Monsters Are Such Interesting People – Two Films from the Colossal Bert I. Gordon


IMG]The Amazing Colossal Man (1957) Bert I. Gordon made many “giant things attack” films in the 50s and 60s, and this was one of them. The heroic Col. Glenn Manning risks his life to save a civilian who IMG] (2)crashed a plane in a nuclear test site, and miraculously survives the blast. Even more miraculously, his burnt skin regenerates itself in a matter of hours, and then he starts to grow at an alarming rate. Scientists rush to find a cure for what his making his cells reproduce so quickly, but before long he’s 60 feet tall and out of his mind. After most of the movie consisting of talking and the title character IMG] (1)holding tiny telephones and newspapers, he finally wanders away from the Nevada research center and goes wondering down the Las Vegas Strip. Military forces are ordered not shoot, as a hopeful cure is on its way, but trigger-happy local cops open fire, inciting a giant monster rampage. Gordon would bring his monster back the next year in War of the Colossal Beast, but it would be an un-related rip-off called Attack of the 50-Foot Woman that would trump both of them.

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War of the Colossal Beat (1957) None of the cast returns from Bert I. Gordon’s Amazing Colossal Man from the year before, but what do you really need, a white guy with no hair? No prob. Assumed dead from his fall off the Hoover Damn, the unfortunate Col. Manning, who grew 60 feet tall from IMG] (4)radiation poisoning, went down the river to Mexico and has been snatching food delivery trucks off the road to feed himself. Also gone is his fiancée from the first film, but he has a sister in Los Angeles continuing to search. They go to Mexico, catch him, bring him back to LA, but he gets loose and goes on another rampage. Half his face is now damaged from injuries sustained in the first film, and one of his eyesockets is empty. Any hope of humanity left in him is gone, he’s nothing but a grunting, brain damaged wrecking machine. The first film was better, but Gordon has done better than both of these.

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