The Amazing Colossal Man - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Amazing Colossal Man Reviews

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Super Reviewer
November 2, 2015
The movie that inspired another mega sized movie, 'Attack of the 50 Foot Woman', and deals with 50's America's arch nemesis...radiation! Yep once again an innocent individual suffers the horrors of deadly radiation that somehow doesn't actually kill said person. Does it mutate him into some kind of drooling monster? turn him invisible? enable him to fly? no, no, no, no, don't be silly. It causes him to grow rapidly into a...errr....colossal sized man, an amazingly colossal sized bloke of colossal proportions, he's big.

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 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.
Super Reviewer
September 20, 2015
A nice B movie that runs in similar vein as King Kong. Given that it had a low budget, it was quite well done.
March 18, 2015
This is a really bad movie for sure. Badly done special effects and the acting isn't always believable. The husband of the 50 foot tall woman is badly inserted into the background and is translucent most of the time. This was a box office success during the releasing dates back then, but these days the film doesn't hold up and is just a dull and cheap feature.
March 14, 2015
Honestly thought it was decent and defiantly could be remade to be 1000x better
May 12, 2014
Why did they go through the trouble of finding a cure for him only to kill him in the end?
½ November 12, 2012
If there's one thing that you can say about The Amazing Colossal Man, it's that it's not amazing. Actually, you're just kind of setting up audiences for disappointment with an adjective like that. Released in 1957, the film tells the story of a man who has direct exposure to an atomic blast, but miraculously survives, only to begin growing due to the exposure to the radiation. It doesn't really have a plot though, because after all of that takes place, it's mostly just scenes of him sitting around being angry and sad. It's a pretty big letdown, especially when you see the poster. It was taken to task on an episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000, but they also had a difficult time with it. Overall, it's just boring and sleep-inducing, so you can skip it.
½ September 7, 2012
March 20, 2012
Decent story but the ending isn't too great and the characters aren't very interesting. Effects are ok for it's time and it has some good scenes, but overall it's not too enjoyable.
November 4, 2011
Boring Bert I. Gordon flick. But, aren't they all?
November 7, 2010
I love sci-fi, but this film was "meh" - no wonder MST3K tackled it.
February 6, 2010
"Why don't you ask me what it feels like to be a freak!?"

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.
January 8, 2010
The biggest man to ever to hit Vegas! Cheesy bad.
April 29, 2009
Beauty and the beast from an 'atomic age' perspective. Excellent 'James Dean' style performance from Glenn Langan.
½ April 15, 2009
MST3K version. This film isn't quite as bad as it looks like it should be from the poster. The effects are laughable, but Glenn Langan actually shows so vaguely sympathetic character as the poor chap who gets converted into a giant by exposure to a bomb blast. The MST3K version is a middle of the road episode, funny, but not hilariously so.
½ January 15, 2009
I thoroughly enjoy this every time I see it. I think America is due for another giant man or woman movie. Great fun.
½ September 9, 2008
It sucks that the heart is a single-celled muscle.
½ July 24, 2008
If you are familiar with the works of Bert I. Gordon, you know exactly what you're getting.
½ May 8, 2008
a man exposed to the A-bomb turns into an insane giant.
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