It Came From Beneath The Sea (1955) (Review)

For movie night it was once again time for a cult classic, and this time one which ticks all the checkboxes for bad 1950 movies. We have a sexy female scientist as a love interest for our hero who really owns the “scream your lungs out damsel in distress” stereotype. A large part of the movie is filled with promotion footage the U.S. Army still had laying around on some dusty shelf. A well known city is in peril. Slow and wooden dialogs. Did I forget something… ah yeah… a giant radioactive octopus.

“It Came From Beneath The Sea” is a movie which you have to watch from a perspective in the day and age it was made. Some of the monster movies from that time still hold up, but this one, not so much. Even for that time this movie had a very low budget, which is responsible for the handful of special effect shots we get. The shots which are their were made by non other than Ray Harryhausen, so the shots of the stop-motion octopus are still quite good. But even for his doing nothing really stands out or is revolutionary.

Rumors have it that the entire movie was based around Ray Harryhausen having an octopus prop laying around. You can sum up the entire story on a napkin. In the beginning of the movie it tries to make an effort as it builds up the story with an unknown blip on a sonar making everyone question themselves what the hell is going on. But after the first encounter with the monster almost the entire remaining movie is filled with a few scientist discussing what the creature must be. Resulting in some really top notch dialogs (yeah, I’m being sarcastic there):

Prof. John Carter: Here, gentlemen, is your villain. (pointing at a fish tank with a small octopus inside it). 
Naval Asst. Sec. Robert David Chase: It would take an enormous number of those to disable a Navy submarine. 
Prof. Lesleyl Joyce: Or just one of enormous size, Mr. Chase

They even tried to make their view on the rising movement of women rights clear:

Prof. John Carter: Look, Pete, you don’t see many women in the Seagoing Navy. 
Cmdr. Pete Mathews: Are you kidding me? 
Prof. John Carter: Oh, shoreside women, sure. But there’s a whole new breed who feel they’re just as smart and just as courageous as men. And they are. They don’t like to be overprotected. They don’t like to have their initiative taken away from them.

No, “It Came From Beneath The Sea” in the end isn’t the cult classic it’s supposed to be. Harryhausens prop work can save it a little bit, but there is just to little to make it worthwhile. So, only watch it if you really enjoy the genre.

Score:Meh

Year: 1955
Genre: Sci-Fi / Horror
Duration: 79 minuts
Director: Robert Gordon
With: Kenneth Tobey, Faith Domergue and Donald Curtis

After an encounter at sea with an unknown underwater creature, a naval commander works with two scientists to identify it. The creature they are dealing with is a giant, radioactive octopus that has left its normal feeding grounds in search of new sources of replenishment. As the creature attacks San Francisco, the Navy tries to trap it at the Golden Gate Bridge but it manages to enter the Bay area leading to a final confrontation with a submarine.

Epica – The Holographic Principle (Review)

It has already been a few months since I last wrote something here, so it was about time. And what is a better reason to write something again than a new record from Epica!

To come straight to the point, for those who already didn’t like their previous record “The Quantum Enigma” from 2014, you can safely skip this one. For those that did like it (myself included) will feel right at home with “The Holographic Principle”. It is again filled to the brim with the same bombastic sound we got before, and then some, while keeping all those typical ‘Epica’-elements intact. The mixture of classical, operatic, and orchestral sound is still there and blends into each other almost perfectly. Everything has just become a tad heavier, in a good sense. This is most notable halfway through “Ascension – Dream State Armageddon”, where the band goes all out and even ventures into melodic black metal regions in the likes of Dimmu Borgir and Old Man’s Child. My personal highlight of the record.

Off course that isn’t the only good song on the album as all the others are of equally high standard which we’ve come to expect from Epica. It never gets dull. The balance between Mark growls, which have seriously improved, and Simone’s angelic voice is excellent. Behind that, all the other members form a perfect musical base. Ariën “The Beast” van Weesenbeek goes wild on his drum kit again and makes sure that he can keep carrying his nickname. Mark, Isaac and Rob complete the sound with their guitarwork and some great riffs. And even more to the background another improvement can clearly be heard. No longer do the orchestral sounds come from some computer program, but finally a real orchestra back the band up. And if I must nitpick on one thing sound wise, it’s probably that all together it sounds a little bit to clean and polished. Not that they, with their venture into the melodic black metal regions, should sound like a band who just can’t shake a sound as if they are still recording somewhere in a stone-cold attic. But perhaps it would have made those heavy parts, just a bit more intense.

When you eventually get to the end of the record and try to catch a breath from all the awesomeness you just heard, Epica takes care of you to wind you down. No live-records or b-tracks as bonus material this time. The lads unplugged all their amplifiers and made some of the songs into some highly enjoyable ballads, with “Universal Love Squad” being a highlight.

Nothing more remains to be said. My verdict is clear… buy it, buy it now! Come on, what are you still doing here, go to the store….!

Score9/10: Bloody awesome!

 

Info

Epica - The Holographic PrincipleReleased: 30 september 2016
Label: Nuclear Blast

  1. Eidola
  2. Edge Of The Blade
  3. A Phantasmic Parade
  4. Universal Death Squad
  5. Divide And Conquer
  6. Beyond The Matrix
  7. Once Upon A Nightmare
  8. The Cosmic Algorithm
  9. Ascension – Dream State Armageddon
  10. Dancing In A Hurricane
  11. Tear Down Your Walls
  12. The Holographic Principle – A Profound Understanding Of Reality

 

 

The Gathering – TG25: Live At Doornroosje

Finally, it has been released. Just over a year ago “The Gatheringcelebrated their 25th anniversary with a special concert at the Doornroosje venue in Nijmegen. It was one of their best gigs ever. And today we can finally listen to it again through physical and digital means. As always “The Gathering” made the record available for streaming on their bandcamp page. Awesome… hearing the live version of “I Can See Four Miles” gives me goosebumps all over again.