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Sampo & Erhardt

Sci-Fi Archives

Visit our archives of the MST3K pages previously hosted by the Sci-Fi Channel's SCIFI.COM.

Goodbye Sci-Fi

Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy and Bill Corbett reflect on MST3K's final broadcast.

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Episode guide: 309- The Amazing Colossal Man

Movie: (1957) Exposure to an atomic blast causes an army colonel to become a giant.

First shown: 8/3/91
Opening: Crow and Tom hide out in their super-secret cardboard fort
Invention exchange: The Mads have created a plant that reviews music; Joel shows off his idea for non-permanent tattoos
Host segment 1: Joel helps the bots learn the right thing to say to the relative of a horribly disfigured nuclear accident victim
Host segment 2: Joel agonizes about being a 50-foot man
Host segment 3: The bots wonder what they’d ask Glen, then he visits
End: J&tB suggest other things Glen could’ve done, Joel reads letters, Dr. F. has a giant hypo
Stinger: Glen laughing ’til it hurts
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (151 votes, average: 4.58 out of 5)


• The movie is iconic, and we meet so many AIP regulars in the process (see cast/crew roundup below), that this episode feels very much like a milestone. But in terms of bringing the funny, I have to give it a good-not-great rating. The movie is strangely captivating, and I think the writers kind of got caught up in it. There are some great riffing moments, but it’s just not solid throughout.
• This episode was released and then almost immediately recalled by Rhino. If you have a copy, you have a rarity.
• Callback: “The HU-man” (Robot Monster). And lots of “No!” (Cave Dwellers)
• The plant guy, aka “Robert Plant,” was Kevin’s first on-screen performance on the show.
• Great moment: This movie has an incredibly long shot with nothing happening and nobody in frame–we just look at a door for a good 12 seconds. J&tB make the most of it.
• As they leave for a break, Crow departs, then comes back for one more riff.
• Naughty riff: “Sorry, wrong bone growth.”
• It was popular back then to call A&E the “all-Hitler Channel.” This was before A&E spun off their massive library of World War II documentaries, mostly to The History Channel.
• Joel is hilarious as Glen, the 50-foot man! “Aah! No!”
• In “Daddy-O,” Crow asks “Do you know the names of lots of fish?” In this ep, Tom asks “How many fish can you name?” Funny both times.
• During that sketch Tom’s arms work! Crow even asks him about it!
• In the lab scene, they do three consecutive riffs hammering the idea that cosmetic companies use animals like rabbits to test their products. It’s one of the few times I can recall them doing three variations of essentially the same joke right in a row. I do love Crow’s great little voice as the rabbit, though.
• The movie’s single strangest idea (and that’s saying something): the notion that the heart is “made up of a single cell.” Did they think audiences were going to buy that?
• We haven’t seen J&tB daydreaming at that window since episode 201- ROCKETSHIP X-M.
• Mike is also great as Glen.
• Joel is still holding the Barbie from the earlier sketch later on.
• Precognition by J&tB: In segment three they mention Glen in Vegas, when we haven’t gotten to that part of the movie yet.
• I enjoy the window fan shadow when they are supposed to be in the helicopters, obviously trying to convey to the audience that they are flying. Pro tip: a real helicopter blade, going fast enough to keep the helicopter up in the air, would not make a distinct shadow like that. If you are in a helicopter, and you see that kind of shadow crossing your body, it means you’re plummeting.
• Tom makes a pun and Crow warns him: “That kinda talk’ll get your arm ripped off.” From one who knows.
• As the movie ends, and the “The End” card comes up, J&tB respond with “Or is it?” Did they already know they were going to do the sequel?
• Cast/crew roundup: To begin with, we have producer director Bert I. Gordon, who we already encountered in “King Dinosaur,” and who we’ll meet again in “Earth Vs. The Spider,” “War of the Colossal Beast,” “The Magic Sword,” “Tormented,” “Beginning of the End” and “Village of the Giants.” Then there’s assistant director Jack Berne, who also served that role in “I Was A Teenage Werewolf.” Albert Glasser — “the man who holds you down and pummels you with music” — was one of Hollywood’s most prolific movie score composers. Of the some 200 movies he scored, 11 were MSTed: “Rocketship X-M,” this movie, “Earth Vs. The Spider,” ” Teenage Caveman,” “Viking Women and the Sea Serpent,” “War of the Colossal Beast,” “The Indestructible Man,” “Tormented,” “Beginning of the End,” “Invasion USA” and “Last of the Wild Horses.” Script writer Mark Hanna also served that role on “Gunslinger” and “The Undead,” as well as serving as production coordinator for “Terror from the Year 5000.” Cinematographer Joseph “I am!” Biroc also served that role on “Kitten With A Whip” and “SST Death Flight.” Editor Ronald Sinclair also worked on “Earth Vs. the Spider,” “War of the Colossal Beast,” “Viking Women,” “Swamp Diamonds” and “The She-Creature.” Flora Gordon worked with Bert I. doing special effects for “Earth Vs. the Spider,” “War of the Colossal Beast,” “Tormented,” “The Beginning of the End” and “Village of the Giants.” Special effects/prop guy Paul Blaisdell also worked on “Earth Vs. the Spider, “The She Creature,” “It Conquered the World” and “Teenage Caveman.” Hairstylist Joan St. Oegger also worked on “Revenge of the Creature” and “The Mole People.” Production assistant Henry Schrage also worked on “Earth Vs the Spider” and “War of the Colossal Beast.” Prop master James Harris also worked on “Beginning of the End.”
In front of the camera, Russ Bender, also appears “War of the Colossal Beast” and “It Conquered the World.” Hank Patterson was also in “Beginning of the End” and “Earth Vs. the Spider.” Glenn Langan also worked on “Women of the Prehistoric Planet.” Cathy Downs was also in “The She Creature.” James Seay was also in “Beginning of the End.” William Hudson was also in “The She Creature.” Judd Holdren was also in “Rocketship X-M.” Frank Jenks was also in “The She Creature.” Jack Kosslyn was also in “Earth Vs. The Spider,” “War of the Colossal Beast” and “Tormented.” June Jocelyn was also in “Earth Vs. The Spider,” “Teenage Caveman” and “War of the Colossal Beast.” Jean Moorehead was also in “The Violent Years.”
• CreditsWatch: Collen Henjum, who has gone back and forth between “writer” and “contributing writer,” goes from writer to contributing writer for the rest of the season. Tim Scott is back as online editor. Trace and Frank are still guest “villians” (misspelled) and Dr. F’s name is again spelled “Forrestor.”
• Fave riff: “That, and ‘aaaaaah!'” Honorable mention: “John Philips Sousa’s life is flashing before his eyes!”

109 Replies to “Episode guide: 309- The Amazing Colossal Man”

  1. Speedy says:

    My first episode.


  2. Dan in WI says:

    Talk about great childhood memories.
    In the opening we have the Bots in a refrigerator box fort. Who didn’t love those as a kid? I know I did. We had an appliance store in the neighborhood that would give away those boxes from their showroom floor models. So the kids had a supply of those boxes every summer. One year there was a giant house made of about a dozen boxes with hallways, rooms, etc…
    Then we have Joel’s invention. I remember having those as a kid too. Now what were those called?

    During the first segment as they discuss ways to sensitively talk to Carol about Glenn’s condition I’m greatly reminded of the discussion from the previous week when they were trying to come up with plans to off Gaos. The silly things they come up with in both cases are coming from a similar place.

    Crow’s lacrosse mask is not on straight in most of the host segments.

    Favorite Riffs:
    Carol “Will he be alright.” Crow “Ha, Ha, Yeah right.” (This one was all in the delivery.)

    Carol “His skin, it’s not burned. Why he’s going to be alright isn’t he?” Tom “Yeah right Dorothy. You can go back to Kansas now.”

    During a war montage, Crow “Stock footage is hell.”


  3. Bobby 23-Skidoo says:

    Was it wrong for me, about 7 years ago, to squeal like a little girl who just saw her favourite Jonas brother, when I saw the VHS of this episode on sale for $3.00?


  4. touches no one's life, then leaves says:

    >>>the notion that the heart is “made up of a single cell.”

    I thought he just said “it might help to think of it as if the human heart were made up of a single cell” OSLT, like it was a metaphor/analogy.

    What seemed to me like an obvious yet I guess sort of grim riff, when the cops open fire on Glenn: “Hey, c’mon! He just got back from Korea, not VIETNAM!” or a variation thereof. ‘Cause with the vilification of Vietnam War veterans in some 1970s media and, well, you know, like I said, GRIM…


  5. Dave says:

    Ahh yes that one episode that may have become the Honus Wagner of all episodes! I managed to buy it just before it was pulled from the shelf!


  6. Cubby says:

    A T-206 reference. Well done, Dave!


  7. Rachel says:

    This is a so-so episode for me, but I do remember laughing myself into an episode when Servo said ‘Well, Fluffy, time to shave your butt and put cosmetics on it’ as the scientist to the rabbit.


  8. touches no one's life, then leaves says:

    Crow mentions “Night of the Lepus”, which is mentioned in other episodes as well. Too bad MST3K never got a chance to riff that one. Hopefully Cinematic Titanic can do so some day, because I’d rather Trace riffed it than Bill.


  9. monoceros4 says:

    What strikes me most on repeated viewings of this episode is how hard the movie strives to be serious. I wouldn’t be surprised if Gordon hadn’t in the back of his mind a couple of real-life cases of fatal irradiation, the cases of Louis Slotin and Harry Daghlian. A faint aura of plausibility lingers about the film even in its sillier moments, e.g. in the discussions of how to treat Col. Manning with sulfhydryl (mispronounced “sulfahydryl”) compounds, which in real life have been tested for mitigation of radiation poisoning. Really the movie’s not all that bad and I think, in this case, it helps the episode when the riffing flags.

    Manning’s self-pity gets a bit much to take and so it’s fitting that both Joel and Mike Nelson parody Manning’s whining. Joel hunched over and sulking in a dollhouse is amusing, but not as amusing as Mike, as Manning, grumbling that “I really thought Time Bandits was gonna kick it loose for me.”


  10. frankenforcer says:

    I am biased on this episode and consider it one of my top five all time favorites simply because it was my introduction to the show. To this day I recall it fondly to others, whether they want to hear it or not, how I sat down at my grandmother’s with my brother flipping channels only to come upon this show. Confusion over what the shadow things were turn to sheer delight within seconds.
    I don’t recall much of my childhood. What was I wearing on my first day of school? No clue, various christmases are wiped from my adolescent brain never having ever seen the light of conscious remembrance.
    Various stories told by my parents about situations of a young frankenforcer are taken at face value, simply because I do not remember.

    BUt I remember my first MST experience, I remember the very joke that made me fall in love with this show. It’s when the army guy is in the tent and Tom (appropriately it’s Kevin my favorite who gets the nod) does the Circus theme in that deep Glen voice. Me and my brother laughed our butts off and I was hooked on this show forever.


  11. Brandon says:

    I must have an edited copy, because I’ve never seen any such sequence involving J&TB staring at a door. My copy is from an old tape trade (I know, shame on me) that was taped off Comedy Central. Maybe they edited it for time. Here’s my old review.

    309- The Amazing Colossal Man
    [Info from Satellite News]

    First shown: 8/3/91.
    Opening: Crow and Tom are in their fort.
    Invention exchange: A plant that reviews music, non-permanent tattoos.
    Host segment 1: Nice things to say to Glen’s fiancee.
    Host segment 2: Joel agonizes about being a 50-foot man.
    Host segment 3: The bots wonder what they’d ask Glen, then he visits.
    End: What Glen could’ve done, letters, giving Frank the giant hypo.
    Stinger: Glen laughing ’til it hurts.

    Memorable Riffs:
    Servo: “Russ Bender. He takes a lot of sick days.”

    Crow: “Yeah, it’ll help talking about old Pizza Face.”

    “Your name is the only word he spoke.”
    Servo: ‘Well, that and AUUUUURGGHHHHH!!!”

    (Nurse checks under sheets)
    Servo: “Well, SOMETHING’S bigger than expected.”

    (A house being blown up is shown in a filmstrip)
    Servo: “There was a family of twelve in here. I should have told them to leave.”

    Servo: “Wait, the government’s involved in a cover-up? How could that be?”

    Crow: “Whoops! Sorry, wrong bone growth!”

    Joel: “Oh my God! I’m a huge Daddy Warbucks!”

    Fav. Riff:
    Crow: “Hey, there’s a 50 foot guy. But he has hair, so it can’t be Glen.”

    -Crow does a “Scare Me” joke. Not the first time he does it.

    -Segment 1 shows the bots doing something they rarely did with Joel. Mock the living heck out of him. I’m sure after Commercial Sign, Joel went over and ripped their arms out. They also pummel him a good deal in Segment 2!

    -It’s also kind of rare to hear one of the robots disapprove of a joke Joel makes. Servo takes offense to Joel’s Big Bopper impression as a plane in the movie crashes.

    -Dirty riff: “Honey, I’m still looking forward to our wedding night.”

    -“Hey, Servo? How’d you get your arm to work?” Well, when Servo hovers away from the door, you can see his regular arm, while the arm holding the doll is… isn’t connected to him in anyway. Hmmm.

    Best Segment: The Bots taunting Joel in Segment 2 is great.
    Worst Segment: The Invention Exchange doesn’t have a satisfying pay-off.
    Overall: A solid season 3 entry. One of my favorite episodes. ****


  12. Keith Palmer says:

    I’m sort of interested to see “first episode” comments from other people, because this was the first “television episode” of Mystery Science Theater that I saw (after seeing the Movie), renting the videotape from a well-stocked independent video store. However, after reading reviews of the Movie that commented “the television episodes are funnier than the movie, and the Joel episodes are funnier than the Mike episodes,” I was almost surprised when I didn’t find the episode more hilarious than the Movie… fortunately, it wasn’t that long before I had also rented “Pod People” and “Cave Dwellers” (although I can only guess now as to what order I saw them in), which began improving my opinion of the Joel episodes. Since then, I do have to admit I’ve managed to see this episode again, and in better understanding its particular period of the show (even if that’s led to a sort of “different parts of me like different things about different periods of the show, but I can’t quite single any part of it out as a ‘perfect’ blend” feeling) I’ve grown fonder of it.


  13. Creepygirl says:

    I too have the RHINO VHS of AMAZING COLOSSAL MAN. Maybe it’s not as rare as we are lead to believe. Are there any numbers floating around that tell us how many RHINO actually sold before it was pulled. I know many of you folks also own the original VOLUME 10. Sellers on Ebay would have you believe only 10 to 20 were actually sold. So, who knows?

    This episode is classic IMO. When this first aired I was in college and buzzed and seeing Mike made up as Glen had me rolling on the floor. :-D

    Though I liked the show from my first moments of finding it, I think it was around this time in the shows history that I realized this show is something very very very special.

    4 out of 5 stars for a slightly sluggish middle.


  14. touches no one's life, then leaves says:

    “Frank…does it hurt much?”


  15. Tom Carberry says:

    I’m thinking that the Rhino VHS (and what was the problem, rights issue perhaps?) isn’t as rare as has been touted. I have one myself. When one of the local Video Rental Stores (remember those?) decided to throw in the towel, they had an “everything must go” sale. This was available for $2 (or $3, I can’t remember exactly). It even had its original cardboard case. I don’t think it got rented very much, it is in excellent shape.

    This episode holds a special place in my heart. I saw this at a drive-in movie when I was a kid, and about the only thing I remembered about it was the doctor getting speared with the hypodermic needle (“and this is why Lawn Darts were taken off the market people”). I’ve probably watched it a dozen times since it was first aired and it just keeps getting better with each viewing.


  16. Jeff in Denver says:

    Wow cubby, i thought I was the only Mistie who knows what a T-206 is. Baseball cards and mst3k dont seem to cross much. I like it very much!!!


  17. Tom Carberry says:

    The link above is to Griffith Park and the roadway going up to Bronson Cave (the bat-cave entrance for Batman, and the cave in It Conquered the World). More importantly for this discussion it was the site for the guard shack and gate. When Carol drives up to the Hospital Glen has been moved to and she convinces the guard to let her in, this is where that was filmed. Also the meat truck delivery scene.


  18. Creeping Terror says:

    I hadn’t revisited this episode in a while, but this week I was overwhelmed by how slow the movie is to get to its meat of Glen being huge. We spend a lot of time watching Glen mope, visiting flashbacks, puttering around the lab, etc. Much of this movie is a snoozefest that Joel and the Bots liven up.

    Not much else to say about this one. It’s a memorable episode, probably because of the catchy title and how easily the image of a man in a sarong straddling over Las Vegas can implant itself in your brain.


  19. MikeH says:

    My 2nd episode seen (Cave Dwellers was my first) Just a hilarious episode.


    Scare me??


  20. Chris L. says:

    I bought the VHS the day it came out and have it stashed somewhere. No matter how soon Rhino had to discontinue it there must have been a pretty big initial shipment. Yeah, eBay sellers making misrepresentations, hard to believe…

    I have to agree that this episode goes into the solid, but not spectacular category. I always liked Tom quoting “Back Stabbers” when the guy gets stabbed in the back in the war flashback.


  21. Herkaleez says:

    Hey Sampo

    >>>Joel is hilarious as Glen, the 50-foot man! “Aah! No!”

    Wasn’t it Mike who played the 50-foot man?


  22. Insect Man #47 says:

    Sampo – don’t forget that Paul Blaisdell also played the “mutant” in Day the World Ended”, which was the movie riffed in the home game, if I’m not mistaken (which I often am).


  23. Herkaleez says:


    >>>Mike is also great as Glen.

    Never mind….D’Oh!


  24. Cheapskate Crow says:

    I would rate it 6 out of 5 stars if I could, this is one of my all time favorites. All the host segments and intro/outro are great, riffing is hilarious all the way through and the movie is watchable, although slow paced. Maybe it’s just a coincidence but I loved all the episodes made from Bert I. Gordon movies. This was one of the select episodes I taped in SP speed back in the day and made my own DVD dub from it for future viewing. I think that’s like putting it in its’ own plastic cover for comic book people. I think the Golden Age of the show is in full swing now, lasting until season 6 IMHO.


  25. dsman71 says:

    This was a fun episode…Glenn the Amazing Colossal Man was also in Mutiny in Outer Space and Dragonwyck
    This is one episode I caught ‘later on’ during my watching experience
    And Im happy to be one of the owners of the official Rhino VHS release of it..
    Cant really comment on Joel’s Hair although Crow insults his bad haircut
    I met MR BIG at MonsterPalooza and he couldnt remember anything about the movies he made, bummer
    Some effects were neat, some were pathetic..the movies are classic B movie fun and a lot of us can watch these without the MST3K treatment as well..
    Joels Hair
    Joels Knees
    Glenn in a giant diaper
    Bert “I dont remember” Gordon
    Therapy is working !! :)
    or not


  26. Mr. B(ob) says:

    This without a doubt for me is a top contender for the list of ten best episodes ever. The movie is one I’d seen a million times as a kid as it was a staple of the local UHF channels when they’d show old monster movies years ago, but I probably hadn’t seen it in more than 15 years when it made it onto MST3K. It was really cool seeing it again as an adult and with the MST3K treatment.

    I love the silly playful style humor of some of the host segments, the ‘Bots playing fort, Joel and the ‘Bots recreating the movie (“I’m huge, ahh!”) with Barbie dolls and cardboard. Just hilarious. Mike Nelson as the really Amazing Colossal Man is also really funny and memorable host segment. These are the kinds of host segments that sadly would become scarce after Joel left the show. They were and are still a huge part of what I love about the show and why I tend to watch these earlier seasons way more often than the later ones.

    As for the riffs during the film, all the references to food when Manning is first burned, the jokes about the implausible junk science fiction explanations, the comments about the “diaper”, it just doesn’t get any better than this. MST3K is at top form in this episode. 5 stars plus!


  27. touches no one's life, then leaves says:

    So, if “Glen” (as seen in the host segment) is tall enough to stand with his feet on Earth and his head at orbital height, how big would that make the cow he ate? Has anyone been geeky enough to work that out? ;-)


  28. Cabbage Patch Elvis says:

    Absolutely classic. Nonstop funny, although I’m struggling to think of any great riffs right now. I’m a bit hungover, okay? :pain:


  29. Definitely an iconic episode – I also still have my original Rhino from when it was released and then recalled, long since transferred to DVD. But I agree with a lot of the others that it doesn’t hold up that well. There are funnier episodes.


  30. Spector says:

    While this one is iconic for many, I consider it among the very good but not great. Not that this one isn’t a funny episode, and there are some terrific, memorable riffs, but for me this one has a great start but runs out of steam midway through. They’d do much better with future Bert I. Gordon fare. The host segments were pretty good, certainly much better than the week before. Four out of five stars.


  31. Matthew Shine says:

    Strange as it may be, I own a copy of The Amazing Colossal Man uncut. For a 50’s Sci-Fi drive in, it actually has really good acting and special effects. Glenn’s speech to the officer in the tent is kinda heartwrenching if you think about it. Here was an ordinary man, who was cursed because he had tried to help a fellow colleage.
    Of course, the MST3K mocking is good too, but I find myself getting drawn in the story, with the unfortunate effect that I sometimes miss the jokes. Joel’s impression of Glenn was hilarious, though.

    War Of The Colossal Beast was a completely unnecessary sequel, much like Revenge Of The Creature.


  32. dsman71 says:

    Its not strange at all # 31 lots of us own non MST3K versions of Mr BIGs cheese and Cormans stuff..
    They were major contributors to the low budget picture…
    Forever Iconic ! :)


  33. ANGMEM says:

    Is it me, or did everyone miss the part where the nurse lifts the blanket and Tom says “Well, SOMETHING is a lot bigger” and then Joel puts his hand on Tom’s shoulder to stop him? :-D


  34. CatraDhtem says:

    Yeah, I’m not sure where the idea came from that the Rhino VHS was “rare.” It was formally in print for the better part of 1996, with the first reported question of its rights status occuring around February 1997, so almost a year after its release. It wasn’t like they immediately withdrew it and pulled all copies off store shelves.

    And even when the licensing issue did occur, Rhino continued selling its remaining stock through phone orders, while Best Brains still had a supply for the Info Club catalog. It probably didn’t really start becoming scarce (as far as retail availability goes) until maybe around 1998.

    It’s just taken on this aura because of the problems with the release, which for a lot of people means it must also inherently be rare. But really, it was probably produced in greater numbers than the Rhino DVD sets that were in fact pulled for rights issues.

    Now if you wanna talk about REALLY rare Rhino releases, there’s the “Essentials” DVD that came with the “Shorts Volume 3” bonus disc…trying finding THAT on Amazon’s Marketplace!


  35. John R. Ellis says:

    Is it this one or the sequel where Joel and the ‘Bots urge the lady to “GUN IT!” when the security guards backs are turned?

    When I an my friends first watched the episode way back in 1991, that line just -killed- us, because it was the very same thing WE had begun to shout at the screen. *grin*


  36. Spalanzani says:

    Overall a pretty good episode. While the riffing isn’t always top-rate, it’s fun to see such an iconic cheesy movie. By the way, in this movie they say that Glenn doesn’t have any family, only his fiancee, while War of the Colossal Beast features Glenn’s sister, who plays much the same role in the plot as his fiancee does in this one (meanwhile, his fiancee is nowhere to be seen). I always assumed they were planning on having his fiancee come back for the sequel, but couldn’t get the same actress and so got someone else to play his sister.

    Now, this is definitely in the “it’s just a show, you should really just relax” category, but I always wonder how Joel/Mike and the bots can be visited by characters from the movies they watch. This implies that many of their movies are, in MST3K world, documentaries or based on true stories. This episode has one of the best examples: in the host segments we learn that Glenn Manning is an actual giant who exists in the world of MST3K, and who played himself in Bort I. Gordon’s film The Amazing Colossal Man. But while the “real” Glenn did rampage through Las Vegas (as mentioned by Tom), the fact that he’s still alive and perfectly OK, rather than being dead or a severely disfigured mindless beast as the movie and its sequel show, apparently means that not everything in the two movies about him accurately reflects his life. What’s more, the “real” Glenn shares the world with fellow giant creatures like Gamera or Mothra, who are also shown in host segments to exist within MST3K’s reality. So…I’ve forgotten my point, but it’s something to think about. I guess.


  37. John R. Ellis says:

    The point is: The MST3Kverse is very, very odd.

    I’d say about equal with the universe “The Muppet Show” takes place in, but not quite as weird as the universe of “The Might Boosh”.


  38. John R. Ellis says:

    Mighty, even.


  39. snowdog says:

    I found the Rhino VHS in a cutout bin at a mall record store for about $5 about 15 years ago. One of my faves. Mike is brilliant as usual. I laugh hard when he starts munching on a tiny cow. I always wondered what it is he’s really eating in the segment.


  40. April da Wetpants says:

    Another fave! But one that had to grow on me. It contains what I believe to be the meanest riff ever…yet, I laugh every time I see it.

    During the war footage when the plane goes down Joel says in his Big Bopper voice “Hello Babyyyyy!”

    And I love the bots toruring Joel.

    Hilarity all around on this one. Just wish Shout can get the rights. By tape is wearing out!


  41. I too have the VHS of this episode and recently transfered it to DVD. I’m holding on to it for the sake of my MST collection.


  42. Seneca says:

    @#18 — “Much of this movie is a snoozefest that Joel and the Bots liven up.”

    This is true in the MST3K version, but seeing the film without interruptions and backtalk is actually a fairly engrossing experience. Things do keep happening, and after the lull when his wife is trying to find where he’s been moved to, you get the “big” shock of seeing Glenn all big and stuff. It doesn’t really take very long in real movie time! I’ve always enjoyed this film.


  43. Torgo's Pizza's on my speed dial says:

    I always thought of the unMSTied version of the film as an early Cold War-period allegory about cancer: a person’s cells growing out of control with no end in sight, while family and friends watch helplessly; medical science is determined to find an effective way to treat the illness, but the cure may not come in time for the patient…it struck me as a kind of non-gross-out “body horror” film. While the sequel is (mostly) about the hunt for a big, lumbering monster, the original has a real poignance. Not a lot of it, granted – nor can the film sustain it for the entire running time – but at least it’s there.

    And yes…I’ve overthought this. :-)


  44. monoceros4 says:

    #36: “This implies that many of their movies are, in MST3K world, documentaries or based on true stories….What’s more, the “real” Glenn shares the world with fellow giant creatures like Gamera or Mothra, who are also shown in host segments to exist within MST3K’s reality. So…I’ve forgotten my point, but it’s something to think about. I guess.”

    Here’s the easiest explanation. Joel is actually the Lathe of Heaven and, whenever he watches a bad movie, his thoughts and dreams about that movie are able to take physical form. Watching The Amazing Colossal Man Joel wishes that he could meet Col. Manning and, what do you know, Col. Manning shows up. Mike Nelson lacked the gift of materialization, which is why these visitations came almost completely to an end when Joel left the Satellite of Love and Mike took his place. There are counter-examples, but notice that all of them (e.g. the Phantom of Krankor, Leonardo da Vinci) are played by Bill Corbett, which suggests that it was in fact the new Crow, not Mike Nelson, who possessed the godlike spark.


  45. Tom Carberry says:

    I consider a VHS to DVD transfer a perfectly acceptable way to preserve this episode (if or when it ever becomes available on a “proper” DVD release). I did that after I acquired my VHS copy. Having transferred all my broadcast captured VHS over to DVD many years ago, I discovered that the sound quality on the VHS had deteriorated a bit. The video picture quality was ok, but the sound track(s) were beginning to go. Now, as for my “unMSTed” version, that is another story. It is on my list of movies to upgrade. I think I got it when the Sci-Fi channel (ok, ok, settle down folks, I hate their new “format” and name too) was still broadcasting Science Fiction movies–how quaint. I removed most traces of the commercials, but some bits and pieces got through.


  46. Miss Mary says:

    My first episode, also !!!

    Favorite riff: When Glen is caught in the explosion and his clothes and hair are being burned off:

    Joel: “And from that day on, they called him Patches.”


  47. John R. Ellis says:

    Newvina (spelling?) and Pitch were -not- played by Bill Corbett.

    Neither was Toblerone.

    Neither was…well, you get the picture. *grin*

    So, maybe the new Lathe (whoever it was) predated Sci Fi era Crow?


  48. Professor Gunther says:

    I LOVE the movies of Mr. B.I.G., and I can’t help but think that they (along with Corman, and–okay, a bunch of others) were part of some Divine Plan to bring MST3K into existence. And while the riffing strikes me as a bit hit and miss at times, the sheer goofiness of the movie makes up for it. (Only a genius could envision the appearance of a GIANT hypodermic needle in his movie and then play it completely straight. The movie takes its Utterly Goofy Material seriously, but it doesn’t take itself seriously. Have I mentioned that I love Mr. B.I.G.’s films?)

    Five stars for me.


  49. MarcusVermilion says:

    They had a simple riff in this episode that had me LOL big time. When Giant Glenn & his fiance are outdoors talking by her car Crow asks “Who do you think drove?”.


  50. Lex says:

    I rented this (and it’s sequel) a few years ago from Hastings. Great to see it again. Nice Nuclear age themes going on here. For some reason the thing I remember most is Glen laughing histerically. I guess I would too. NOtice that guy didn’t do the sequel.


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