The Amazing Colossal Man (1957)

Article #13 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing date: 3-28-2001
Posting date: 8-11-200
A man badly scarred by a plutonium explosion begins growing at an unexpected rate, unfortunately going mad in the process.

This movie has one of the most notorious props in SF film history; namely, the giant hypodermic syringe used near the end of the movie. My wife also has a fondness for the Amazing Colossal Man growth chart that the scientists keep in their laboratory (every home should have one). Me, I love the scene where the scientist tries to explain how a heart is made up of a single cell, a theory that defies being taken seriously even among laymen. Yes, it’s quite easy to pick holes in Bert I. Gordon’s reverse take on THE INCREDIBLE SHRINKING MAN, but even if I wouldn’t call it his best film, it is one of his most irresistible, and I really think he tried his best with this one. There is a real attempt to delve into the same issues that its model explored, and for a while it actually succeeds on this level. Unfortunately, the payoff is lame; the attack on Las Vegas is fairly anticlimactic, only coming to life when the above-mentioned prop comes into play, and it ends with a dull thud. Nonetheless, it’s one of those touchstones of fifties SF that is worth seeing irrespective of its flaws.


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