Tuesday, August 2, 2011

50's Monster Mash: The Giant Behemoth

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.

28 comments:

  1. Looks like the clothes were the best part of that movie--ha!

    I have to tell you that Nigella ice cream turned out *beautifully*--thank you for posting the recipe. I made it without an ice cream maker and it is delicious!

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  2. Interesting take on combining a 50s movie monster with food! I always find myself rooting for monsters in these movies, especially if they're like dinosaurs. Another monster-on-the-rampage movie made in Britain is GORGO, which is about a kidnapped baby dino, whose mother comes to London to rescue it - pretty good, with a happier ending than most. And then there's the classic British horror film KONGA, about a giant ape who flattens London, which stars the great Michael Gough.

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  3. Karen- good to hear the ice cream worked for you. I love not having to use an ice cream maker!

    Grand Old Movies- Obviously, my monster film education has been lacking! Thanks for the suggestions!

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  4. Yes, I am concerned - it just seems overwhelming! I'll check out the video and lend my support. Thank you for telling us about it!

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  5. Ahhh the entire situation regarding food freaks me out thoroughly. I'll hopefully be able to check this out as we have that really great indie theater, the flicks. Thanks for sharing this... Kinda scary the more you know but important too.

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  6. love the old movie photographs! :)

    katslovefashion.blogspot.com

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  7. GMOs are a bit disturbing... we watched this 2 hour special on them in my geography class, and it was distressing. Unfortunateyl I do end up supporting it since I don't buy organic or specialty store groceries- it just costs too much! maybe when i'm not a broke college student.. :/
    - Emily

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  8. You got me all curious about "The Giant Behemoth" (and hungry for poached fish); enjoyed the screen captures. You seem to have a tracking device for interesting, little known vintage films.

    Speaking of behemoths, have you seen the 2006 Korean film "The Host?" Heart-stopping monster film also with social undertones. Perhaps something for your Netflix.

    Here's the trailer, in case you haven't seen the film:
    The Host

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  9. Ton- that looks scary--and like it has higher production values than poor Giant Behemoth.

    Emily- My husband and I were just talking last night about how unfortunate it is that ethically-produced food can be so expensive. Part of my hope for films like this is to drive demand and maybe make better foods accessible to everyone.

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  10. Great foodie post with a little monster fashion tied in! :) I'll have to try shopping for some fish soon & check out the app.

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  11. Haha your captions for the photos are hilarious!! :)

    I love your posts!!

    And I always find such discrepancies in old films that make me go 0.0, I adore watching them for their kitsch moments.


    xoxo,
    Addie
    The Cat Hag

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  12. So much to ponder in this post: fashion, radiation, Godzilla, contaminated fish, recipes, GMOs,and Monsanto. It's like a smorgasbord and I enjoyed it very much.

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  13. What a great post! Loved all your fashion comments (awesome duffel coat, let us know if you find one!) and I couldn't agree more with you about eating sustainable fish and knowing where our food comes from. Thanks for sharing the video, too.

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  14. Very creative post! I know there are a lot of horrors related hear, but I think that line about the soybean freaked me out the most.

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  15. Loved this movie review and all the stills. I want to go to Cornwall. And I want a duffel coat!

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  16. Great post. Love your take on the movie and the Haiti film project.

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  17. So glad you posted this about GMOs. I also feel very strongly against them. It's pretty much come down to having to buy organic. The latest statistics I saw were that today in the U.S. unless we are buying organic, 100% of corn and 95% of soy is genetically modified. I was actually surprised that soy wasn't already at 100% considering all that was revealed in Food Inc. several years back. All these large food manufacturers are treating us like guinea pigs and poisoning us.

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  18. Mmmmmmmmmm.....

    Snarky captions and delicious recipes? Why haven't I heard of your blog before?! Great job!

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  19. There is going to be a sudden run on duffel coats over at ebay I think, I want one too! Jx

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  20. OMG - MOHAIR DUFFEL COAT ALERT!

    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/vtg-QUELRAYN-CAMEL-WOOL-MOHAIR-DUFFLE-COAT-MEDIUM-12-/350477544353?pt=UK_Women_s_Coats_Jackets&hash=item519a16eba1

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  21. Somehow I missed this post on my first visual go-round, but I'm glad I stopped in today. What can I say? It's just terrific. One of more original entries. :)

    I have a red duffle coat that's years old but I love it. Doesn't have the wooden toggles though, instead it has a zipper. But otherwise, it's a 'toggle' coat.

    I'm one who very often roots for the monster too. :)

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  22. Very interesting to tie together the monster movie with problems with our food supply. Very scary indeed.

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  23. This is the first time I've seen someone tie in the 50s monster with a modern problem rather than a 50s problem. And the fashion commentary was so much fun. This is a standout blog; you have a new follower.

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  24. WONDERFUL BLOG!
    HI! my name's martina and I come from Italy... I'd like you visit my blog and if you want.... follow me! I wait you and your tips!
    Thanks! kisses, Marti! ;DDDDD
    Glamour Marmalade

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  25. Oh I must watch that movie! Added to my list! :)

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  26. Saw this and thought of you - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i7YOXn32nmM&NR=1

    Jenny x

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  27. GMO's = really bad news. A few other movies you might enjoy are Food Matters, The Future of Food, and King Corn. They are all on Netflix instant view :-) Thanks for visiting my blog! I look forward to reading more of your recipes!

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