Home > Uncategorized > The Phantom from 10,000 Leagues (1955)

The Phantom from 10,000 Leagues (1955)


    There is nothing worse than a bad movie that tries to be good.  The best-of-the-worst roll in their own badness like a pig in slop and, ultimately, those movies prove to be the most entertaining.  Then there’s “The Phantom from 10,000 Leagues;” a bad film that just doesn’t know its role.  The problem here is that the movie never got started.  It set out to be a monster movie, but then cringed, and changed its mind.  

            The movie begins with a nameless extra on a fishing boat being killed by an ocean creature that looks like Gorgo covered in sea weed.  This scene dissolves into the title card written in an appropriately cheesy font.  ‘Great,’ I thought, ‘I will really be able to enjoy this crap-fest.’  But, it seems that my initial instinct about this movie was totally wrong.  The movie that followed was a long, boring, anemic, pallid, talky excuse for a radioactive monster movie.  The monster is only seen at sporadic intervals from the beginning on, and even those sightings are few and far between.  Without a cool creature in this feature, I was left only with the smug actors and some dreary, underdeveloped story about spies. 

            Of all the movies I have reviewed so far, “The Phantom from 10,000 Leagues” is the lamest.  It has no intrinsic, intangible energy that makes it click as camp, it just sucks.  I didn’t laugh out loud as I watched it, I just found myself becoming bitter and numb.  “The Phantom from 10,000 Leagues” isn’t a good bad movie, it is just a bad movie; a film that is ashamed of itself for being a monster movie because it feels that it could be so much more.  This thought is false, because it never once committed to entertaining.  I was seriously tempted to take a screwdriver and cut deep radial groves into the DVD to save anybody from having to suffer that same fate that I suffered.  The horror, the horror.                 

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