Sunday, September 18, 2011

My commentary track for THE GIANT BEHEMOTH (1959)

As we read and responded to the letters in the most recent NaschyCast I mentioned that I had recorded a commentary track for a film at one time. The film in question is THE GIANT BEHEMOTH (1959) and I created this fan commentary back in 2008. I love the film and was underwhelmed (to say the least) by the track on the otherwise great DVD. I'm not sure how much crossover there really is between Naschy fans and fans of giant monster movies of the 1950s but just in case anyone is interested I'm re-posting the original info about the commentary here & now. This makes it much easier to find than trying to search through the labels at the bottom of each blog entry. Enjoy!

Last year I was thrilled to pick up a couple of the Warner Brothers three DVD sets of what they called 'Cult Camp Classics'. First on my list to grab was the one labeled Sci-Fi Thrillers because I'm just that kind of guy. In all honesty, the idea of being able to see QUEEN OF OUTER SPACE in its widescreen glory put a big smile on my face. But the real icing on the cake was the inclusion of commentary tracks for the each of the three movies. Genre writer and historian Tom Weaver handled the tracks for QUEEN and ATTACK OF THE 50 FOOT WOMAN but a couple of special effects masters did the track for THE GIANT BEHEMOTH.

But as I listened to this commentary I became angry. The two men clearly thought the film was beneath them and acted more like ADD teenagers than people interested in the qualities of the film they were watching. I found it insulting and switched it off after the fourth or fifth complaint from them about how nothing was happening but 'people standing around talking'. This level of cluelessness I expect from kids but not from supposed fans of the genre. So, I set out to correct that with my own commentary track.

I hope you will think I did a good job. This track has some faults – sloppiness, verbal stammering and stutters- but I hope I got across the information well enough to be enjoyed by fans.

I’d like to clearly acknowledge the sources for the information in the track.

-Two interviews conducted by Tom Weaver were most helpful- one with director Eugene Lourie and the other with leading man Gene Evans.

-Mark Berry’s fine book The Dinosaur Filmography was an invaluable resource.

-The wonderful article from SPFX magazine #26 by Paul Mandell was fantastic and helped me form up my own thoughts about the film.

-And last was Mark Berry’s great interview with Desmond Davis about his career.

I’ve tried to get my hands on a documentary about the life and career of composer Edwin Astley but that has proven harder than I thought. Produced in 2001 it’s never been released on video but I hope to catch up with it one day.

If you decide to listen to this track I hope you enjoy it and I would be glad to hear from you. I hope to eventually do more such commentaries and any feedback would be appreciated.

Oh- and one last thing. I must apologize for my most glaring verbal mistake. Near the very end of the track I seem to think the current year is 1978. I meant to say something else but obviously my mind and mouth were not linked at that moment. Of course, these films often make me feel like I’m 10 years old so maybe my slip was a Freudian one.



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