20,000 Fathoms of Fun
Atomic bomb tests in the Arctic Circle defrosts a gigantic reptile creature-o-saurus (official name: Rhedosaurus). This monster is nearly 100-feet long, walks on all fours, has buzz-saw sharp things on his back, is several stories tall, and judging by his diet — shark, octopus, lighthouse, diving bell, roller coaster tracks, humans — is not a picky eater.
Hibernating in ice for 100 million years, the thawed beast travels towards Manhattan, stopping off in Nova Scotia to eat a lighthouse as though it were a sugar cookie. Once in the city, Rhedosaurus wanders Times Square and takes a hole to the neck via a good ’ol United States Army bazooka. (Way to treat tourists, New York.)
Red’s blood emits a virulent germ that contaminates the very streets where people used to live, litter, and now die. Rhedosaurus scorecard: 180 dead, 1,500 injured, $3,000,000 in collateral damage. Scientists determine that if a radioactive isotope can be fired into the monster’s open neck hickey, that might stop him from racking up more kill points.
The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms (1953) is THE monster movie that inspired Godzilla (1954), coming out a full year before Japan copied the hell out of us. Good thing Godzilla was so cool, or else we’d be armed with more than an isotope, if you catch my drift.