but it was so cool that you didn't let yourself think about it!
But then there was Sector 7...
It had a good start and I really liked everything about it, but then the monster reveal looked like something out of Resident Evil.
Seriously the whole movie just came to a screeching halt after that. I couldn't even watch the rest of the movie after seeing this. It was such a huge let down and I've read that the American version "The Rig" wasn't any better. In fact they keep the monster just about completely hidden the whole time.
So I put "Deep Rising" on to cheer me back up.