The Giant Behemoth

Release Date: March 3, 1959
Director: Eugene Lourie, Douglas Hickox
Producers: David Diamond, Ted Lloyd
Writers: Robert Abel, Alan J. Alder
Screenplay: Eugene Lourie, Daniel James
Starring: Gene Evans as Steven Karnes
Andre Morell as Prof. Bickford
Music: Edwin Astley
Cinematography: Desmond Davis, Ken Hodges
Distributor: Allied Artists
Time: BW 80min.

Purchase The Giant Behemoth (DVD) at Movies Unlimited (Not available separately; is packaged with Attack of the 50-Foot Woman and Queen of Outer Space.)

Interesting Tidbits

Live action sequences were filmed in Great Britain, including London. Stop motion animation was filmed in Los Angeles. The budget for The Giant Behemoth was very limited.

Special effects animation was contracted out to Jack Rabin who sub-contracted it to legendary animator Willis O'Brien of King Kong fame. He was paid a flat fee of $5,000 for his work. Willis however allowed his assistant, Pete Peterson, to do most of the work.

The Plot

Dead fish by the thousands begin washing up on the shores of Cornwall, England, and finally an old fisherman is killed by something which has left him covered with radiation burns, his dying word being "behemoth". An Anglo-American team of scientists are dispatched from London to investigate, and discover the dead fish are also radioactive.

Further investigation reveals a large, glowing animal swimming below the surface of the sea, and on another night it comes out and "burns" a farmhouse and its occupants, leaving footprints the length of a police car. From a picture of one print, a paleontologist determines the animal is a [fictional] Paeleosaurus that can project electric shocks and is saturated with radiation. The dinosaur enters the River Thames and surfaces and attacks the city of London.

The scientists realize that if it is destroyed by conventional military weaponry, a large amount of radioactive contamination will be released. The military then concludes to use a mini-submarine capable of shooting a torpedo missile with enough additional radioactivity inside the warhead to overdose the behemoth and delete it. The American scientist and one of the younger Cornish fishermen, boyfriend of the daughter when the first man was killed take the mini-sub out, aimed at the pest and successfully shoot the behemoth.