Affectionally known as Mr. BIG because of his earlier pictures all dealt with some sort of a larger than normal monstrosity that was threatening mankind, Bert I. Gordon made a lot of entertaining films in his career. While most critics might say they were trash, awful, terribly made, or any of the other criticisms, doesn’t matter because the fans watching them were having a blast. And, if you’re counting on how much money they made, then you have to say that he was a successful filmmaker then as well. He gave us titles like King Dinosaur (1955), which was his first feature film, made with 4 actors, shot in 7 days, and with a budget of only $15,000. But it made a good amount of money at the drive-ins! He followed that up with titles like The Amazing Colossal Man (1957), The Cyclops (1957) to the more modern ones (for the time) Food of the Gods (1976) and Empire of the Ants (1977). I know I was always entertained by his work when I was growing up and I still enjoy watching them today.
But Mr. BIG left us today, passing away at the age of 100! His reputation will also be huge, as well as his fandom, because he truly created films that capture the excitement of our youth, giving us giant monsters of all kinds, and while they may make us laugh and snicker at times now when we really shouldn’t be, it still doesn’t take away the fun. And at the end of the day, that is what it is all about.
Our thoughts go out to his friends and family at this time. Rest in Peace, Mr. BIG.
Dragon’s Digital Domain Records have unleashed another CD of the work of composter Albert Glasser, another entry of the work he did with director Bert I. Gordon. This time out, we get both scores for The Amazing Colossal Man (1957) and its sequel War of the Colossal Beast (1958)! The release has 23 tracks with a total running time of 67 minutes! The release was mastered by James Nelson of Digital Outland, and also contains lineal notes from film music journalist Randall D. Larson.
Glasser worked on a lot of films, starting out by doing a lot of westerns. But once he got to the ’50s, he composed the scores for a lot of sci-fi/horror films. Thanks to the folks at Dragon’s Digital Domain Records, we’re able to enjoy Glasser’s music on their own. Composers have a lot to do on how the film plays for the audiences, and Glasser’s work is a good example of that.
Priced at only $17.95, you can order your copy from Screen Archives Entertainment by clicking HERE.
The real power of an actor can be one single role, one performance, even if it is for only a minute or two onscreen that will make movie-goers remember them forever. Joe Turkel, and actor who had over a 140 acting credits to his name, did that twice in his career. They were on the later part of his career, but they are still as an effective performance now and they were some 40 years ago today.
The first and probably best known, is that of Lloyd the bartender in Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining (1980). His underplayed and subdued characterization sells the roles even more. But then two years later, he appeared in Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner, as Dr. Eldon Tyrell, the creator of the replicants that Harrison Ford’s character is out to capture. Again, not a huge role and not a lot of screen time, but Turkel made an impact with it.
For those who might now know the name Albert Glasser, he was a composter that mainly worked on B-movie titles, especially with director Bert I. Gordon. But it wasn’t just those films, but also worked in just about every other genre out there, composing scores for 135 films (some that he never even received credit for), from westerns to juvenile delinquent titles, as well as 300 television shows and 450 radio programs. So yeah, he was busy.
But thanks to the fine folks at Dragon’s Domain Records, Volume 4 of their series is all about Science Fiction Atomic Mutations! This release has the scores for Bert I. Gordon’s The Cyclops and The Beginning of the End, both released in 1957. The total running time for the CD is just under 80 minutes, so priced at $17.95 is a great deal. You can order your copy at Screen Archives Entertainment, by clicking HERE.
King Dinosaur (1955), The Cyclops (1957), & Food of the Gods (1976). What do these three films have in common? They all came from Mr. BIG himself, the one and only Bert I. Gordon. Known for films that featured giant monsters, such as giant grasshoppers, spiders, teenagers, and rats, he usually had some sort of small threat that is made larger with either shooting them on smaller sets or super imposing them over a back projector screen. No matter what the latest creature is, coming from Mr. BIG, you can be sure that fun usually ensues. So tune in and get our take on these films as well as some other interesting topics we cover.
War of the Colossal Beast (1958) Directed by Bert I. Gordon Starring Sally Fraser, Roger Pace, Duncan Parkin, Russ Bender, Rico Alaniz, George Becwar
For me, this is a perfect example where the sequel is better than the original. I know it might be hard to believe, but in this case it is more than true for me. Honestly, I was never a big fan of the first film, The Amazing Colossal Man (1957). It just seemed a little cheesy and the effects weren’t the greatest, or more than likely I grew tired of some half naked guy running around yelling “I DON’T WANT TO GROW ANYMORE!” Of course, you have to love the death by giant syringe scene, but besides that, not much going for it.Continue reading →
In three weeks, we will be heading out to Mars, PA for the annual Monster Bash Conference, and needless to say, we’re pretty excited. This show is the farthest distance that we travel which is why it took us so long before we decided to finally take the plunge. Now I only regret not starting going sooner.
The Amazing Colossal World of Mr. B.I.G. – An Autobiographical Journey By Bert I. Gordon Published by CreateSpace Publishing, 2009. 258 pages.
Flat out, this has to be one of the worst autobiography that I’ve ever read, and one of the most disappointing ones. Let me start off by saying that I am HUGE fan of Bert I. Gordon and his films. I loved his movies when I was younger and still can find entertainment in them today. No matter how cheesy they might seem today, they are always fun to watch. So I was very excited when he told me a few years ago that he was working on writing his autobiography and that McFarland was gong to be putting it out. But it was a few years later when I see that it had finally come out, but that it was self-published. That should have been a clue, but I eagerly ordered it right away and dove right into it when it got here.
Next weekend, I will be making the trip to Mars…Mars, Pennsylvania, that is, for the October Monster Bash Conference! Last June, we did our first Bash and had such a great time that I knew I wanted to come back for more. Of course, this is going to be an interesting trip since I will be making it on my own. The rest of the Kitley crew can’t make it for a variety of reasons, so that means it is just going to be me. Hopefully I’ll survive the 7 hour/500 mile drive each way! Unless I can con some poor SOB to make the trip with me!
I was bummed to hear that Barbara Steele had to cancel due to illness and wish her a speedy recovery. But the Bash head honcho Ron Adams didn’t waste any time in getting a replacement. In fact, a BIG replacement! Mr. B.I.G. himself, Bert I. Gordon, director of such classics as Food of the Gods, Empire of the Ants, The Amazing Colossal Man, The Cyclops, and many more. He will be joining the rest of the guests, such as Anne Serling (Twilight Zone creator Rod Serling’s daughter), Blue Demon Jr., Jeremy Ambler, Lisa Marie, Felix Silla, and Pat Priest..