Monday, October 11, 2010
31 Days of Halloween - Day 11 - Movie 1
When I was a kid The Amazing Colossal Man (1957) seemed like it was on tv just about every other weekend. As it was shown eleven times on WLVI Channel 56's Creature Double Feature broadcast out of Boston it makes sense it would seem that way to me. As a result it became one of my favorite monster movies as a kid.
The story involves Col. Glen Manning (Glen Langan) who was exposed to the blast of a new Plutonium bomb. The blast burned the skin off of more than 90 percent of his body, but miraculously new skin grew back over night. That is not all. As a side effect, Manning's body won't stop growing. A pair of Army doctors (William Hudson and Larry Thor) race against the clock to find a way to stop his growth and bring him back to size. Manning's heart isn't growing at the same rate as the rest of him and he's also exhibiting some mental problems as his size increases. Just as they think they've found a way to save him, Manning runs away, terrifying citizens of Las Vegas, and killing one of the doctors trying to save him. In the end the Army decides he's too dangerous and attack him, causing Manning to plummet over the side of Boulder Dam.
This movie takes itself seriously, though is not nearly the classic that The Incredible Shrinking Man (also 1957) is. Langan makes for a sympathetic victim of radiation. The movie's pace is a bit slow in parts, and Manning is not much of a menace. He frightens two men in a car who come across him sitting in the middle of the road weeping at night. His rampage through Las Vegas involves him poking out a glass window with his finger, throwing a car, a tree and smashing three signs which happened after he was fired upon by police men. There's also the famous scene involving a giant syringe. The special effects are pretty decent for such a low budget feature of the time, with only a few matte lines visible and a couple of transparency issues, particularly during the scene of Manning sitting on the road at night. It's not the favorite of mine that it was when I was a kid, but I still feel a fondness towards it.