MILL CREEK SCI-FI FROM THE VAULT: It Came from Beneath the Sea (1955)

Directed by Robert Gordon and written by Hal Smith and George Worthing Yates, the real star of this movie is the stop motion animation special effects of Ray Harryhausen. It gave me a childhood fear of octopuses as this movie is all about radiation making one of them gigantic and attacking San Francisco after nuclear testing decimates its prey in the Mindanao Deep.

This movie had such a low budget that it led to some innovation, as scenes were shot with handheld cameras inside a real submarine and the beach scenes are all a Columbia soundstage covered with sand and a rear projected ocean. To keep things on schedule, Sam Katzman tore an entire love scene from the script. And money was so tight that Harryhausen only made six tentacles for the monster. You never see all eight.

There was one major issue: the filmmakers weren’t given permission to shoot on the Golden Gate Bridge because the city didn’t want people to think the bridge could sink. So producer Charles H. Schneer put a camera crew in the back of a bakery truck and kept driving it back and forth over the San Francisco landmark.

The Mill Creek Sci-Fi from the Vault set also has 20 Million Miles to Earth, Creature With the Atom Brain and The 30 Foot Bride of Candy Rock. It also has commentary tracks on select films — It Came from Beneath the Sea has Justin Humphreys and C. Courtney Joyner — talking about this film — and two featurettes, They Came from Beyond and Fantastic Features. You can get it from Deep Discount.

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