We all know how great a 200’ digest film can be, especially when done well. There are many from the Castle cannon that prove this point.
Today I want to take a quick look at two KEN Films. Let’s start with one of my favorites.
(KEN#240, std 8mm/BW/silent, reviewed)
One of my all time favorite cheese fests, but wait, this version gives of a double dose of colossal fun. Ken actually combined scenes from both “THE AMAZING COLOSSAL MAN” and its sequel. The digest skips the “caught in a nuclear blast” scene to a quick explanation from an army colonel that the colossal man is on the loose. After out hero, Glen Manning tells his wife he just doesn’t want to grow anymore, an attempt is made to stop his growth with a giant syringe!! Probably one of the most famous scenes in bad movie history (Ouch!). Of course it doesn’t work and Glen rampages through Las Vegas. The army is called out, and a well placed bazooka shot puts an end to the rampage.
Here the editors get creative as clearly he is shot in the stomach, but the subtitle tells us he is hit in the face! Obviously, to explain the now different actor with the deformed face from “WAR OF THE COLOSSAL BEAST” We now get another rampage at an airport and a quick breathtaking climax as he threatens to destroy a bus ultimately committing suicide by grabbing high tension wires and fading into oblivion.
WOW, this for me is why the 200 foot digests were so great.
My std 8mm print is probably the most grainy prints I own. I wonder if the super 8 version fares any better? Anybody been able to compare?
Along with the killer box art we have some 8mm gold.
We now move on to a wasted opportunity. A film that lends itself to a slam bang cut down but sadly fails to deliver.
(KEN#249, Super 8mm, BW/silent, reviewed)
One of the last stop motion animation jobs for the great Willis O’Brian yields a fun B-Monster film. The Ken editors cut to the chase with the monster attacking a ferryboat ultimately sinking it. For these scenes a motionless “head” prop is used. Not a very satisfying effect, but hey, there is a cool monster rampage coming. Os so I thought.
The story now concerns itself with the underwater tracking of the beast by sub and it’s destruction with a well placed missile. I remember viewing this for the first time glancing at the reel and thinking “We’re running out of footage!” The entire rampage is ignored! I would have been okay with seeing the multiple shots of the Behemoth crushing the same car. Oh well. We do see some animation of the beast swimming in the final moments but it’s a matter of too little too late.
A nice looking, sharp print here with super box art promising something the digest fails to deliver.