Tuesday, February 06, 2018

GORATH (1962) - Where Is The Walrus?

Because of the conversation in Bloody Pit # 63 with Steve Sullivan I was persuaded to finally see GORATH (1962). He told me that the Doctor Who story we covered in that episode had a similar plot point to one in this Toho film and I was intrigued. Of course, the plot point he was talking about involves destroying or removing the core of the planet for some strange alien purpose - pure pulp science fiction madness! That turns out to not be exactly what happens in GORATH but it is just as insane and as scientifically implausible / impossible.

It seems GORATH is the name given to a small star or comet detected on the outer edge of our solar system on a collision course with Earth. Although it is only half the physical size of our planet it is 6000 times as dense ( an info tidbit the film beats to death!) so a way must be found to either divert it or get Earth out of its path. The rather innovative idea (and I'm being generous here) that the scientists come up with is to move our planet out of its orbit so as to avoid the collision with the fast approaching comet. That's right. Everyone intelligent person in the world decides that the right path forward is to shove our own planet closer to the Sun. Now, one might pause at the very idea and hold up a hand - perhaps like a petitioner student in a classroom - and point out that they are at least two major problems with this idea.

ONE - any force strong enough to actually divert something the size and mass of a planet from its orbit would be enough force to probably break it apart / destroy it.

TWO - moving the Earth closer to the Sun would completely change not just the weather patterns but the entire climate of the planet in such a way as to pretty much destroy all life on this muddy blue ball.

But hey - this is a Toho science-fiction film from the early 60s primarily aimed at a science fiction loving audience (i. e. kids) so it's best to just go along for the ride, I guess. Unfortunately, going along for the ride with this film was a little more difficult in the version I was watching. All I could find was the slightly shorter English dub version and I have to say the English dubbing does not help this film. Besides belaboring the density of Gorath it's also a very dumbed down translation of things and seems to be oversimplifying both events and relationships. All that would be terrible enough but after watching the film I learned from several friends that there was a giant monster trimmed from the English language version! What the Hell? A Toho SF epic from the 1960's complete with a rampaging giant creature and it was CUT OUT? What in the world were these idiots thinking?

Needless to say I was happy when a kind buddy linked me to the excised footage on YouTube -

- and now I just need to sit down and watch the Japanese version (with subtitles) and discover if the film plays better in it's original form WITH the giant walrus. Why would anyone want to deprive me of seeing a giant walrus destroying a polar base? 

1 comment:

Randall Landers said...

The only thing dumber than taking out the Walrus is Robert Wise and Gene Roddenberry deciding to take out Spock's tear in Star Trek: The Motion Picture. God, what are the execs who make these decisions (walrus and tear removal) actually thinking?