319. War of the Colossal Beast (1958)

The Big Person pictures were off and running. The Amazing Colossal Man (1957), War of the Colossal Beast (1958), Attack of the 50 Foot Woman (1958). Bert I. Gordon resumed directing, writing, and producing on Colossal Beast in the wake Colossal Man’s success. Samuel Z. Arkoff co-produced and Beast was mostly processed in black and white. The ending electrocution filmed in color and extensive makeup was applied to Dean Parkin to conceal the truth he wasn’t the same Glenn from the first film. Welcome to Hollywood! Mexican Foods, The Breakfast Bazooka, Between-Meal Mortar, Mr. B Natural, Who is Mr. B Natural?, Glenn Returns, KTLA Predicts The Future!, Drugged Bread. “To prove how tough this Ford is we’re pitting it against The Amazing Colossal Beast”, “Becwar?” “Yes Becwar, the William Shatner novel.” “It’s TekWar.”, “Hey, it’s Ralph Macchio as the Colossal Kid.” “I am so ashamed” or “Yay! But what’s the I stand for?”

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KTLA Predicts The Future!

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Mexican/American Food Items.

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Who Is Mr. B Natural?

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Mr. B Natural.

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Oh yeah, this is the one about the guy who’s big and stuff, and there’s something at Griffith Observatory… Let’s face it, we’re all here for Mr. B Natural. Oh, Mr. B!

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The Mystery Science Theater Hour Wraps on The Amazing Colossal Beast (1958).

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Trailer to The War of the Colossal Beast (1958).

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Yeah, this is one case of the short overshadowing the movie in a big way (no pun intended). You can tell when the crew even feels that when they put the short in the stinger instead of the movie itself.

Wasn’t really that much of a “war” though with Glen. More like a long skirmish.

…hmm…fusion of movie and short…War of the Colossal B. Natural…

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“Glenn was 50 feet tall!”

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There are some episodes where the short outshines the feature, and this is probably the first indisputable case. Mr. B Natural is essentially a commercial for Conn musical instruments aimed at the parents of kids thinking of joining the school band. But to make that less obvious, they wrap around a story featuring the shrill and peculiar hellbeast known as Mr. B Natural and nebbish junior high loser Buzz Turner. The most noteworthy moments occur during the scene where Mr. B teleports into Buzz’s room and convinces him that joining the school band would be swell. Much of their conversation has the unfortunate side effect of giving Mr. B a pedophile vibe. It’s no surprise that Joel and the Bots zero in on it with their riffing. Another thing they focus on is how the natural reaction to an androgynous manifestation of a musical note dressed in a blueish Peter Pan costume is more likely to be terror than bemusement. The eventual switch from brightly colored insanity of the short to the black-and-white dreariness of the main feature is something of a letdown.

Before Pirates of the Caribbean and Back to the Future, War of the Colossal Beast attempted to make a sequel of a film that really isn’t designed for one. After all, Glenn Manning took a rather fatal tumble off the Hoover Dam. They try to cover for this with the spurious claim that the Colorado River is up to a mile deep in spots (it’s not). Anyway, Glenn has lost all ability to reason and is now haphazardly rampaging. On the plus side, this means we’re no longer subjected to his morose whining. Unfortunately, someone got the bright idea that Glenn should have had one of his eyes gouged out. The resulting makeup job is not a pleasant sight.

One scene that sticks in the mind involves a junior high field trip at the Griffith Park Observatory shortly before Glenn menaces it. As junior high students are wont to do in these situations, two of them have snuck off for some alone time. What stands out is how the boy has yet to experience puberty, while his female companion has quite clearly already done so, making for a rather odd couple to say the least.

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Yeah that kid was definitely punching above his weight but she was a cutie so good on him.

WotCB is a low ranker. It’s not as good as the Amazing Colossal Man as a movie (though that isn’t saying much). Glenn’s sister is an annoying one-note cutout. The overly-patient military guy is bland and forgettable. The artificial tension of every source in the country not wanting to help is tiresome. The only characters that actually stick with you are (A) the annoying truck owner at the start and (B) the guy suffering from trauma in the hospital … and they both only just barely rise to that level because everyone else in the movie is so lackluster. The best the movie has to offer is the beginning where they find Glenn and knock him out with a truck of drugged bread and then the Griffith Park finale. Everything else is tedium on celluloid.

With one exception…

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I side alongside the rest of you. Mr. B Natural (1956) ignites as the attraction. Marching bands, a musical Beetlejuice, the sales pitch, it strikes a chord that is so choice to be lampooned. Some of the greatest riffs in MST are direct reactions and Mr. B Natural compels groans, sighs, discomfort, and pain so easily the comedy pours out. The second you hear Mr. B in the auditorium Joel and the Bots are uneasy. Their mortal terror is there before Natural ever appears. Once visible, the dread intensifies as the prancing, dancing, and cavorting seize center stage and the jokes come strong and steady from there. Mr. B Natural is perhaps the signature short of Mystery Science and seeing it again the sting of the subject and roasting grab you. Even today.

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That line had legs. :smiley:

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Mr. B serves as the smiling face of the MST3K Dark Pantheon, along with Coily and Munchie.

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Mr. B Natural and Coily are mascots of MST3K’s unpleasant underbelly. We’ve endured them since the 90s. There are more. Light and Dark. Ator, Gamera, Trumpy, Glenn, Max Keller, Hercules, Torgo, The Master, Megaweapon, Eegah, Mitchell, Jan in the Pan, Mrs. March, Krankor, Dave Ryder, Kalgan, Fingal, The Hobgoblins, Rowsdower, Critter, Peterson, Paul, Danny, McDade, Mrs. Shelby, Akton, Kor, Markov, Alexander, Prune, Mac, Santo, Perico, East Eddie, Munchie. The conga line of iconic targets in this show is endless. My Unpleasant Mount Rushmore of MST is Torgo, The Master, Eegah, and Mitchell. Mr. B Natural, Coily, Kalgan, Alexander, and Munchie are nipping on their heels. How could they not?

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You missed one:
image

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My daughter found Coily freaky, but she couldn’t even make it through Santa Claus because Pitch disturbed her so much.

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Yeah Pitch. Then again I’ve never watched that episode.

There are ones you miss. I’ll probably catch Santa Claus (1959) soon given its place in MSTiedom. Rene Cardona directed. It has to be crazy and off the charts.

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