Champ Day Movie Night is back for another round of recognizing “Champ,” the blanket nickname for what many believe is a colony of saurian cryptids inhabiting Lake Champlain. As movie-night emcee, I’m pleased to announce that my latest choice of films was partly informed by last summer’s experience accompanying Katy Elizabeth (pictured), founder of Champ Search, on safari one weekend in August. I say safari because unlike the waterborne exploration dominating her Champ-searching endeavors, the (Button Bay, Vt.) expedition I participated in was entirely beachbound.
Based largely on eyewitness reports she’s logged over the years, the world’s leading Champ expert believes these animals occasionally venture up on land, prompting her use of intriguing techniques seeking evidence of Champ on terra firma which I witnessed first-hand (the techniques, that is).
Per Katy Elizabeth’s theory, I’ve selected the 1961 cult classic “Gorgo” as the creatured attraction partly because the titular prehistoric sea monster is not averse to being a landlubber in a pinch. The other motivation for my selection is, if there’s a moral to “Gorgo’s” story within the regional context being addressed, if you ever happen to encounter what appears to be a baby Champ for God’s sake leave it alone! (To say any more would give away too much about the movie.)
“Gorgo” and I go back to my childhood, and my affection for it has only grown across the decades since first discovering the film on TV courtesy of WPIX-11’s “Chiller Theater” in the early 1970s. Today I’m the proud owner of a 16mm original Technicolor print spoiling for a public presentation. So be it!
Please note that this screening will take place in advance of July 23rd’s actual Champ Day festivities. “Gorgo” will show at 7:00 pm on Wednesday, July 12th at the Moriah Chamber office, 4317 Main Street in Port Henry, NY….on classic reel-to-reel FILM! Free, with donations welcome.
P.S. – Happy 40th birthday to Sandra Mansi’s world-reknowned photograph of Champ (pictured) taken from the Vermont side of Lake Champlain in 1977. Katy Elizabeth has suggested that the magnificent specimen clearly evident in Mansi’s historic photo might still be thriving out there somewhere. Will the wonders of Champ never cease?