War of the Colossal Beast (1958) – Bert I. Gordon

The monster mash continues as I work my way through the Atomic Mutations chapter in DK Canada’s very enjoyable, Monsters in the Movies. Bert Gordon returns to direct the follow-up sequel to The Amazing Colossal Man, but you don’t have to have seen the first one to wtch this one, as there’s a flashback sequence near the middle of the film that runs almost five minutes to bring viewers up to speed.

Taking over the role of Glenn Manning is Duncan Parkin, though footage from the first film features Glenn Langan. Hidden behind a half face prosthetic meant to show not only the decay of the character’s mind and body, but also to hide the fact from the audience that it is not the same actor.

Manning has apparently been hiding out in Mexico and grabbing food trucks to keep himself fed, and hiding out amongst the mountains.

But that doesn’t keep his sister, Joyce (Sally Fraser), who wasn’t even mentioned in the first film, though you think she would have been in town for the wedding that was going to take place that night, and a young major, Mark Baird (Roger Pace) from coming to look for him, believing there was no way the injection and the fall from the Hoover Dam at the climax could have killed him.


And as always happens in this kind of film, Manning is found, recovered, and brought back to the States where everyone denies their culpability for him, and he’s imprisoned once again. This time in a hangar, until he breaks free and wrecks havoc on the town, because who didn’t see that coming?

It’s silly, employees a similar effects method as the first film, and unlike the first film, doesn’t give the Manning character much to do besides stomp around and cause lots of collateral damage.

It’s a goofy, so bad, it becomes an enjoyable film, and I won’t lie, I rather dig the half skull make-up that Parkin is hidden behind. This is one that you just sit and laugh your way through, and once again, I find myself imagining what it would have been like for the kids who went to see this at the matinees in the 1950s.

In all honesty, I enjoyed this one a little more than the first, mainly because of the makeup, and while there is a little more havoc wreaked in this one, it’s still not quite so impressive as portrayed by the poster.

There are more atomic menaces to come as I delve deeper into DK Books’ Monsters in the Movies, pick up a copy for yourself and find something monstrous to watch tonight!




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