Sunday, December 12, 2010

War of the Colossal Beast (1958)

War of the Colossal Beast is a 1958 black-and-white science fiction film, directed by Bert I. Gordon and produced by Carmel Productions and distributed by American International Pictures. It continued the storyline of the 1957 movie The Amazing Colossal Man, although it was not marketed as a direct sequel, and featured a different cast.[1] Both The Amazing Colossal Man and War of the Colossal Beast were later mocked on the television series Mystery Science Theater 3000. Upon hearing of several recent robberies of food delivery trucks in Mexico, Joyce Manning, the sister of Army officer Lt. Col. Glenn Manning (though in The Amazing Colossal Man, Glenn's fiance said Glenn had no surviving family), becomes convinced that her brother survived his fall from the Hoover Dam at the end of the first film. Along with Army officer Major Mark Baird and scientist Dr. Carmichael, she goes to Mexico to look for him.

It is discovered that Manning, now grown to 60 feet tall after being exposed to plutonium radiation, survived his fall from the Hoover Dam at the end of the previous movie, but he has gone insane and part of his face was left disfigured following his confrontation with the Army at the dam. Not only has the plutonium radiation mutated him into a 60 foot disfigured freak, it also has conferred other benefits; drastically reducing his vocabulary and diet - he now appears capable only of uttering simple variations on "aarrrgh" (although he does manage a single strangled "Joyce!" at the movie's end) and only eating loaves of bread (by the truck-load). Manning is captured and drugged by the Army and taken back to America, but he again escapes and goes on a rampage through Los Angeles and Hollywood. Eventually, Joyce makes him snap to his senses and realizing what he has done, Manning kills himself by electrocution (somehow causing the movie to change from black and white to color for the final minute) on high-voltage power lines around the Griffith Park Observatory. The ending, involving electrocution, is almost exactly like the death of the 50-ft Woman.

BERT I. GORDON  (1958)
68 MIN

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