Ross Martin plays Jeremy Spencer, a brilliant scientist who is sadly killed in an automobile accident on the eve of him winning the Nobel Prize, leaving a wife and child behind. His father, the brilliant surgeon William Spencer (Otto Kruger) cannot accept his son’s fate, and decides to do what every loving father would do: keep the brain alive in a special jar. Later he implants the brain into a gigantic robot, the Colossus, something that everyone will end up regretting, as it’s a creature of incredible size, strength and intellect, and for some reason can hypnotize people and shoot lasers out of his eyes. Soon the robot side of him is taking control, and he goes on a rampage: first against people who hit on his wife, then in a murder spree in New York. Only the love of his son is able to get his mind off the slaughter, and only the young boy can stop him.
When I was a kid, this movie used to creep me out. Not so much for the Colossus, which looks kind of ridiculous, with it’s bulking body and flashlight eyes. What creeped me out was his voice, which looked like a ghost talking through a microphone. It really sent shivers down my spines. This movie’s main strength is it’s impressive, haunting score by Van Cleave, which is very similar to silent movie scores. I also like the cheese factor that the robot itself brings in, with it’s ridiculous costume and huge shoulders. Every time I see this movie, I feel the actor is going to fall over. The acting is acceptable but never great. Ross Martin is pretty good but he’s on-screen for too short a time, and his dubbing of the robot isn’t as impressive as the effects they used to distort his voice. Otto Kruger, a respectable actor in one his few B appearances, isn’t as memorable, and neither is Mala Powers, although to be fair, she is pretty hot.
The story is very similar to that of the Golem, the famous clay monster who turns evil, only of course with an atomic age twist. Not only does it look like what a Golem might look like, but the ending, with the child taking away it’s life, is very similar to the one in Paul Wegener’s 1920 German classic Golem film. It’s too bad this movie is nowhere near as good as the Golem. This movie divides a lot of science fiction fans. Some consider it an underrated classic, others think it’s a piece of crap. Me? I feel myself completely indifferent towards it. Didn’t love it, didn’t hate it, at least it was entertaining and had a lot of fun moments, but you’ll be forgetting about it when it ends.