War of the Colossal Beast
|War of the Colossal Beast|
Theatrical release poster
by Albert Kallis
|Directed by||Bert I. Gordon|
|Produced by||Bert I. Gordon|
Bert I. Gordon (story)|
George Worthing Yates
|Music by||Albert Glasser|
|Cinematography||Jack A. Marta|
|Edited by||Ronald Sinclair|
|Distributed by||American International Pictures|
War of the Colossal Beast (a.k.a. Revenge of the Colossal Man and The Colossal Beast) is a 1958 black-and-white science fiction film, written, produced, and directed by Bert I. Gordon for his Carmel Productions, and starring Dean Parkin, Sally Fraser, and Roger Pace. It is the sequel to Gordon's earlier The Amazing Colossal Man (1957) and was distributed theatrically by American International Pictures as the top half of a double feature with Attack of the Puppet People. The film's story picks up where The Amazing Colossal Man left off, although it was not marketed as a sequel and features a different cast.
Upon hearing of several recent robberies of food delivery trucks in Mexico, Joyce Manning (Sally Fraser), Army officer Lt. Colonel Glenn Manning's sister, becomes convinced that her brother (Dean Parkin) survived his fall from the Boulder Dam (as seen in The Amazing Colossal Man). Along with Army officer Major Mark Baird (Roger Pace) and scientist Dr. Carmichael (Russ Bender), Joyce goes to Mexico to look for Glenn and finds that he has, in fact, survived, but was left disfigured and nearly mindless by the trauma of his fall. Manning is eventually captured, drugged by the Army, and transported back to the United States. He is able to escape again and goes on a rampage through Los Angeles and Hollywood. He nearly kills a school bus full of children. Joyce reasons with him, and he slowly is brought back to his senses. Now realizing what he has become and what he has done, Manning commits suicide by electrocuting himself on high-voltage power lines near the Griffith Observatory.
- Duncan "Dean" Parkin as Lt. Colonel Glenn Manning/Colossal Man
- Sally Fraser as Joyce Manning
- Roger Pace as Major Mark Baird
- Russ Bender as Dr. Carmichael
- Rico Alaniz as Sgt. Luis Murillo
- Charles Stewart as Captain Harris
- George Becwar as John Swanson
- Roy Gordon as Mayor
- Robert Hernandez as Miguel
- George Milan as General Nelson
- Cathy Downs as Carol Forrest (flashback scenes)
- William Hudson as Dr. Paul Linstrom (flashback scenes)
- Larry Thor as Major Eric Coulter (flashback scenes)
War of the Colossal Beast was produced, directed, and written by Bert I. Gordon and co-produced with Samuel Z. Arkoff. Although most of it is shot in black-and-white, the ending was shot in color for the electrocution scene and doctored in black-and-white. The producers decided to use the very heavy make-up on Dean Parkin as a way to disguise the fact that a different actor was playing Colonel Manning, especially since a dream sequence flashing back to the original film featured Glenn Langan, the star of the earlier film.. Dean Parkin also played the lead monster role in another Bert I. Gordon film, The Cyclops.
Contemporary film fan-historians Kim R. Holston and Tom Winchester noted that the film was "... a low-budget ship with Bert Gordon at the helm, so the special effects are unsurprisingly average; one always knows the 'giant' was filmed separately and mixed in with other shots".  Film reviewer Leonard Maltin was more succinct: "Forget it".
Mystery Science Theater 3000
War of the Colossal Beast was featured in season 3, episode 19 of the Mystery Science Theater 3000. The Amazing Colossal Man was also shown in season 3. Mike Nelson again portrayed the film's title character. As opposed to his first encounter with Joel and the Bots, he shows more gentleness to them after seeing the transmission picked up by his "goofy dental work", but is still somewhat adamant when he tells them why Bert I. Gordon did not pick him for the sequel.
- "Trivia: 'War of the Colossal Beast'." IMDb. Retrieved: March 1, 2015.
- "Notes: 'War of the Colossal Beast'." Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved: March 1, 2015.
- Holston and Winchester 1997, p. 31.
- Maltin, Leonard. "Leonard Maltin Movie Review." Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved: March 1, 2015.
- "Season 'Zero': KTMA-TV Channel 23 1988-1989." Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Unofficial Episode Guide (Satellite News). Retrieved: March 1, 2015.
- Holston, Kim R. and Tom Winchester. Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Film Sequels, Series and Remakes: An Illustrated Filmography. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company, 1997. ISBN 978-0-7864-0155-0.
- Warren, Bill. Keep Watching the Skies! American Science Fiction Movies of the Fifties (covers films released through 1962), 21st Century Edition. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company, 2009 (First Edition 1982). ISBN 0-89950-032-3.
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