Gorgo (1961)

Gorgo (1961)

“This is the 20th century — there must be some way of handling an overgrown animal!”

A pair of merchant seamen (Bill Travers and William Sylvester) capture an ancient, dinosaur-like sea monster off the coast of Ireland, and bring him to London to exhibit in a circus — but scientists soon discover that “Gorgo” is merely an infant, and his mother is on a rampage to retrieve him.

Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:

  • At Sea
  • Carnivals and Circuses
  • Mutant Monsters
  • Science Fiction

Russian-born French director Eugene Lourie made four “genre flicks” about mutant monsters, all of which are listed in Peary’s book: The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms (1953), The Colossus of New York (1958), The Giant Behemoth / Behemoth the Sea Monster (1959), and this — a British take on King Kong (1933) and Godzilla, King of the Monsters (1956) (not technically a “mutant monster” film, but, close enough). Gorgo is decently filmed, with excellent cinematography by Freddie Young and plenty of atmospheric special effects and sets, so it will surely appeal to those who enjoy giant-creatures-on-a-rampage flicks. It’s especially freaky seeing Gorgo’s mum (“Orga”) handily destroying Big Ben and the Tower Bridge, and tramping through the Thames. The idiocy of people willing to take any risk to see a spectacle is also handily highlighted here: as circus-going Londoners munch on puffy pink cotton candy, we can’t help musing that their brains are made of a similar substance. There are plenty of laugh-worthy elements throughout Gorgo — click here for a compilation of best moments from MST3K — so it can be enjoyed on that level as well. The final scene is surprisingly touching.

Redeeming Qualities and Moments:

  • Freddie Young’s cinematography

  • Fine special effects

Must See?
Yes, once, for its historical relevance.


  • Historically Relevant


2 thoughts on “Gorgo (1961)

  1. ⭐️⭐️

    Ok, nothing special giant monster flick influenced by the success of Godzilla (1954).

  2. First viewing. Not must-see.

    A hybrid (as noted) of ‘King Kong’ / ‘Godzilla’, placed in a new setting but with a lower budget. It holds to the old-style tradition of ‘building tension’ to the first appearance of the monster – but such tension is all but absent. We get a surplus of talk scenes that are uninspired and lacking in energy. And there’s a lot of wooden or near-wooden acting.

    Worst of all, both Gorgo and ‘Mommy Gorgo’ are rather silly-looking and have limited scare capacity…and a lot of cheap-looking sets easily tumble.

    As a result, even the panic-filled scenes that dominate the last half-hour are on the yawn-worthy side.

    Much of this could be unintentionally funny but it mostly just comes off as bad. Based on the link kindly provided here, the MST3K version would be the way to go with this one – but, on its own, even lovers of this genre could find it wanting.

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