The Film (3.5/5)
1954 was a big year for science fiction. Fans were just introduced to giant mutated monsters such as Them! , and Godzilla as well as human sized ferocious monsters such as Creature from the Black Lagoon. The era would be dominated by science fiction films filled with monsters, robots and outer space adventure, both on a high budget and the quick buck *B* movie budget. The movie Gog, from 1954, is considered to be a *B* movie, to me rises above that level. While it’s not a major classic, it captures the science fiction aura, and well executed special effects, it easily rises above the Plan Nine from Outer Space and Monster from Green Hell type of film
When several lab experiments malfunctions occur in a secret laboratory in New Mexico, killing two scientists, a federal agent from the Office of Scientific Investigation (Richard Egan) pays a visit. There is he greeted by Dr. Van Ness (Herbert Marshall from Alfred Hitchcock’s Foreign Correspondent) who believes that someone is sabotaging the experiments. He gives the agent the grand tour of the laboratory, including an introduction to a pair of robots named Gog and Magog. The two robots fall under control by whatever is causing the sabotages in the laboratory. They start to attack the scientists, until they come up with a solution to stop them both and the cause of the all of the mishaps.
Gog is a really good science fiction mystery thriller. It’s a solid story with a fair amount of suspense. You will not be blown away with tons of CGI effects, huge explosions and action that we see in today’s films. However, Gog succeeds in having just enough action, good dialog and screen time of the two antagonistic robots.
The characters are all great in their respective roles. Everyone tried in this film and it really pays off. It is a very enjoyable Saturday afternoon matinee kind of film. I’ve been a fan of this movie for quite a while, having owned the MGM MOD DVD-R and a VHS of it. The lead actress in Gog, Constance Dowling wound up marrying the producer of the film Ivan Tors after the film was completed. Tors both wrote and produced The Magnetic Monster and Riders to the Stars. These two films along with Gog were part of the OSI trilogy, where agents of Office of Scientific Investigation were involved.
Gog gets its blu ray debut via Kino Lorber and it is nothing short of outstanding. Gog is presented in its original 1:66:1 aspect ratio in 1080p, with an MPEG-4 AVC encode. The colors are extremely rich, bold, robust, vivid and ; it is simply just magnificent and the colors just stand out. This completely blows away the MGM MOD DVDr release that used to be in my collection. This blu ray is a visual delight. The film can be seen in both 2D and 3D, and am only reviewing the 2D version since I don’t have any 3D glasses.
The audio quality is the usual Kino DTS-HD Master Audio English 2.0 and once again no real audio issues.
Extras include a commentary by film historian Tom Weaver, Bob Furmanek (who was at the helm of the 3D restoration) and David Schecter, plus a restoration demo, a 2003 interview with Director Herbert L. Strock and a trailer gallery
Kino Lorber has done a tremendous job with the restoration of Gog. To have the movie finally available to view in both 2D and 3D is a treat in itself, along with it being an entertaining fifties film, and with the beautiful image quality, the extras, this package is very much highly recommended !