KAIJU DAY MARATHON: Gorgo (1961)

A co-production of the United Kingdom, the United States and Ireland — all united to rip off a film from Japan — Gorgo is all about a pearl diving crew taking a little monster to London and being gobsmacked when its mother comes to tear up Big Ben.

Originally, this was going to be set in Japan, then France and even Australia, but the filmmakers decided that — and I’m not making this up — no one cared about Australia.

Director Eugène Lourié already had some kaiju experience, making The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms and The Giant Behemoth.

This film also sets up that perhaps kaiju have been with us since the beginning of time and thought of as monsters, as a Viking relic shows an image of a beast called Ogra the sea spirit.

Monarch Books, who seemed ready to release a book for any giant monster movie*, put out a novel version that had way more sex than the movie. Way more meaning any at all.

Charlton Comics also published 23 issues of a comic book with pencils by Steve Ditko. They also did a three issue sequel miniseries called The Return of Gorgo and Ditko included Gorgo and Konga in a Captain Universe back up story in Web of Spider-Man Annual #6.

You can watch Gorgo on Tubi. The original version and Mystery Science Theater 3000 riff are both available.

*They also released books for Reptilicus and Konga.

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