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   The Volcano Monsters
   
  Intended Release: 1957
 

Conceived by: Ib Melchior, Ed Watson

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Story

A massive eruption in Noshiro, Japan reveals a huge cave in the mountainside. An American paleontologist named Roy Carlyle, along with his assistant Marge and a couple Japanese scientists, explore the cave in hopes of finding some fossils. They stumble upon a gigantic tyrannosaurus rex and ankylosaurus encased in lava. The two creatures appear to have been locked in combat before they were trapped in the magma. The scientists presume that the creatures are dead, and must have had there bodies preserved due to the volcanic gases in the cave. However, one of the Japanese scientists warns them not to disturb the "monsters of Noshiro" as danger will befall them according to a prophecy. His warning falls on deaf ears as the creatures are readied to be shipped off to San Francisco for further study.

Carlyle attends a conference in Tokyo were he states his hypothesis that the two creatures found in the mountainside are in fact two giant cousins of the extinct tyrannosaurus rex and ankylosaurus. He also goes on to say that these two creatures were mortal enemies and would often engage each other in combat whenever the opportunity arose.

Meanwhile, the gigantic tyrannosaurus rex and ankylosaurus are in mid transit too San Francisco when it is discovered that the creatures are in fact very much alive. The scientists aboard the ship are overjoyed as they feel that with this discovery they may have unlocked the secret to suspended animation. McBain, a sailor who is currently in the middle of relationship with Marge, does not share there excitement as he feels the creatures should be thrown overboard before the creatures might be able to cause untold horrors. As fate would have it, a violent storm strikes the boat and causes the restraints on the tyrannosaurus rex to break, sending the creature to rolling across the deck and straight off the ship.

Fortunately, the ankylosaurus does not meet the same fate and the boat arrives safely in the docks of San Francisco with their prize. McBain and Marge both leave the boat to go out on a date shortly after arriving. While they are away, the tyrannosaurus rex surfaces in the bay. The dinosaur's presence awakens the ankylosaurus, who quickly breaks out of his constraints and the two behemoths quickly engage each other. Their fight startles a nearby truck driver, who in turn crashes into a nearby oil refinery that creates a giant explosion. The creatures make their way to Chinatown where they battle amongst the oriental structures.

Carlyle is given news of the creatures fighting in San Francisco which causes him to suffer a stroke. McBain and Marge visit him in the hospital where Carlyle asks them to please destroy the creatures before they can do any more damage. Carlyle's doctor, however, feels that this is not a wise idea as in Carlyle's current state he could die of depression if he loses his chance of getting a Nobel Prize, which will indeed happen if both dinosaurs die.

Meanwhile, the tyrannosaurus rex kills the ankylosaurus by biting it in the jugular. The surviving dinosaur then heads to a nearby university, where Marge and other scientists happen to be working to try and recreate a formula for the volcanic gases found in the cave that they hope will put the creature back into suspended animation. McBain arrives to warn them that the tyrannosaurus rex is coming, but the scientists ignore him as they explain that they are very close to discovering the formula. McBain then punches Marge, knocking her out, and carries her out of the building right before the tyrannosaurus rex crushes the structure and kills the other scientists inside. The military then arrives and attacks the dinosaur with tanks and rockets, but neither have any affect on the creature as it returns out to sea.

The Navy chases after the creature with planes and submarines, yet neither is effective. McBain and Marge follow the creature aboard a naval destroyer until the Navy loses track of the creature. Shortly afterwards, they are able to relocate the beast who is now swimming toward a mysterious tropical island in the polar regions. A scientist figures out that the creature must indeed be female and is no doubt going there to lay its eggs. McBain considers that nuking the tyrannosaurus rex might be there best solution for destroying it before this happens. However, killing the creature will no doubt in danger Carlyle in his fragile state, so he comes up with another plan which he tells to the Navy. The Navy surrounds a nearby ice cavern with oil drums, where they know that the tyrannosaurus rex is hiding. All does not go to plan, as a Navy solider gets himself trapped beneath a oil drum just as the tyrannosaurus rex is approaching. McBain rushes out and saves the man while throwing a grenade at the oil drums which causes a chain reaction. The tyrannosaurus rex is trapped in the cavern as jets bomb the hill side causing it to collapse on the creature, burying it in ice. Scientists predict that the ice should put the tyrannosaurus rex back in suspended animation, which will allow Carlyle to study the creature whenever he pleases.

Meanwhile at Noshiro, a claw reaches out of the cave opening...

Background

This project was planned for a 1957 release by AB-PT Pictures under the guidance of producers Harry Rybnick, Edward Barison and Richard Kay. The pair had struck a deal with Toho that gave them distribution rights of Godzilla Raids Again (1955) for the US. However, the pair had no interest in releasing the film, but rather to create their own movie called The Volcano Monsters the monster footage.

To create this new film, Ib Melchior, who would later become famous for The Angry Red Planet and Death Race, and Ed Watson were attached to the project, and both of them created the screenplay. The two took the task before them and wrote a production based around two giant dinosaurs who would become loose in San Francisco. Naturally, this meant Godzilla and Anguirus were going to stand in for the gigantic tyrannosaurus rex and ankylosaurus that the two had envisioned for their film. This also meant all footage without the monsters would be ignored, while all the scenes with Godzilla using his atomic ray would also be cut.

At the time, Toho was eager to comply with AB-PT Pictures as they were trying desperately to peddle their films to the American market with limited success. To help along this new production, Toho even sent them the Godzilla and Anguirus suits so they could shoot new scenes for the film. The project seemed to be progressing, as it was announced as an upcoming feature in the May 7th, 1957, issue of Variety, with a starting date of June 17th listed. However, shortly after July of 1957, AB-PT closed shop. As a result several films they were developing, which included The Volcano Monsters, never saw the light of day while the two monster suits were also never returned to Toho. In the end, Warner Bros would negotiate the rights for Godzilla Raids Again (1955) and would release it as the infamous Gigantis the Fire Monster in 1959.

Monsters Aliens, SDF, Misc
Giant Tyrannosaurus Rex, Giant Ankylosaurus F86F Saber Jet, Missile Launcher Trucks, Landing Craft

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