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War of the Colossal Beast (1958) - Blu-ray Review

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War of the Colossal Beast (1958)

We aren’t in Las Vegas anymore, baby!

Written, produced, and directed by Mr. Rear-Projection himself, Bert Gordon (King Dinosaur, Earth vs. the Spider, The Amazing Colossal Man, and Empire of the Ants), War of the Colossal Beast is the continuing story of Army officer Lt. Colonel Glenn Manning (Dean Parkin), who through exposure to plutonium grows to 60 feet tall and then finds himself hunted down, running from everyone with a gun. 

"certainly not for everyone. Fans of Gordon are in for a treat; however, as the campy film never fails to deliver the unintentional laugh"


From the discovery of giant footprints to dangerous rock slides, the local law enforcement agency has every reason to believe that this giant is still alive.  His death in The Amazing Colossal Man was mysterious and now, thanks to a slew of robberies of food delivery trucks in Mexico, Manning’s sister (Sally Fraser) believes he is still alive.  But can she convince the local police to sharpen their reasoning skills and put down their guns?  

Manning’s face has been disfigured and half of his skull is revealed.  When he originally appears, with giant mountains for a backdrop, he is pretty frightening and, thanks to the special effects at the time, the projection succeeds in presenting him as the colossal freak he is being described as.

But time is not his side.  Now is it on the side of Joyce who finds herself at odds with the very people she is pleading for help.  Her brother is starving and scared and all they can do is point and shoot and scare him away as he makes his way back into the United States.  War of the Colossal Beast (1958)

Audiences were first introduced to this giant figure in 1957, but in the film’s sequel, we find that his rampage - now angry and confused - runs straight through Hollywood and Los Angeles.  Fans of schlocky science fiction are going to love it when the colossal beast picks up the toy trucks and buses, shaking loose his meals and innocent victims of his insanity.

Rather weak in its story line and in its ability to draw suspense from any of its crazy situations - especially when the beast is caught and congress gets involved - War of the Colossal Beast is a B-grade special effects marvel that cult enthusiasts are going to dig, even if its story is a bit . . . dull.  

Both comical and nonsensical, the giant flips through the tiny pages of a tiny bible in one scene and debates his fate.  Moments later, a giant needle punctures his skin.  Drive it in hard, boys!  Through it all, the giant confesses that he does not want to grow anymore, Manning takes fate into his own hands and heads toward the power lines of Griffith Observatory

War of the Colossal Beast is certainly not for everyone.  Fans of Gordon are in for a treat; however, as the campy film never fails to deliver the unintentional laugh.  It is now on blu-ray thanks to Scream Factory with a brand-new 2K scan.

2/5 beers

War of the Colossal Beast (1958)

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Home Video Distributor: Shout Factory
Available on Blu-ray
- November 10, 2020
Screen Formats: 1.85:1
Subtitles
: English SDH
Audio:
English DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; single disc
Region Encoding: Locked to Region A

After Colonel Glenn Manning survived an experimental plutonium blast that triggered his mutation into a seventy-foot giant, everyone believes he plunged to death from the top of Boulder Dam. Everyone, that is, except for his sister, Joyce. She is convinced that her brother is alive. Joyce sets out to find her brother in the mountains of Mexico ... but she is unprepared for the full truth. Her brother is hideously disfigured now ... and very angry. When he is captured by the authorities, the Colossal Beast escapes to wreak havoc on Los Angeles!

Video:

Framed in a 1.66:1 aspect ratio, the new 2K film scan of the fine grain print is damned flawless.  The black and white image is crisp with solid levels throughout.  The detailed image is surprisingly clean given the age of the film.  The clarity of the presentation is solid and the film retains a level of grain that ensures an authentic and credible appearance.  Even dark scenes are rarely problematic, with the blacks proving extremely solid, and the level of accuracy ensuring that this B-movie is visually absorbing throughout.

Sound:

The uncompressed monaural soundtrack included here makes the dialogue front and center, which it ought to be.

Supplements:

Commentary:

  • There is a NEW Audio Commentary with Author/Film Historian C. Courtney Joyner, Filmmaker Donald F. Glut and Monster Historian Eric Hoffman that is a definite treat for cult film enthusiasts.

Special Features:

Scream Factory gives fans a look at Gordon’s time at American International Pictures with a NEW featurette, an alternate ending, and a theatrical trailer.

  • Size Matters: Bert I. Gordon At AIP
  • Alternate Black And White Ending
  • Theatrical Trailer

Blu-ray Rating:

  Movie 2/5 beers
  Video  3/5 stars
  Audio 3/5 stars
  Extras 4/5 stars

Overall Blu-ray Experience

3/5 stars

War of the Colossal Beast (1958)

MPAA Rating: Unrated.
Runtime:
69 mins
Director
: Bert I. Gordon
Writer:
George Worthing Yates
Cast:
Sally Fraser, Roger Pace, Duncan 'Dean' Parkin
Genre
: Horror | Sci-fi
Tagline:
The towering terror from hell!
Memorable Movie Quote: "How do you reason with a 60 foot giant?"
Theatrical Distributor:
American International Pictures
Official Site:
Release Date:
June 1958
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
November 10, 2020.
Synopsis: After Colonel Glenn Manning survived an experimental plutonium blast that triggered his mutation into a seventy-foot giant, everyone believes he plunged to death from the top of Boulder Dam. Everyone, that is, except for his sister, Joyce. She is convinced that her brother is alive. Joyce sets out to find her brother in the mountains of Mexico ... but she is unprepared for the full truth. Her brother is hideously disfigured now ... and very angry. When he is captured by the authorities, the Colossal Beast escapes to wreak havoc on Los Angeles!

War of the Colossal Beast (1958)

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