Today is a very special anniversary in the world of Imagi-Movies. It can be said that it was the day the Monster Movie was born. Not ‘Horror Movie’, as that was (technically) created by none other than Thomas Edison with his production of J. Searle Dawley’s FRANKENSTEIN (1910), and refined in 1922 with F.W. Murnau’s NOSFERATU. No, I mean MONSTER Movie. Today marks the 87th anniversary of the release of Harry O. Hoyt’s THE LOST WORLD (1925), which can be said to be the first film using physical special effects to show giant monsters (in this case, Dinosaurs) including a rampage thru a major city, destroying familiar landmarks (a Brontosaurus smashing thru London). The effects were of course by Willis O’Brien (though uncredited), who would go on to be immortalized by bringing Merian C. Cooper & Ernest B. Shoedsack’s KING KONG (1933) to life, which would further the Monster Movie by inspiring future generations of movie makers. This was the first film version of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s novel about a plateau in South America where prehistoric creatures still lived into the present day, and an expedition lead by Prof. Challenger explores it, and barely escaping bring back a live Brontosaurus which runs amok . It would be remade in 1960 by Irwin Allen, with Willis O’Brien acting as an “Effects Technician”. When you consider Allen’s familiar use of Monitor Lizards and Alligators decorated with spikes and fins, I doubt too much of O’Brien’s input was used. Sad, really.
At any rate, See this if you have it available to you. A classic and an original, and the birth of the Monster Movie.