Movie Review: War of the Colossal Beast (1958)

Synopsis: After turning into a 60-foot monster following exposure to plutonium, Lt. Col. Glenn Manning is believed to have been killed by the military despite his body never being found. However, his sister, Joyce, isn't convinced and, when a bunch of trucks go missing in Mexico, she convinces the military to investigate.

Who's in it? The movie stars Sally Fraser, Roger Pace, Russ Bender, Rico Alaniz and Duncan 'Dean' Parkin.

Review: I wasn't going to watch this movie until I had an opportunity to re-watch The Amazing Colossal Man, which I haven't seen in ages. However, I had quite a bit of free time last night while waiting for my daughter to get done at the skating rink and wound up watching this film on my phone to occupy that time. After seeing it, I have to admit I enjoyed it a lot more than expected.

I think the thing I liked best about this movie was, even though it references the first time and throws in a couple flashbacks, the movie doesn't completely feel like a sequel. In other words, this was watchable as a stand-alone movie and is enjoyable even if you have never seen of (or heard of) the first film.

The plot itself was also intriguing. You had a decent story about the military trying to help Manning (Parkin) remember who he is combined with an even better story about the military stupidly transporting a killer giant from a remote Mexican village to a densely populated like Los Angeles (because there is absolutely no way that would be considered a bad idea). It was kind of fun watching them try to stop the inevitable.

I also have to admit, the beast in this film was somewhat unnerving, both from the excellent makeup job and a growling noise that made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. Even with the limited 1950s special effects, it made me wonder just how awesome it would have been to see this movie on a big screen. It's probably still not quite as terrifying as more-modern movies and some of the dialog is a little cheesy, but it does quite a bit with what it had to work with.

Final Opinion: This is an entertaining movie to watch, even if you haven't seen the first film. I recommend it if you have an opportunity to see it.

My Grade: A


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