50's Monster Mash: The Giant Behemoth

Tuesday, August 2, 2011
That's Tower Bridge in the background--Nesszilla (as I call him) has made his way to the Thames to die in fresh water.  Sad, isn't it?  Too bad he has to destroy London while he's at it.

First off, thanks to Nathanael at Forgotten Classics of Yesteryear for hosting this blog event.  I decided to watch and write about The Giant Behemoth because it's set in Britain.  I mean, how many British 50s monster movies are there, anyway?  Let's get the basics out of the way--the Giant Behemoth is a leftover electrified dinosaur that has become radioactive due to nuclear testing in oceans.  He's a Nessie/Godzilla hybrid!

I have to admit that I completely lost interest in this film after Nesszilla emerges in London.  The first part of the movie was much more compelling.  For instance, this Cornish blonde (who's unfortunately only in the first 15 minutes) wears the cutest clothes:

Doesn't this make you want to be a fisher(wo)man?

Cuffed jeans and a duffel coat are going on my to-buy list.

What one wears while cooking (possibly radioactive) fish for dinner.

Searching for a missing father requires a chunky-knit cardigan.

I wonder if that's what this lady is knitting?

Finally, check out this girl's fair isle.  Awesome!

I also thought that some of the events in the beginning of the film would make a great science not-fiction story.  So, rather than take this film at face value, I've decided to look at Nesszilla as a metaphor for the man-made threats to our food supply.  In the movie, lots of mysteriously dead fish wash ashore in Cornwall.  Sound familiar?  As scary as an electric, radioactive dinosaur is, it's not quite as scary as the fact that humans have created a situation where dead fish do wash ashore--no radioactive monster required.  The Giant Behemoth is simply all the things that we've done to ruin the earth and our own food supply.  Unfortunately, the real behemoth isn't as easy to slay.  I'd like to suggest a couple of things we can all do to help.

I've been wanting to make Haddock with Parsley Sauce for a long time and this movie seemed like a good tie-in.  Maybe my stomach isn't as weak as I thought?  Anyway, I had to buy pollock and the sauce separated irrevocably, so I ended up with poached fish topped with cream, lemon zest and parsley, which was actually pretty tasty.

Why did I use pollock, you ask?  Well, I have this very cool iPhone app (don't worry, there's a web version, as well) from the Monterey Bay Aquarium, called Seafood Watch.  It tells me which on-sale fish to buy (and which to avoid) at the grocery store so I can be sure to buy a sustainably fished fish so we can all enjoy fish in the future.


Also way-scarier-than-radioactive dinosaurs: Genetically Modified Organisms, created by the giant behemoths that are chemical companies like Monsanto and Dow, and flourish through our ignorance.  This as-yet-untitled film project (that I'm supporting at Kickstarter) seeks to shed light on the ever-increasing hold chemical companies have over our food supply.  Please watch this video and, if you can, donate to the project.  You can give as little as $1, but if you give $25 you get a digital download of the film, which I thought was pretty cool, because a documentary about GMOs will probably never get a showing in Wichita.

The "sizzle reel" is also at Always Order Dessert, where I first heard about this project.  If you're still wondering, "what's the big deal?" watch this CBS News video or the film Food, Inc. about how Monsanto sues farmers across America for patent infringement.  Plus, is anyone else freaked out by the fact that Monsanto has created a soybean that is dependent on a toxic chemical?

Also, I apologize for being behind in checking all your lovely blogs.  Our internet is on the fritz.

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