What do you do when you find an enormous monster lurking in the sea off
the coast of Ireland? Well, what you don't do (apparently) is either:
a. Kill it.
b. Hand it over to the proper authorities for testing, in case its mother
turns up and lays waste to London.
No, what you do is drag it all the way to the South of England, stick
posters on the sides of every red London bus you can find, and exhibit
the thing in a frankly shoddy-looking circus.
Because of course, that's what one-of-a-kind scientific discoveries are
for, isn't it? Well it was in the 60s, anyway. There's not a dissenting
voice to be heard (apart from a couple of potato munchers laying claim
to it for Ireland - ha!) as captain square-jaw and his jaunty-hatted mate
set sail for good old blighty with their find in Gorgo, despite
the monster having devastated a small fishing village and apparently been
responsible for a major undersea earthquake. Bizarre.
Anyway, that's what happens at the beginning of Gorgo - unfortunately,
yes, the British answer to venerable Japanese export, Godzilla.
Of course, no sooner has the sad-looking monster been put in its electrified
pit for people to laugh at (why do they always laugh? They've paid good
money to see it), than mum turns up - ten times the size and obviously
on her monthlies.
She battles her way through an enormous amount of Royal Navy stock footage
(the same guns go off again and again and again) as the Admiralty show
a remarkable disinterest in the gigantic, seemingly indestructable beast
(of course, that could be down to bad acting).
Once Britannia has shown it doesn't rule the waves any more (there's not
a mark on mum despite the stock footage barrage), it's time to get serious
as she nears London - "Send for the river patrol!" (I kid you
The River Patrol are even worse than the Navy (surprisingly) and only
manage to set fire to the Thames (and a couple of Teddy Boys for good
measure). Now it's time to "Send for the army!"
They're not happy though, having been told that "atomic bombs can't
be used in any built-up area". So instead, everyone panics, despite
being told not to. Mum wades into Tower Bridge, and follows up by dropping
Big Ben on a group of soldiers (although to be fair, they'd already made
a bit of a mess of it by firing rockets at the clock).
As the people panic even more, we're treated to the same scenes of milling
about, except reversed - hence the ads for XULUD paint. Next stop Picadilly
Circus - "there's no telling where this thing will turn next!"
says an army boss - come now, surely there's loads more tourist attractions
she can waste?
But no - not only does mum not stamp on an annoying reporter who's been
giving us a particularly pointless rundown of all her activities, but
she also avoids twatting the annoying child who somehow got attached to
the baby monster at the beginning. So the film ends on positive note -
London flattened, mum and kid reunited, and no-one arsed to try and stop
"They're going back now... back to the sea..."
Ready for Gorgo 2? Unlikely....
Director: Eugène Lourié (as Eugene Lourie) Writer(s): (WGA) (in
credits order) Robert L. Richards (screen story) (originally as John Loring),
and Daniel James (screen story) (originally as Daniel Hyatt), Robert L. Richards
(screenplay) (originally as John Loring,) and Daniel James (screenplay) (originally
as Daniel Hyatt)
Cast: Bill Travers - Joe, William Sylvester - Sam, Vincent Winter - Sean,
Christopher Rhodes - McCartin, Joseph O'Conor - Professor Hendricks, Bruce Seton
- Professor Flaherty, Martin Benson - Dorkin, Maurice Kaufmann - Radio reporter,
Basil Dignam - Admiral, Barry Keegan - Mate, Tommy Duggan - First naval officer,
Howard Lang - First colonel, Dervis Ward - Bosun, Róbert Arnfinnsson - Gudmundur,
Gunnar Eyjólfsson - Ragnar, Nigel Green - Bulletin Announcer, Lawrence W. Schneph
- US Drunkard, John Teasy - Bob