In the 16th century a small band of warriors from the Spanish Ptolemy Firello expedition in California mutinies. Led by one of Firello\'s lieutenants, a huge, depraved giant of a man known as Vargas, the group heads off into the mountains to search for gold and is never heard from again. Hundreds of years later, a lightning bolt frees Vargas from a state of suspended animation underground and sends him out to terrorize a rural mountain village.
Ed Kemmer ... Wayne Brooks (as Edward Kemmer)
Sally Fraser ... Janet Cleveland
Bob Steele ... Sheriff Parker
Morris Ankrum ... Dr. Frederick Cleveland
Buddy Baer ... Vargas the Giant
Oliver Blake ... Cafe Proprietor
Jolene Brand ... Ann Brown (as Joline Brand)
Billy Dix ... Indian Joe
Gary Crutcher ... Charlie Brown
Ned Davenport ... Townsman
Ewing Miles Brown ... Townsman (as Ewing Miles)
I have just seen Giant From the Unknown for the third time and I find this movie rather enjoyable.
A professor and his daughter driving through the South West looking for the remains of a giant Spanish conquistador come across it at Devils Crag, a scenic landmark near a small town. The giant has been in suspended animation for hundreds of years and comes to life and starts murdering people for no reason. One of the locals gets the blame for these murders at first by the town\'s sheriff but is then let off and the two team up to kill the giant, who falls off a dam into a deep lake in a volcanic crater at the end.
The movie\'s cast includes an excellent performance from 50\'s sci fi regular Morris Ankrum (Invaders From Mars, Kronos), Sally Fraser (Earth vs the Spider, War of the Colossol Beast), Ed Kemmer (Space Patrol, Earth vs the Spider), Bob Steele as the Sheriff and the giant is played by Buddy Baer.
Depite it being a bad movie, this is certainly worth having in any sci fi/horror collection.
I can\'t think of any movie that has Morris Ankrum that I didn\'t really like...and yes, I have seen The Giant Claw (three times, in fact).
That fact notwithstanding, Giant From The Unknown is a pretty good movie. The basic story has a Spanish Conquistador (who happens to be a giant and who happens to have travelled up into northern California after breaking with Cortez) waking up after five hundred years of suspended animation and going on a rampage of death and cattle mutilation.
Don\'t let the plot turn you off. The script manages to make it all seem pretty believeable, and the acting is pretty good as well. Morris Ankrum is great. Ed Kemmer (Commander Buzz Corey on Space Patrol) is the hero. Cowboy and serial legend Bob Steele is the sheriff, and the lovely Janet Fraser is the love interest.
The monster himself looks pretty good as well...for an unburied conquistador, that is. The finale at the sawmill is an excellent sequence...though don\'t try to adjust your VCR. That fuzziness is optically-printed snow on the sequence (it took me a couple of minutes to realize that...I thought the print had deteriorated).
Giant From the Unknown is a good all-around example of fifties science fiction that is worth a look by fans of the genre.
Though the premise is of course absurd, \"Giant from the Unkonwn\" is a cut above most B-grade horror films of its era. The difference lies in the cast. Bob Steele, veteran of over 200 films and a familiar face in Westerns, does a very good job as the local sheriff. His gestures, facial expressions and easy mastery of the material give the film its backbone. Morris Ankrum, who plays the inevitable scientist, likewise brought an impressive background to the role. He is probably best known today for his recurring role as a trial judge in Perry Mason, but like Steele he had already been in hundreds of movies when \"Giant\" was filmed. The supporting cast is good, and manage to approach the silly premise of a giant conquistador on the rampage with a straight face. It\'s a worthy effort, though it would have been nice to have a better script and a slightly less silly premise.
Since there is no goofs section for this movie,I will give the big one I saw at the finish:The Giant crashes thru the bridge railing and into the river,but in the next long shot,when the hero is walking away from the bridge,the railing is intact. This is one of the most dreadfully bad of the 50\'s B flicks,rating right down there with turkeys like The Giant Claw,From Hell It Came,Killers From Space,Beginning of the End,Robot Monster,etc. I\'m surprised they didn\'t get old Tor Johnson for this role, as it was right down his alley but I guess he couldn\'t fit into the armor,else they\'d be calling it Fat,Bald,No Talent,ex-Wrestler From the Unknown!