Monster of the Day #14

Gideon Spilitt:  That’s the best crab I ever cooked.
Captain Harding
:  We’d be more impressed, Mr. Spilitt, if you’d put it in the pot by yourself.

This remains probably my all-time favorite Harryhausen sequence.

  • BeckoningChasm

    A great creature, but for Harryhausen I still prefer EvtFS. Those spinning saucers look alive.

  • P Stroud

    The Crab was good although I prefer the Cyclops animation in the 7th Voyage of Sinbad. That scared the crap out of me since I was only 10 years old when it came out. But thanks for the reminder of a good Jules Verne adaptation. I’m going to view “Mysterious Island” again tonight. I need something to help me recover from seeing “Myra Breckenridge” for the first (and last) time yesterday. That hurt worse than Brando’s “Island of Dr Moreau”.

  • Mysterious Island also features one of Bernard Herrman’s best scores, and is an exception to Roger Ebert’s Balloon Rule, i.e., “Good movies rarely contain a hot-air balloon.”

  • Ericb

    “What’s for breakfast?”

    “egg and crab; egg bacon and crab; egg bacon sausage and crab; crab bacon sausage and crab; crab egg crab crab bacon and crab; crab sausage crab crab bacon crab tomato and crab; …crab crab crab egg and crab; crab crab crab crab crab crab baked beans crab crab crab and crab …”

  • You can give me your crab. I LOVE crab. I’m going to order crab, crab, crab, eggs, and crab.

  • This was one of my first experiences in how different a novel and the movie adaptation thereof could be. I saw the movie when I was 9 or 10. I’d already read Journey to the Center of the Earth. I thought it was okay. Mysterious Island had to be awesome. I mean look at all the cool monsters that were in the movie!

    Imagine my disappointment.

  • Rock Baker

    I think I heard that Ray and his wife ate the meat from the crab he used to build this model (but I may be confusing this account with the Tsuburyas eating the octopus after they were done using it for King Kong vs Godzilla). Using a real crab shell was a wonderful idea, and there wouldn’t be another stop motion critter so life-like until the scorpions in Clash of the Titans. I first saw this movie (‘Titans’ too, now that I think of it) on TNT’s Monstervision way, way back when TNT was the coolest channel on the dial, I mean way, way, way back (when they used to have 100% WEIRD on friday nights). I think they were the first channel to start having Harryhausen marathons.

  • To me, the skeleton battle from ‘Jason And The Argonauts’ was Harryhausen’s masterpiece.

  • I think it says a lot about this site that everyone can pick out their favorite Harryhausen effect. And that it seems to be different for everyone.

  • And we haven’t even gotten a vote for the Quintipus or the Rhedosaurus yet. Here’s to Ray!

  • Rock Baker

    Hmmm. Not sure I have a top favorite effect. They all look great because Ray was a craftsman. I guess the one I loved most as a kid was the Ymir. Looking back now, it’d have to either be the Rhedosaurus or Mighty Joe Young. (But on the ape movie I’m not sure how much was Harryhausen and how much was O’Brien.) Did The Animal World ever turn up? Or are we still stuck with Trog?

  • TongoRad

    I saw Jason and the Argonauts in the original theatrical run (I was around 10 at the time), so I’ve always had a real soft spot for that one. It does have lots of great sequences, for sure. I’d probably have to agree about the skeleton battle, all the better now that I am older and can appreciate all that went into it. But I’ll also throw the homunculus into the discussion, just for the heck of it. I love that little dude.

  • The Rev. D.D.

    I’d probably pick either the caveman/young allosaurus fight in 1,000,000 Years B.C. or the Ymir/elephant fight. Although I love the Rhedosaurus eating the roller coaster and the Kali statue’s dance sequence.

  • Gamera

    I remember being disappointed in this film when I first saw it in high school. In the novel the castaways pretty much create everything they use MacGyver style. In the film everything they need washes up in storage crates on the beach. Still disregarding the novel and just judging the film it was a fun ride. I have to admit I was more impressed with the Phorusrhacos ‘terror bird’ more than the giant crab though.

  • Actually, I think in the movie Nemo is surreptitiously sending the castaways supplies, but your point holds.

  • sandra

    I’d like to see the crab go mano a mano ( or claw a claw) with THE GIANT CRAB/