The Amazing Colossal Man
|The Amazing Colossal Man|
|Directed by||Bert I. Gordon|
|Produced by||Bert I. Gordon
Samuel Z. Arkoff
James H. Nicholson
|Written by||Mark Hanna
Bert I. Gordon
George Worthing Yates (uncredited)
|Based on||novel The Nth Man|
|Music by||Albert Glasser|
|Cinematography||Joseph F. Biroc|
|Studio||American International Pictures|
|Release dates||October 25, 1957|
|Running time||80 mins|
|Box office||$848,000 (US)|
The Amazing Colossal Man is a 1957 black-and-white science fiction film, directed by Bert I. Gordon and starring Glenn Langan. The film revolves around a 60 foot mutant man produced as the result of an atomic accident.
Distributed by American International Pictures (AIP) at the top of a program double-bill with The Cat Girl, the film was followed by a sequel, War of the Colossal Beast, which appeared in 1958. The film and its sequel appeared on Mystery Science Theater 3000.
During the 1960s the title was syndicated to television by American International Television.
Langan plays Lt. Col. Glenn Manning, an officer in the U.S. Army who suffers serious burns to over 90% of his body [and hair loss] following an inadvertent exposure to plutonium radiation from a bomb blast. He miraculously survives the explosion and his burns completely heal, but the radiation causes him to abnormally grow into a 60-foot-tall giant. At this size, his heart is unable to supply sufficient blood to his brain and he gradually goes insane.
Army doctors attempt to halt and reverse his growth with a formula, but after getting injected with the cure, he grabs the needle and spears one of the doctors with it, killing him on the spot. He then escapes from confinement, "kidnaps" his girlfriend, Carol Forrest (played by Cathy Downs), and wreaks havoc in Las Vegas before being cornered by the Army at the Boulder Dam. After releasing Carol he is shot and appears to fall to his death in the Colorado River.
|Glenn Langan||Lt. Col. Glenn Manning|
|Cathy Downs||Carol Forrest|
|William Hudson||Dr. Paul Linstrom|
|Larry Thor||Maj. Eric Coulter, MD|
|James Seay||Col. Hallock|
|Frank Jenks||Truck Driver|
|Russ Bender||Richard Kingman|
|Jimmy Cross||Sergeant at reception desk|
|June Jocelyn||Nurse Wilson|
|Stanley Lachman||Lt. Cline|
|Harry Raybould||MP at Main Gate|
|Jean Moorhead||Woman in Bathtub|
|Scott Peters||Sgt. Lee Carter|
|Myron Cook||Capt. Thomas|
|Michael Harris||Police Lt. Keller|
|Bill Cassady||Lt. Peterson|
|Dick Nelson||Sgt. Hansen|
|Edmund Cobb||Dr. McDermott|
|Diana Darrin||Hospital Receptionist|
|Lyn Osborn||Sgt. Taylor|
|Jack Kosslyn||Lieutenant in briefing room|
|William Hughes||Bombsite Control Officer|
|John Daheim||Soldier (uncredited)|
|Judd Holdren||Robert Allen (uncredited)|
|Harold Miller||Official (uncredited)|
Jim Nicholson of American International Pictures had the rights to a 1920s novel, The Nth Man about a man who was ten miles high. Nicholson thought it could be adapted to cash in on the success of The Incredible Shrinking Man (released six months earlier in 1957) and originally announced Roger Corman as director. Charles B. Griffith was hired to adapt the novel and he turned it into a comedy. Then Corman dropped out and Bert I. Gordon was hired. Gordon worked on the script with Griffith but the collaboration only lasted a day before Griffith quit. Griffith's regular writing partner Mark Hanna stepped in instead.
References in popular culture
The film was parodied on an episode of Robot Chicken when a large bald giant, wearing a sarong as a diaper, is struck in the crotch with a wrecking ball as he terrorizes a city, as part of the "Ode To The Nut Shot" sketch.
The movie and its sequel were featured and riffed on the cult classic mocking show Mystery Science Theater 3000; actor, and later show host, Mike Nelson portrayed the title character twice in the mid-movie host sections of the show's season 3, episodes 9 and 19. On episode 9 the character seems more aggressive to Joel and the bots when the Satellite of Love hit him and nearly proceed to attack the trio after Tom Servo unintentionally insulted Glen before leaving when suffering from brief heart attack, as portrayed in the movie.
- RCA Columbia Home Video released the film on VHS on June 21, 1994.
- The Mst3k version was released on VHS by Rhino Home Video on April 30, 1996.
- Mark McGee, Faster and Furiouser: The Revised and Fattened Fable of American International Pictures, McFarland, 1996 p105-108
- BOYS MEET GHOULS, MAKE MONEY By IRVING RUBINEHOLLYWOOD.. New York Times (1923-Current file) [New York, N.Y] 16 Mar 1958: X7.
- Wingrove, David. Science Fiction Film Source Book (Longman Group Limited, 1985)
- The Incredible Shrinking Man, a 1957 film
- Attack of the 50 Foot Woman, a 1958 film
- The Incredible Melting Man, a 1977 film