What do Reptilicus and the Gargantuas have in common?
Back in the heady days of the 1970’s, I largely existed on an UHF-fed stream of horror, fantasy and sci-fi films emanating from Chicagoland television transmitters. My favorite genre has always been giant monsters and on one particular evening I was faced with every monster movie kid’s dilemma: two cinematic jaugernauts were being broadcast at the same time. This was a time anticipating the wide-spread occurrence of video and videotape capabilities. There was no taping. There was no Tivo. There were no VHS or Beta tapes. No laserdiscs, DVD or Blurays. We circled what films were obvious gems in the TV guide and waited patiently and hoped none of the films overlapped.
On this day Reptilicus was playing on one station and a ridiculously dubbed print of War of the Gargantuas (which I had never seen) on another. Oh no!!! What will I do? All I could do was flip back and forth between channels. As I sat there watching dual films unfold my mom made a comment that is forever branded into my memory.
She said this:
“Oh, how odd… What are the chances of us watching two movies at the same time on different channels, yet both featuring monsters capable of regenerating their limbs?”
I was floored. Regeneration -the mind boggles.
Later, as I grew more sophisticated I learned of more regenerative monsters, such as The Blob, John Carpenter’s The Thing, The Green Slime, and others. I even learned that if you carefully slice a member of the Planariidae between the eyes, you’ll end up with a two-headed flatworm.
Those were good times. Now we don’t have to flip channels back and forth, but some of the magic has gone wayside. I miss those days.
The latent regenerative power of Reptilicus!