The Amazing Colossal Man Reviews
So there's this bloke, he's in the US military, he's in the field, its the 50's and the military are testing a big-ass bomb, not a good scenario to be in. Suddenly out of the sky a plane comes down and crashes in the field, right when the bomb is gonna go off, pfft! bloody pilots. So our protagonist, Glenn Manning (Glenn Langan), being the foolish hero, decides to go rescue the pilot. Alas during this brave attempt the big bomb goes off and a tidal wave of radiation hits him in the face, not sure whatever happened to the planes pilot though, I guess...ah who cares. So old Glenn is pretty fucked up that's for sure, he's a crispy critter, but wait! apparently he's not! For reasons unknown Glenn makes a miraculous recovery and is perfectly fine, well accept for that inexplicable growing problem...oh dang!
Now if you compare this movie to its similar alternative ('Attack of the 50 Foot Woman') you can easily see the difference plot wise. Where as the other movie simply delved into the bickering relationship of the Archer couple, this movie spends much of its runtime analyzing the effect on Manning's psyche as he grows and grows. Now although that might sound a bit dull, its not as bad as you think. We slowly see Manning go crazy as he sinks further and further into depression over his condition, his fiancee is unable to console him and the white coat lab scientists are clueless to stop the growth. Manning starts to have nightmares or unsettling dreams about his life, his time during the Korean war, his previous wife and the moment he was caught in the atomic blast. All of this is well done, well thought out, it gives us a good in-depth look the character, it explores how someone could be realistically affected by such an event instead of just going down the freaky rampaging monster route. Indeed Manning does acknowledge the fact that he's become a circus freak, he knows the public will eventually become aware of his condition and he will no doubt simply become a grotesque attraction for all to gawp at.
Of course Manning does indeed do the old rampaging monster routine eventually, what did you expect. For some reason as he gets bigger he also seems to lose the ability to recognise people and act in a calm collective manner. Thusly he goes on the run from the huge tent the scientists and military set up for him, and somehow, no one is able to find him. Yes that's right, the military and scientists lose the amazing, colossal sized, bald man wearing a giant diaper. Even in a helicopter they have a hard time tracking him down, hmmm. This is were we start to see some of the hokey effects. Much like the other giant human flick, these effects are pretty bad, although not as bad as that giant female movie. Once again the effect appears to be either a double exposure or rear projection effect of actor Glenn Langan against static background shots. This gives us a very obvious, but at least solid image, of Manning the giant against the backdrops, there are no transparency issues this time. Nevertheless it still looks incredibly cheesy when he interacts with footage of real people or real objects, although he does interact with some small building models which looks much better. But again its a real shame they didn't continue using real miniature models as they did in the beginning when he starts growing. The use of tiny chairs, jugs of water, tables, phones etc...do work nicely giving an effective forced perspective of size.
I have to say it is quite hilarious to watch these rampage sequences. Literately every one is the same, Manning comes lurching into the shot, from the left, looking around like some giant primate, pausing briefly to stare at something, then continues to lurch off screen, exit right. It really is terribly done, terribly repetitive, but he can't interact with anything because, of course, there's nothing for the actor to interact with (just like CGI). What I don't get is why he walks like Frankenstein's monster, plodding along as if he only just learnt how to walk. He's still a human, he's just very big, why the hell is he walking like this?? Oh and speaking of primates, naturally there's the typical 'King Kong' clone shot where Manning lumbers up to a window and peers inside, eyeing up a woman washing herself in the bath. Couldn't resist that one huh.
Its also interesting to note that actor William Hudson, who plays Dr. Linstrom in this movie, was also in the other giant movie 'Attack of the 50 Foot Woman' a year later. Obviously he did such a good job in this movie about a giant bloke, that the money men thought he'd be a good choice again in a movie about a giant woman. There is also a small element of shock horror involved too, not much, but its there. Mainly when they reveal Manning's burnt skin and when Manning spears one scientist with the giant sized syringe. Things do start to fall apart towards the finale I'm afraid, this is mainly down to the effects, especially Manning's death scene which is hilariously bad. It also seems unfair too as the giant Manning doesn't really do that much (accept kill a scientist with a giant syringe I guess), but he's clearly suffering mentally from his atomic bomb induced affliction sooo...the fact they mercilessly gun him down seems a bit uncalled for really. Anyway this is a much better film than I had anticipated, the plot is of course daft (as the title suggests) but its dealt with well, the subject matter has a good sense of realism to it. Oh and I love the films poster.
After being exposed to a blast of radiation Lt. Col. Glenn Manning is hospitalized with 90% of his body burnt. However he miraculously recovers from his injures and now the new (and bald) Glenn cant stop growing. As he grows he becomes more aggressive and instable. His wife refuses to leave his side and he is quickly becoming difficult for the military to keep a secret.
The film that was one of the inspirations for The Incredible Hulk and reminded me more than a little of the film Honey I Blew Up The Kid. I think its safe to assume Honey I Blew Up The Kid took more than a little inspiration from this film.
Another 50s 'atomic bomb turns creature into a large monster' flick. But this time instead of a praying mantis or lizard it's a man. It's black and white, it's cheesy, over the top and a good bit of B film fun.
I actually thought the effects were good and stylish for a film of its time. Better than in The Deadly Mantis or The Black Scorpion. For the most part the film is about Glenn sitting in the care of the military and growing while his wife visits him. The climax of the film is when Glenn goes on a rampage to Las Vegas.
If you're into 50s sci-fi B films defiantly give this one a go.