We are all interested in bad movies, drive-in dreck, and men who have grown to ten times their normal size through atomic mutation, for those are the giants to whom we feed our surplus bread. You are interested in the unknown, the mysterious, and the colossal—that is why you are here. The absurdly low budgets, the needlessly circuitous screenplays, the laughable special effects—my friend, we cannot keep these a secret any longer. Let us punish the guilty. Bert I. Gordon is guilty. Let us reward the innocent. Remember, my friends: terrible movies such as these will affect you in the future!
In 1957, Producer Bert I. Gordon (BIG, get it?) had an unexpected drive-in hit with his film The Amazing Colossal Man (originally shown on a double-bill with Gordon’s Attack of the Puppet People). Less than a year later, Mister BIG was back with War of the Colossal Beast.
In Colossal Man, Glenn Manning is a tragic figure who speaks eloquently of the existential crisis of being literally too big for his britches. In Colossal Beast, Glenn Manning is a violent brute and communicates only with an annoying roar that would not be inappropriate in a Godzilla movie. It’s as if Producer Gordon removed anything that was interesting or compelling about his original film and reduced it to a cheap set of simplistic paper cutouts in a cynical grab for more cash. Oh, wait—I forgot. Hollywood’s business model is to take anything interesting or compelling and reduce it to a cheap set of simplistic paper cutouts in a cynical grab for more cash. My bad.
FUN NOTE: What do War of the Colossal Beast and Rebel Without a Cause have in common? Both climaxes were filmed at beloved Griffith Observatory. Bowfinger too!