60ft skull-faced man in a nappie plays hide and seek with the army in Los Angeles!
There are certain rules about how to make a good sequel to a hit movie and War of the Colossal Beast breaks every one of them. The Amazing Colossal Man is far from a masterpiece but as B Movies sci-fis go it’s a good one and it was popular enough on its release. Unfortunately, as is so often the case in this type of movie, the monster of the title (Colonel Glenn Manning following a nuclear accident) is shot by the army at the end of the first film and falls off Boulder Dam (now Hoover Dam). The filmmakers decided to write this off by giving Glenn hideous facial injuries and brain damage. But it doesn’t end there, in the first film Glenn was also days away from death because of the strain his massive growth puts on his heart, which is just forgotten. As is Glenn’s devoted fiancée who features so heavily in the first film, presumably because actress Cathy Downs didn’t want to come back. And she wasn’t alone, Glenn Langan who played Glenn Manning in the first film also had to be replaced by Duncan ‘Dean’ Parkin. But perhaps the most compelling reason not to do a sequel was that by the end of the first film there was a cure for Glenn’s condition, which is explained away with a few lines of dialogue which completely tally with what is said in the first film. Of course in the days before home videos or DVDs, chances are these continuity black holes would have gone unnoticed as no one would have seen the first film since its release, so all this horribly inconsistent film has to be is good. Which it’s not.
Director: Bert I. Gordon
Writers: Bert I. Gordon (story), George Worthing Yates (screenplay)
Stars: Sally Fraser, Roger Pace, Duncan 'Dean' Parkin
Trivia: Star Duncan ‘Dean’ Parkin briefly became Hollywood’s go-to guy for playing semi-nude one-eyed nuclear giants as he also played the title role of 1957’s The Cyclops (also directed by Bert I. Gordon).
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