An alien agent from the distant planet Davana is sent to Earth via a high-tech matter transporter. There, he terrorizes Southern California in an attempt to acquire blood for his dying race, the result of a devastating nuclear war.
Jeremy Spensser, genius humanitarian, is killed in an accident just after winning the Nobel Peace Prize. His father William, a brilliant brain surgeon, works on the body in secret before burial; later revealing to his other son Henry that he has the brain on life support and hopes to encase it in a robot body! The resulting being is large, strong, and develops many strange powers. Initially it has Jeremy's gentle personality but this, too, begins to change, and a year later it decides to end its long seclusion... Unusual piano music score. Written by
Rod Crawford <firstname.lastname@example.org>
At 49.44 when the Monster picks up the girl; her right arm drops and her left arm is not visible because it's between her and the Monster.
But at 49.10 her left arm is now laying across her body . See more »
The opening credits text rises out of New York harbor, as its reflection on the water sinks to the bottom of the screen. See more »
THE COLOSSUS OF NEW YORK (Eugene Lourie', 1958) **1/2
A still from this film, depicting the titular robot and a little boy, had adorned the cover of that Sci-Fi issue of “The Movie” periodical which I mentioned in my review of ATTACK OF THE 50 FOOT WOMAN (1958) – and I’d always been interested in it for this reason (considering that it’s a title which is rarely discussed). Despite being produced by a major Hollywood studio, Paramount, the film is definitely a ‘B’ genre effort – made to cash-in on the sci-fi craze of the Cold War era. The makers clearly relied on such classic prototypes as THE GOLEM (1920), METROPOLIS (1927) and FRANKENSTEIN (1931) for inspiration – but, being somewhat underwritten, the plot doesn’t quite supply the necessary impetus to elicit favorable comparison with them!
Mind you, it’s fairly intriguing during the first half (surprisingly written by FATHER BROWN ’s screenwriter Thelma Schnee!) and bolstered throughout by reliable Otto Kruger’s mad scientist characterization. Besides, the design of the robot itself (fitted with the re-activated brain of Kruger’s son, a humanitarian-cum-genius prematurely killed in a road accident) is interesting and actually quite eerie…though bestowed with curiously short arms! However, the latter doesn’t have that much to do since it’s confined for the most part to Kruger’s lab! Eventually breaking free of its creator/father’s control, the robot emerges into the open and befriends his own son (who’s unaware of the machine’s true ‘identity’). Inevitably, the human feelings once inherent in its brain gradually get lost within the metallic ‘armor’ – and the scientist even kills his own elder brother (for attempting to steal his wife’s affection…though she’s also pursued by his former best friend, who’s allowed to get away with it!). Finally, having gone berserk, the robot breaks into the United Nations building (the ‘monster’ during the sci-fi heyday always seemed to vent its fury at some point on such big-city landmarks), where it’s destroyed – or, more precisely, shut off – via a convenient lever lodged in its structure by the boy himself!
The film, as I said, doesn’t quite make it into the genre’s top-rank – but, running a terse 70 minutes, emerges nonetheless to be a generally entertaining entry (and not an unintelligent one, either). That said, it’s somewhat cheapened by Van Cleave’s funereal score (which is more akin to the slapdash accompaniment one is prone to find in Public Domain editions of Silent films!). Besides, there are a number of illogicalities in the narrative which tend to stick out like a sore thumb: for instance, the robot is often seen traveling via water – but wouldn’t contact with this element cause a short circuit to begin with?; despite Kruger’s audacious claim that his son’s genius is on the same level of such world-renowned luminaries as Napoleon, Macchiavelli and Michelangelo, the young doctor’s major claim to fame seems to be merely that he had invented a way in which to fabricate food products more quickly!!; the climax is marred by a blatant continuity goof – a girl is seen on the ground in one shot, up on her feet the next and, then, once again on the ground to be pulverized by the robot’s laser beam!; as soon as the creature is gotten rid of, it’s business as usual for the folk at the United Nations – with no thought given to the many who had just lost their lives!; a similar nonchalant reaction is allotted to Kruger, who admits his responsibility for the tragic events – and, yet, isn’t held to account for his irresponsibility!
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