Lt. Col. Glenn Manning is inadvertently exposed to a plutonium bomb blast at Camp Desert Rock. Though burned over 90% of his body, he survives, and begins to grow in size. As he grows, his heart and circulatory system fail to keep pace with his growth, and he is gradually losing his mind as a result of reduced blood supply to his brain. He reaches 50 feet tall before his growth is stopped. By this time he has become insane. He escapes and wreaks havoc upon Las Vegas before he is finally stopped.
Glenn Langan ... Lt. Col. Glenn Manning (as Glen Langan)
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 (as Russell Bender)
DivX 5 / MP3
"The Amazing Colossal Man" gets my vote for Bert I. Gordon's best movie, meaning that it's not nearly as bad as his others.
Gordon's sci-fi/horror films of the 1950s had the same basic plot: 1. Monster is created. 2. Monster attacks. 3. Monster is destroyed, accompanied by inept special effects. In this film, luckless serviceman Glenn Manning (Langan) is exposed to intense radiation from a plutonium bomb, and is burned over his entire body. The attending physician (Hudson) gives him zero chance for survival, but the next morning his skin has miraculously healed. Afterwards, Manning disappears, and his wife (Downs) finds him at a remote army base--50 feet tall!
The healing process apparently had some unintended side-effects, and now Manning is kept in a circus tent. Hudson tells Downs that Manning is in pretty bad shape, and that "his mind will go first", a sure clue to the rest of the film. Sure enough, Manning goes crazy and escapes into the Nevada desert. Meanwhile an Army scientist (Larry Thor) has succeeded in his miniaturization experiments, and thinks if he can just give Manning an injection, everything will be fine. Of course, the usual no-nonsense 1950s Army guy (James Seay) shows up and says that if Manning causes any trouble, "we'll stop him cold!"
Manning attacks Las Vegas, tearing up a few casino signs and causing a ruckus. Off go Hudson, Downs, and Thor in a helicopter, toting a 6-foot hypodermic needle. In the film's best (and funniest) sequence, Thor and Hudson give Manning an injection in his big toe, whereupon Manning picks up the giant needle and impales Thor with it. Sure looks painful.
Apparently by now Gordon was out of ideas, because Manning shows up next on Boulder Dam, carries Downs around for a few minutes, then as soon as he puts her down, Seay yells, "FIRE!" His Army guys blast Manning with a variety of weapons, and in a very bad show of special effects, Manning ends up in the Colorado River. The End.
What sets "The Amazing Colossal Man" apart from the rest of Gordon's 1950s films are the story and acting. The story is actually pretty intelligent (compared with, say, "The Beginning of the End"). The acting is not bad, and the little-known Langan gives something of a minor tour-de-force as Manning. Hudson, Downs, and Thor are also quite adequate in their roles.
I recommend this film as a pretty good time-filler. Try watching without paying too much attention to the special effects. Gordon actually filmed a sequel, "War of the Colossal Beast", but it's pretty rock-bottom.