After taking July 6th’s “Bigfoot Break” from the focus on the Lake Champlain Monster (ever since the dawn of the Mayor’s Cup Movie in 2014), it’s time to resume concentration on that marvelous maritime mystery we’ve nicknamed “Champ.” It’ll be happening at the Newman Center (90 Broad St., Plattsburgh, NY) on Saturday, July 13th at 7 pm by way of a compelling 1959 sci-fi thriller called “The Atomic Submarine,” an unofficial ‘sequel’ to this summer’s Mayor’s Cup Movie “The Creature of Stark Hills” (see previous blog for that one).
Like all Mayor’s Cup Movies from 2014-2018, “The Atomic Submarine” acknowledges the long history of the Champ phenomenon without bearing any direct connection to it. It’s all about evoking a feeling, an atmosphere, a sense of wonder conducive to what Champ has given us, incurred by the presence of something completely unclassified, completely unknown moving about beneath the water’s surface.
In the case of “The Atomic Submarine,” we’re on location in the Arctic Sea (actually a studio tank) where ships have been disappearing without a trace. The titular vessel is dispatched to investigate, only to encounter a very large submerged organism that parts company with Champ in the nature of its intent. After all, since Champ has never been known to harm anyone, well, no more spoilers from me you’ll just have to see for yourself.
In its own (relatively) low-key, resourcefully budgeted way, “The Atomic Submarine” made genre history by being the final entry in the 1950s (cinematic) sci-fi boom that first began with 1950’s “Rocketship X-M” and “Destination Moon.” Also, it set the stage for the famed “Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea” theatrical feature and subsequent TV series.
On that note, shortly after the conclusion of the “Atomic Submarine” screening, a “Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea” (TV) episode will be shown, enabling the audience to compare and contrast with the main attraction.
Again, it all starts at 7 pm Saturday, July 13th on reel-to-reel 16mm film. Free, with donations welcome (free food as well).