War of the Colossal Beast (1958)

Genres - Science Fiction  |   Sub-Genres - Creature Film  |   Release Date - Jun 20, 1958 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 68 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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This sequel to The Amazing Colossal Man isn't nearly as strong dramatically as its predecessor, but it does offer some diverting chills and a short running time, even by the standards of late-'50s sci-fi B-pictures. The film's low budget shows when the makers avoid having the titular monster wreck Los Angeles as he'd previously demolished part of Las Vegas -- instead, the script has a 70-foot giant with a face out of a nightmare and no "social skills" whatsoever (or even the ability to string together two coherent thoughts, or to breathe without grunting loudly) hide out effectively in Los Angeles until he turns up in Griffith Park, holding a single busload of junior high school students hostage (that is, literally holding their tour bus, which ought to have been nearly as big as he is) until he comes to his senses. Producer/director Bert I. Gordon saved a gimmick for the end, one which had been used the previous year in AIP's I Was a Teenage Frankenstein, by suddenly switching to color for the final shot. Appropriately, War of the Colossal Beast was originally released on a double bill with the more dramatically coherent Attack of the Puppet People, another Gordon film that actually uses footage from The Amazing Colossal Man in one of its scenes.