The Amazing Colossal Man

The Amazing Colossal Man is a 1957 black-and-white science fiction film, directed by Bert I. Gordon and starring Glenn Langan. The film revolves around a 60 foot mutant man produced as the result of an atomic accident.

Distributed by American International Pictures (AIP) at the top of a program double-bill with The Cat Girl, the film was followed by a sequel, War of the Colossal Beast, which appeared in 1958.


Langan plays Lt. Col. Glenn Manning, a soldier in the U.S. Army who suffers serious burns over 90% of his body following inadvertent exposure to plutonium radiation from a bomb blast. Manning miraculously survives the explosion and his burns completely heal, but the radiation causes him to abnormally grow into a 60-foot-tall giant. At this size, his heart is unable to supply sufficient blood to his brain and he gradually goes insane.

Army doctors attempt to halt and reverse Manning's growth with a formula, but after getting injected with the cure, the colonel grabs the needle and spears one of the doctors with it, killing him on the spot. Manning then escapes from confinement, "kidnaps" his girlfriend, Carol Forrest (played by Cathy Downs), and wreaks havoc in Las Vegas before being cornered by the Army at the Hoover Dam. After releasing Carol he is shot and appears to fall to his death in the Colorado River.


Actor Role
Glenn Langan Lt. Col. Glenn Manning
Cathy Downs Carol Forrest
William Hudson Dr. Paul Linstrom
Larry Thor Maj. Eric Coulter, MD
James Seay Col. Hallock
Frank Jenks Truck Driver
Russ Bender Richard Kingman
Hank Patterson Henry
Jimmy Cross Sergeant at reception desk
June Jocelyn Nurse Wilson
Stanley Lachman Lt. Cline
Harry Raybould MP at Main Gate
Jean Moorhead Woman in Bathtub
Scott Peters Sgt. Lee Carter
Myron Cook Capt. Thomas
Michael Harris Police Lt. Keller
Bill Cassady Lt. Peterson
Dick Nelson Sgt. Hansen
Edmund Cobb Dr. McDermott
Paul Hahn Attendant
Diana Darrin Hospital Receptionist
Lyn Osborn Sgt. Taylor
Jack Kosslyn Lieutenant in briefing room
William Hughes Bombsite Control Officer
Keith Hetherington Newscaster
John Daheim Soldier (uncredited)
Judd Holdren Robert Allen (uncredited)
Harold Miller Official (uncredited)

References in popular culture

The film and its sequel have been referenced in comedy productions, including the television series Mystery Science Theater 3000 and an episode of Robot Chicken when a large bald giant, wearing a sarong as a diaper, is struck in the crotch with a wrecking ball as he terrorizes a city. This movie somewhat, like The Beast Of Yucca Flats (1961), Frankenstein's Monster, and The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr. Hyde inspired Stan Lee and Jack Kirby to create the Incredible Hulk character. A homage to the film can also be found in the Warren Ellis comic-book Planetary.

The line: "Why don't you ask me what it feels like to be a freak?" is sampled in American industrial rock Rob Zombie's song "Demon Speeding", on the 2001 album The Sinister Urge.

Hardcore band Madball have a song called Colossal Man, in which they refer to him as a skinhead.



  • Wingrove, David. Science Fiction Film Source Book (Longman Group Limited, 1985)

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