Film Review: War of the Colossal Beast (1958)

Also known as: Revenge of the Colossal Man, The Terror Strikes (alternate titles)
Release Date: June, 1958
Directed by: Bert I. Gordon
Written by: Bert I. Gordon, George Worthington Yates
Music by: Albert Glasser
Cast: Sally Fraser, Dean Parkin, Roger Pace

Carmel Productions, American International Pictures, 69 Minutes

Review:

“The foot that made that print is about ten times the size of a normal man’s. That would make him about sixty feet tall.” – Dr. Carmichael, “Glenn was sixty feet tall!” – Joyce Manning

Bert I. Gordon was synonymous with bad movies. So much so that he had eight of his films featured on Mystery Science Theater 3000. He also had a penchant for making pictures like this one, where the threat is some sort of human giant. This particular human giant flick is a sequel to an earlier Gordon film, which was also featured on MST3KThe Amazing Colossal Man.

This movie picks up on the previous film’s story but it wasn’t actually marketed as a sequel and has an entirely different cast.

After hearing about some food truck robberies in Mexico, the character of Joyce is convinced that her brother, the giant from the previous film, survived his dramatic death and is responsible for these strange crimes. Joyce, along with an Army officer and a scientist, heads off to Mexico to find her giant brother. The giant, once found, is disfigured from his injuries in the earlier movie: half of his face is mostly just a skull. He is captured, chained to a slab in a warehouse and eventually escapes. He then rampages through Los Angeles until he commits suicide in a really bizarre finale.

War of the Colossal Beast is pretty terrible but it certainly isn’t close to being the worst film featured on MST3K. It’s use of forced perspective and trick shots to display the giant in the same frame as tiny normal people is actually better than similar movies of the time. The effects aren’t necessarily good but they are a step, well… maybe half a step, above other pictures that employed the same techniques.

I can’t say anything good about the acting or the script or really anything else about the film. But I don’t hate it and it presented some solid material for MST3K riffing.

As is customary when reviewing a film of this ilk on Cinespiria, War of the Colossal Beast must be put through the Cinespiria Shitomter. The results read, “Type 5 Stool: Soft blobs with clear-cut edges (passed easily).”

Rating: 3/10
Pairs well with: The Amazing Colossal Man or Village of the Giants.

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